AGRICULTURE. OBJECTIVES. Compare & contrast agri systems in the Caribbean Explain roles of agri in the region Assess the impact of agri on the environment Explain features of sustainable agri Discuss threats to sustainable agri
Main priority of subsistence farmers is self-survival which they try to achieve by growing/ rearing a wide range of crops/animals.
Commercial farming - The production of crops for sale, crops intended for widespread distribution to wholesalers or retail outlets (e.g. supermarkets), and any non-food crops such as cotton and tobacco.
Can you guess?
Adaptable: communities should be capable of adjusting to the constantly changing conditions for farming, changing market demands & population growth & policies through development & use of new & appropriate technologies including social & cultural changes.
Socially just/acceptable: resources should be distributed equitably to meet the basic needs of society. Adequate capital, technical expertise and market opportunities must be available to all. Also farming practices are in harmony w/ cultural values & community needs.
Spatial organisation of crops in fields: strip cropping, grass barriers, contour planting – all contribute to soil conservation, planting trees to act as wind breaks
Ramming, fly penning: integrates crops & livestock into household production, reduces potential erosion by trampling, animal faeces manures the land.
Another definition: It denotes a sustainable land & crop management system that strives to increase yields on a continuing basis, by combining the production of woody forestry crops (incl. fruit & other tree crops) with arable or field crops and/or animals simultaneously or sequentially on the same unit of land, & applying mgt. practices that are compatible w/ the cultural practices of the local pop’n.
Biodiversity increases with each stage in the development of this succession.
Socioeconomic/Cultural Adaptability – although appropriate to a wide range of farm sizes & socioeconomic conditions, its potential had been particularly recognised for small farmers in poor, marginal areas of the tropics & subtropics.
Tree products can often be obtained throughout the year providing year round opportunities and regular income.
An economic constraint is that newly established agroforestry systems might need substantial investment costs to get started (e.g. planting material, soil conservation, fertiliser).
Helpful in the following ways:
Provides favourable conditions for soil macro & microorganisms; when planted along contours of sloping land to provide a barrier for soil erosion control
Useful for the following conditions:
BENEFITS OF CONTOUR PLANTING
To restore/improve soil nutrient & increase organic material content
To add wood products for home consumption or sale
To spread the risk of crop failure during extremely dry seasons by moderating the effects of excessive moisture evaporation on exposed land
Appropriate farming system to use this system (contour planting) is a permanent crop cultivation, medium to small size farm & medium to high labour input available per unit of land