AGRICULTURAL INTENSIFICATIO3

AGRICULTURAL - Cropping Period Fallow Period Forest fallow 1-3 years 20 years or more Bush fallow 1-8 years 6-10 years Grass fallow Several years

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AGRICULTURAL INTENSIFICATION Agricultural systems come in many varieties, and can be classified many different ways One of the most useful classifications for ecological analysis is in terms of intensification Intensification refers to any practice that a) increases productivity per unit land area at b) some cost in labor or capital inputs Agricultural intensification takes many specific forms, including irrigation, fertilization, use of draft animals or machinery to till soil, etc. One important dimension of agricultural intensification = length of fallow period (Note: "fallow" = letting land lie uncultivated for a period) Some agricultural systems have no fallow period (instead, continuous cropping), but most do Influential classification is that of Ester Boserup (Danish agroeconomist specializing in third-world agriculture): Fallow Type
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Unformatted text preview: Cropping Period Fallow Period Forest fallow 1-3 years 20 years or more Bush fallow 1-8 years 6-10 years Grass fallow Several years 1-2 years Annual cropping A few months Less than 1 year Multi-cropping Continuous None Length of fallow found in any particular agricultural system will depend on several factors (latitude, climate, soils, etc.), and obviously some limits are hard to override (e.g., can't have multi-cropping if growing season is too short) However, environment usually sets only broad limits, and specific fallow system that develops may often reflect adjustments made by farmers in response to various economic and social factors Boserup's key argument is that sequence from long-fallow to shorter and shorter fallow periods is an historical progression driven primarily by population growth (see below)...
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This note was uploaded on 11/22/2011 for the course ANT ANT2000 taught by Professor Monicaoyola during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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