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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Modern and traditional agriculture

As mentioned in an article on Wikipedia (Agriculture, 2008), agricultural progress has been the most important factor which leads to humans’ civilization. The ability to produce their own food by planting and rearing their own animals allows humans not to move around so that they can create their own civilization. The world has progressed in such a rapid manner that traditional agriculture has aggressively been replaced by modern agricultural approaches and methods. To compare, there are several distinctions between the traditional and modern agriculture.

The most significant difference between conventional agriculture and modern agriculture is the technology aspect. During the old days, agricultural technology was not well developed compared to now. People did not use any machinery to farm their land. Today, with modern technology a lot of equipment and different types of machinery have been developed to assist farming. Instead of the traditional method of using hoe or buffaloes to plough the land, tractors and other heavy machinery which are much more efficient replaced those animals (Madagascar, 1994). Previously, farmers had to consider land suitability, climate factor and the availability of adequate water supply before planting a crop that suited those criteria. However, with modern technology, all these factors could be controlled to suit the type of crop to be planted as the greenhouse technology is created. The greenhouse is a structure built of glass or plastic, and it is able to maintain the optimum combination of moisture, temperature and light for plant growth (Modern Farming Techniques, n.d.). As an example, farmers in Egypt are able to plant strawberries in the hot climate and also corn in winter. As a result of much research, chemical pesticides and fertilizer have been created to assist farmers.

Another aspect of dissimilarity between traditional and modern farming is the purpose. In the old days, farmers worked on their land to produce crops for their own domestic use. They tended to plant a variety of crops so that they became self-sufficient. Later, farmers practiced the barter system. By doing so, they are able to exchange the agricultural products with other farmers. In modern times, agricultural products have become a very important part in business. A lot of products are produced on a large scale to be sold locally or for export (Comparison of Traditional and Modern Agriculture, n.d). Normally farmers concentrate on a single crop so that they can specialise in producing it. Agricultural products too have become commodities that are traded at the stock market. Palm oil, cocoa and sugar are some of the examples.

In terms of harming the environment, the modern agricultural methods are more harmful than the traditional methods. Traditional farmers utilised animal waste as the plant fertilizer which caused no harm to the environment. On the other hand, modern agriculture uses chemical pesticides and fertilizer which has resulted in soil and water pollution (Madagascar, 1994). Besides, pesticides not only destroy unwanted pests, but other insects, and natural predators are also destroyed. This leads to the instability of the ecosystem. The consumption of these pesticides will definitely be hazardous to man as it poison accumulated in the body. Plus, the excessive use of fertilizer may cause eutrophication of ponds and rivers (Agriculture, 2007). As a result, water located underground will be contaminated as well. This will subsequently lead to numerous problems to the area involved.

To conclude, modern agriculture differ from traditional agriculture in terms of the technology being adopted, the purpose of agriculture and also the effects agriculture have on the ecosystem as well as on humans. Even though many countries are moving forward towards modern agricultural approaches because of higher productivity compared to the traditional approaches, nevertheless, there are certain factors that need to be considered (Mathias, 2001). For the quest of a bountiful harvest and monetary gains, the environment and mother earth should not be neglected.

References

Agriculture. (2008, September 14). Retrieved on September 1, 2008, from the World

Wide Web: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture

Comparisons of traditional and modern agriculture. (n.d). Retrieved on September 1,

2008, from the World Wide Web:

http://aesop.rutgers.edu/~humeco/courses/gmclasses/global/classnotes/comparisons_of_traditional_and_m.htm

Madagascar. (1994, April). Retrieved September 1, 2008, from the World Wide Web:

http://countrystudies.us/madagascar/23.htm

Mathias, E. (2002, October 7). Comparison between ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ animal

production and healthcare. Retrieved September 1, 2008, from the World Wide Web:

http://ww.ethnovetweb.com/traditional_versus_modern.htm

Modern farming techniques for agriculture in India. (n.d). Retrieved September 1, 2008,

from the World Wide Web: http://www.agrowan.com/pages/farming

techniques/modern-farming-techniques.php

Organic agriculture. (2008, July 16) Retrieved on September 1, 2008, from the World

Wide Web: http://mzfaizal.nasyidfm.net/blog/?p=20

3 comments:

Ataroa Colossus said...

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