This sample essay on Traditional Farming Definition provides important aspects of the issue and arguments for and against as well as the needed facts. Read on this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
Biological factors include pests, diseases, and natural conditions (weather) which reflect the fact that crops are living things unlike machines which are not susceptible to weather changes, disease or pests. The spatial factor that influences resource allocation refers to the limited amount of land that a traditional farmer by definition has, therefore traditional farmers must allocate resources to maximize use of the limited land that they have.
Seasonal factors refer to the highs and lows that occur In the use of labor because labor Is used Intensively during harvest times and significantly less at other times. In response, farmers develop a farming system which allocates resources in such a way as to make use of labor most intensively all year round. The kinds of farming systems that traditional farmers have developed address the constraints or characteristics of agriculture in order to make best use of land and labor and increase overall average production.
Therefore, the farmer must evaluate any new innovation taking into account how It will affect the whole farming system and therefore overall production. While adopting a new Innovation or farming practice may seem more profitable or more productive at first glance, It might increase production of one crop but come at the expense of increased risk, or a decrease in the ability to use land and labor as efficiently as they had been used before.
When viewing the farm system as a complex system that the farmer has developed to minimize risk, and maximize the use of land and labor given the characteristics of agriculture that he faces, the farmer’s failure to dado a new Innovation/farming practice can be seen as rational because he Is looking out for the overall productivity of his farm which may be negatively Impacted by adoption of the particular innovation. The biological nature of agriculture reflects the susceptibility of agriculture to pests, diseases, and natural conditions.
Since these factors negatively affect levels of output and since traditional farmers usually depend (at least in part) on their output for food, they are naturally very risk averse. Some of the risks that farmers face Include risks from natural disasters, weather related uncertainly, agricultural diseases and pests, and price and market related risks. To reduce risk, farmers use crop varieties and breeds of livestock that have proven dependable under poor conditions like low fertility or rough terrain.
They also plant root crops which can be pulled at different times of the year in order to make up for an unexpected bad year for other crops. Two commonly used techniques for reducing risk used by traditional Tatters are meal cropping Ana meal Tarring. Meal cropping Is a rills spreading mechanism which reduces reliance on the success of a single crop. With many crops, farmers will not be devastated if one crop does not do well. Mixed farming means that farmers plant multiple crops on a single plot of land at the same time. Mixed cropping has many advantages.
Not only does it reduce reliance on the success of en crop, it also creates the opportunity for one crop to provide shade for the other. Mixed cropping also provides protection from natural disasters since pests or diseases may affect one crop but not another, and some crops have higher tolerance in drought or excessive rainfall than other crops do. This technique also provides protection from fluctuating prices for a particular crop. Since crops are harvested and brought to market at the same time by all farmers, competition is often the cause of large price drops.
By harvesting crops that few other local farmers produce, traditional farmers can overcome this treacherous loss of income. Mixed farming is the raising of livestock in addition to crops. Livestock can be consumed or sold during crop failures. In addition they provide sources of fertilizer, fuel, hides, and can be providers of power and transport. Thus mixed farming is another risk saving mechanism. The spatial nature of agriculture refers to the limited amount of land available to traditional farmers. By definition a traditional farmer owns less than 10 acres of land.
This fact makes allocation of land a very important issue to the farmer. To address this issue, farmers plant different crops on the same plot of land at the same time mixed cropping) in order to use every level of land since different crops take root at different levels in the soil. This technique maximizes the farmers use of land. The seasonal nature of agriculture reflects the fact that there are highs and lows in the use of labor because labor is used intensively at harvest times and significantly less at other times.
Thus farmers plant different crops together so that they have different harvest times and can use labor all year round. Similarly, farmers raise both livestock and crops so that when labor is not tending to crops, they can tend to livestock. In this way, farmers maximize their use of labor. Once it is understood that resource allocation makes up a complex farm system designed to address the biological, spatial, and seasonal constraints that farmers face, one can see that introducing some change into it can have many more consequences than one might initially expect.
Seen from a limited framework, a particular innovation or practice may increase the productivity of a particular crop and failure to use the innovation by the farmer may cause one to say he/she is irrational. However, when the innovation is evaluated in terms of how it affects the hole farm system and the ability to maximize the use of land and labor, one can see that the farmer is not being irrational at all.
While a particular innovation can increase the productivity of a single crop, it may be at the expense of increased risk, a decrease in the ability to mix crops, or a decrease in the ability to mix livestock and crops. So, when considering the issue of rationality versus irrationality, it makes sense to talk about evaluating any new innovation in terms of how it’s going to affect the overall system and if it will disrupt the system in some way that is unacceptable to the farmer.