Plantation agriculture

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Geog Summer Assignment- Essay Question 3               Stella Kwok (7)

        Plantation agriculture is a kind of commercial arable farming in the world. It is especially important in humid tropics with luxuriant growth of vegetation. Its economic effectiveness is always emphasized, bringing both positive and negative impacts. In recent decades, crop diversification is introduced and the ecological balance of the natural environment is greatly conserved.

        Plantation agriculture refers to the growing of cash crops on large foreign owned estates in countries of tropical environment. It is usually practiced in a large scale with monoculture, in which only a certain type of plant is dominant. Take Papua New Guinea as an example, in the area, cacao, coffee and rubber are mainly grown in the region for export to other countries.

        Under this kind of farming, there are positive impacts to the economy. Firstly, due to its large scale of operation and being export-oriented in Papua New Guinea, the supply of products is regular and of uniformly high quality. With high demand for the products, this attracts large amount of investment of capital from the foreign countries, such as Europe and North America, thus allowing the farmers being financially able to provide the expensive machinery capable of turning out a high grade product. Benefiting from economies of scale, this enables both the transportation cost and production cost to be lowered.

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Secondly, plantations are also able to undertake greater scientific research and the eradication of pests and diseases. For example, one large sugar company in the former British colony of Guyana was able to employ a large research staff to produce a strain of sugar cane resistant to leaf-scald disease.

Besides, government assistance has brought improved crop varieties, scientific research, new pesticides and fertilizers and effective marketing, The government of Papua New Guinea launched The Cape Hoskins Oil Palm Scheme to solve land disputes of many small holdings, strengthening national self-reliance.

With increasing demand for the plantation, the ...

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