• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'Major innovations in agriculture have always proved to be controversial(TM) With reference to recent changes in agriculture, evaluate the validity of this statement.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'Major innovations in agriculture have always proved to be controversial' With reference to recent changes in agriculture, evaluate the validity of this statement. * Before the WW2 the farmers used hands and horses to farms, and the fields were irregular and relatively small, few chemicals were used and yields were low by today's standards. * British farmers had to compete with cheap imports of grain, meat and dairy produce from Australia, New Zealand * The war, and particularly the sinking of so many merchant ships by German U-boats, brought about the realization that Britain had to produce more of its own food and become less reliant on imports. * Post-war periods witnessed by increasing application of science and technology farming to maximize yields and to increase profitability. * Sudden increase in production lead to production of 'butter mountains,' 'wine lakes' which led to down scaling production. * In China now meat consumption is rising by 10% per year. * Consumption of animal protein is about one-quarter of that in the developed world, and demand seems set to continue rising. * Biotechnologists, on the other hand, are confident that new technologies will be able to produce enough food for 10 billion people. ...read more.

Middle

The war, and particularly the sinking of many merchant ships by German U-boats, brought about the realization that British had to produce more of its own food and become less reliant on imports. Post war periods witnessed by increasing application of science and technology farming to maximize yields and to increase profitability. Increased use of fertilizers, pesticides, machinery, and altering the genes within the produce led to a sudden increase in production and profitability of farms, but as a consequence it also led to disputes over the environmental and human effects these innovations had. But with an increasing population, with the world population standing at 6 billion, and is forecasted to reach 10 billion by 2150, these innovations were necessary. With Chinas meat consumption rising by 10% each year, production of meat has to increase to meet the demands for the future. There are three types of farming, crop rotation, monoculture, and organic farming. Crop rotations are used on smaller farms, which allows farmers to switch crops on their farms in order to alter the nutrients taken out and put into the soil by the crops. This is a very natural for farming and has little effect on the environment. After the World War 2 farming has grown on a larger scale, and therefore smaller farms joined and became bigger farms which utilized monoculture. ...read more.

Conclusion

This was going on since the 1970's where mixing food with animal DNA resulted in the plant gaining the benefits of the animal. But there is also a strong opposition to GM foods, which resulted in fields full of GM crops being destroyed in 1999 in England. The opposition comes from vegans and religious groups, where vegans oppose the use of animal DNA, whilst the religious groups oppose the changing of nature, where they believe that changing the nature is against god's will. But doctors and scientists are worried about the effect on health of consuming the GM foods, where there could be a possible link with cancer. There is also concern over how the GM foods can become resistant to some antibiotics. Crops can also be altered to become herbicide resistant, therefore farmers could reduce the need for chemicals that contribute to environmental damage. Ultimately all the innovations in technology have their negative effects upon the environment, but they are developed in order to cater for the increasing demand for foods. With accelerating growth in world population scientists developed ways to increase yields, time taken for crops to mature, decrease the pests etc. With the technology developed scientists are now developing them to become more environmentally friendly. For example the pesticides, where when they were developed they were dangerous to the environment and the food chains, but now they have become biodegradable and less dangerous. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Geography section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Geography essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Pro-Natalist China's population policy

    4 star(s)

    On the other hand, the concepts of "uncle", "aunt", "cousins" had disappeared along with "sister" and "brother". Also, due to the fact that only one child is allowed, in rural areas many baby girls are killed, as the reason that boys tend to be a better worker in farms.

  2. Free essay

    An investigation into the underlying factors affecting infiltration rates and their impacts in a ...

    Figure 4 is a graph proving this trend. Figure 4, Day 1 Site 5 Site 5, as stated previously, was chosen because of its abundance of trees and ground vegetation, as well as its exposure to sunlight. By the seventh minute in Figure 4, the zero change in the amount of water infiltrated indicates that the water has completely absorbed into the ground.

  1. Soil Erosion

    - Irrational use of water resources. This would mean that water has been used inefficiently, leading to water shortages or salinisation of soil (i.e. soil become more salty). - International trade. Cash crops (crops grown for profit) have promoted short-term exploitation of land, because they're encouraged to be exported.

  2. Climate changes in Canada. What consequences derive from the climate change in Canada ...

    On the other hand, warmer ocean temperatures provide favorable conditions for the squid, tuna, and others that migrate from the south. Unfortunately, a warmer climate in the west coast would mean that forests towards the north will become vulnerable to insect pests and diseases that did not cause a problem before because of colder temperatures.

  1. Kings College operates a good example of an environmentally sustainable school? Discuss?

    can be spared in the school holidays when the school is closed. Also they could bring in more renewable resources and energy if they can afford the initial cost as in the long term it is a very cheap and worthwhile initiative.

  2. Antarctica Report - the environment and scientific research

    Until relatively recently, waste disposal management in Antarctica was similar to elsewhere in the world with open tips, land fills and the burning or discharging of most sewage into the sea, as well as the practice of 'sea-icing' - dumping rubbish onto the sea ice during winter to float away

  1. Geography - Building a Sustainable House in Australia

    * It reduces heating and cooling requirements significantly as sunlight is not directly striking rooftop and storm/rainwater runoff is slowed, allowing higher percentage of water to seep into gutters and be reused. * Sunlight in peak summer strikes trees, or Zincalume roof.

  2. Drought in Australia Research Project

    Although Australia is surrounded by the ocean, only the areas directly next to the ocean experience modest climate because of the air that are blown inland from the ocean moderates the climate. However, the inner parts of Australia that are not directly located next to the ocean suffer from dry climate.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work