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Farming and Famine

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Food, Famine and Farming 21st May 2008 Not only has this unit taught me that all farming techniques have a good side and a bad side, but it has also taught me that same principle in general living. For example; fertiliser and pesticides may be the answer to increase yield and keep away pests, but at the same time it can seep through the soil, destroying all in its path and eventually, pollute local streams. What we strive for in the farming industry is to find a way to increase yield, eradicate food shortage and promote farmers in a way that is not harmful to other walks of life e.g. the local streams discussed above. This brings me onto GM crops; the closest we have gotten to this dream goal. GM crops - adapting the biological process of crop growth by introducing the characteristics of one living organism to another. At the beginning of this topic, I thought to myself that this could well be the answer to the farming commerce's prayers. Surely by being able to improve crops to make them immune to their environment and by increasing their size would make a major contribution to eradicating famine all over the world? ...read more.


Again, a disadvantage of that would be that farms turn into mega farms, eradicating other local farms in the region. Another problem could be the pollution, lack of quality and complacency caused by these machines. A possible idea could be to come up with a minimum wage for farms owned by supermarkets to prevent the powerful shops from taking advantage of the local farmers. But this must be met with the farmers being able to cope with the demands of their owners in an environmentally-friendly way. Despite this, the farmers must keep their side of the deal, supplying the distributors with quality food. The supermarkets could provide the farms with more manpower to man the farm, an environmentally-friendly way to meet the demands of the public when it comes to arable or pastoral farmed foods. The distributors could also provide the farmers with more land to farm on. This will help to make the supermarkets image a less minatory one, and to promote local farmers rather than disruptive, environmentally harmful mass producers. Another study that interests me is the method of 'Slash and Burn' used by the indigenous population. From what we studied, I know that his method consists of burning a certain area of land and fertilizing it with ashes, then growing crops on it until the land gets too tired. ...read more.


Another cause is war; a war means that young men are always needed to be sent away to fight, leaving the farms at their origin with no-one to man them. War can destroy and contaminate water and food supplies, and the country will need more and more people to help get it back up and running, the problem is, these people are needed for fighting a logistics in warfare. Over-population can also prove a burden for farmers. As the population increases, more and more crops must be grown to fit the needs of the population. This overworks the soil, wearing out all the nutrients until the land cannot be used. Increase in Population = More Crops to be Grown = Soil Gets Worn Out I have taken extreme amounts of knowledge from this unit over the last two months, and many of the topics have interested me. From the statistics comparing safe water access and infant mortality rates to the science of GM crops, I have thoroughly enjoyed the work on food, famine and farming. I re-iterate that the world must find a sustainable farming method to help disintegrate any food related negativities and to build up the food industry. A method that we can diversify from and use in a variety of different ways so that we are not dependent on it. The search continues... By Max Winston ...read more.

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