Agriculture, or farming, is a primary industry. Farmers cultivate crops and rear animals to produce food and other products.
Agriculture is affected by many of the same factors and concerns as other types of industry.
There are a range of agricultural operations from large commercial farms to small subsistence farms.
All of these farms work to supply the constant demand for agricultural produce.
Like any other industry, farming is a system of inputs, processes and outputs.
Inputs will be physical (land, sun, rain), human (labour) and capital (money for livestock and feed, seeds, equipment, wages).
Processes are the activities on the farm that turn inputs into outputs. For example, feeding and caring for the animals or planting and tending to the crops.
Outputs are products farmers sell at market or use to feed and clothe their families. Barley, hops, wheat, hay and straw are products from crops and meat, wool, leather and cheese are products from animals.
Farms can be categorised according to what is being grown or reared, the size of the operation and the agricultural techniques being used.
• sedentary or nomadic
• subsistence or commercial
• arable, pastoral or mixed
• extensive or intensive
Factors that are affecting farming
Like other primary industries, farming is highly dependent on physical inputs such as:
• Weather and climate
• Slope or relief of the land
• Soil fertility
• Water and drainage
These inputs are naturally occurring, so farmers must work with the physical factors of their farm’s location.
They can intervene in these inputs – for example by growing crops in a polytunnel (plastic tunnel greenhouse) to protect them from frosts and improve plant growth.
However, such human interventions require extra inputs in the form of money or work.
Like physical factors, these vary according to the type of farm and the country where the farm is located. Factors include:
• Government policy – eg EU subsidies and loans and US tax reductions.
• Labour – some farms require more labour than others, eg a market garden will employ more labourers than a hill sheep farm.
• Finance – money is needed for wages, seed, buildings, animal feed, fertilizers, pesticides and machinery.
BRUNEI DARUSSALAM AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES
The Potential Development and investment of Agricultural activities in Brunei Darussalam are;
•LAND : The Government will assist bona fide investors to obtain suitable sites and lands for various agri-businesses.
•INFRASTRUCTURE : The Government will consider providing the basic infrastructure including roads, drainage, irrigation, water and electricity supply.
•ACCESSIBILITY: Brunei Darussalam is easily accessible by sea ports, airport and roads. Brunei Darussalam also has a best infrastructure for ICT.
•LABOUR AND HRO : The country has a large pool of educated workforce to support modern agribusiness development. In addition, the Government has a liberal policy for labours and permit large numbers of cheap migrant workers to support its economic development.
•STRONG ECONOMIC FUNDAMENTALS : Brunei Darussalam has huge trade surpluses to finance its development programmes without having to borrow. However, the Government is seriously pursuing economic development programmes to diversify its petroleum-based economy.
•FINANCIAL : The national currency is sound, backed by strong foreign reserves. Financial institutions are well regulated and have the capacity to support private sector development.
•TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT : The Government is supportive in agricultural R&D including post-harvest technology. The private sector has easy access to asset-based technology and enjoys a free flow of knowledge and information. Other supportive programmes include agromarketing, entrepreneur development and developing industrial standards.
•LEGAL PROTECTION : Brunei Darussalam has an established legal framework with the rule of laws to safeguard investments and intellectual properties.
•PUBLIC POLICIES : Public policies are investors friendly including generous tax incentives and pioneer status . Investors also enjoy a freehand on management.
•SOCIAL FACTOR : Brunei Darussalam enjoys time-proven political stability and social cohesiveness that favour foreign and domestic investments.
The sectors that have been developed are:
Vegetables (Fresh Hydroponics Products, Mushroom, etc)
Floriculture (Ornamentals & Cut Flowers, Orchids, Tissue Culture products, etc)
Field & Miscellaneous Crop (Corn, Nuts, Tuber, Ginger, Lemon Grass, Sugar Cane, etc)
Fruits and Vegetables (Juices, Cordial & Other Condiments, Canning, Sauce, Pickles, Dried, Snacks, etc)
Marketing (Packaging of Fresh Products, Product Distribution, Whole Sale Market, etc)
Production Input (Organic Fertilizer, Pesticide and Fungicide, Seeds Seedling, Equipments and Machine, etc)
Ruminants (Buffalo, Goat, Dairy Cow, Deer)
Non-Ruminants (Free Range Chicken, Breeder, Duck, Quail, Rabbit)
Beef / Meat / Broiler (Frozen, Sausage, Nuggets, Mince, Corn Beef, Satay, Belutak, Lalap, Serunding, etc
Abbatoir (Chicken, Buffalo, etc)
Milk (Yoghurt, Pasteurized, Cheese, Butter, Cosmetics, Ice-cream, Chocolate
Egg (Salted Eggs, Egg Powder, Century Eggs)
Leather (Shoes, Hand-bags, Purse, Gloves)
Animal Feed (Poultry & Ruminant, etc)
Veterinary (Medicine, Vaccine)
FOOD CONSUMPTION IN LDCs and MDCs
Food Consumption per capita in MDCs is much higher than it is in LDCs
About 20% of the world’s population consumes nearly 50% of the meat and fish in the world, whereas the poorest 20% consumes only about 5% of the meat and fish in the world.
There has been an increase in food consumption among the people in the world from 1960’s till today but the rate of increase varies among different region
What constitute a balanced diet?
1. carbohydrates; source of energy
2. Proteins; source of material for growth and repair
3. Fats; sources of energy and contain fat soluble vitamins
4. Vitamins require to keep healthy
5. Mineral salts; required for teeth, bones, muscles etc
6. Fibre; is required to help your intestines function correctly.
CHANGING FOOD PREFERENCES
People have been consuming food with a higher proportion of fats over the last few decades. Due to that high consumption of fats (heart diseases & diabetes)
People start to take organic food as healthier choice of diet
People have a variety of food imported from all over the world. They are exposed to all kinds of foods today.
Th staple food in Asia is rice & hence there are longer proportion of carbohydrates in their food .There have been changes in consumption of such foods over the last two decades. examples like roots such as sweet potatoes & yam have become part of diet.
Vegetables (fruit and leaf) have also become popular in Asian diets
Meat and fish’s are increasingly consumed in Asia as well.
HOW FACTORS SUCH AS FOOD PRODUCTION AND FOOD DISTRIBUTION AFFECT DIFFERENT LEVELS OF FOOD CONSUMPTION
Factors for variations in global food production
a) Economic Power
People in the DCs have more purchasing power than people in the LDCs
People in wealthier countries can afford more food as well as more expensive types of meat , fruit and vegetables.
b) Food Security
Refers to adequate supply of food to a population regardless of other factors affecting its production and distribution. examples, the availability of food from other parts of the world, the mean of transport food where it is needed, together with the ability to pay for the food, give a country food security
Food security is affected by a range of factors both physical and human
i) Physical factor- severe weather disruption and diseases like drought.
ii) Human factor- occurrence of wars and lack of distribution networks.
c) Natural Events Drought and floods are two natural event that may affect both production and consumption in a region
d) Socio-Political factors Migration of rural urban can cause labour shortages and reduce productivity in the rural areas In the developed countries, rural depopulation has been linked to greater productivity due to more mechanised farm processes replacing manual labour and enabling faster completion of tasks to such as planting and harversting
Political factors can affect food stability positively and negatively
i) In economies where market conditions are stronger, example countries in EU (European Union) government influence food production by incentives such as tax holidays, subsidies and guaranteed prices for the production of certain food products.
ii) Free trade agreement can significantly increase the variety of food made available to the consumers. Australia consumers are now able to buy a range of fruit and vegetables from the United State of America despite the long distance and prices can be much lower than in other countries.
e) Technology Technological advances in farming methods can greatly increase food production. Over last 50 years , most farmers in Developed countries have mechanised their farming processes and applied advanced technology to their farming methods Applying such technology in farming regions has lead to an increase in the production of foodstuffs , as well as a more uniform quality of food.
f) Provision for future Needs The Developed countries are wealthy enough to purchase food from world markets several years in advance. When there are food shortage and prices rise, they are still able to provide food for their population. Countries in EU(European Union) and North America are also large scale food producers are able to store large stockpiles of food in warehouse and silos.
FACTORS AFFECTING THE INTENSITY OF FOOD PRODUCTION
a) PHYSICAL FACTORS
Lowland areas as such floodplains of Bangladesh are some of the Earth’s most productive areas. For it to be highly productive, they must also receive the right amount of moisture for crops to grow successfully.
Temperatures need to be warm enough for plants to grow and develop.
In Tropics, high temperatures are common but further away from the Equator and the tropics temperatures vary with seasons and this restricts the number of crops that can be grown in a year as well as the types of crops.
The type of soil in an area can greatly affect the intensity of food production.
Soil with many rocks and stones will be unsuitable for cultivation by machinery and is probably best left as grazing land for animals
Clayey soil due to their fine grain, refrain water. This makes it very suitable for growing wet rice.
b) SOCIAL FACTORS
i) Land tenure
Farmers who own land have greater incentives to make a profit and are more likely to invest in new equipment and techniques.
Farm land that is rented out to tenants may or may not be as successful as land owned by a farmer or farming family.
Often tenant farmer little incentives to improve the land they rent, and this in turn affects the productivity of the land.
ii) Land fragmentation
If land is equally sub- divided among the farmer’s heir, there can be a reduction in farm size and a fragmentation of holdings after several generations.
With small size of land, farmers cannot use high tech methods.
High tech methods of production require large tracks of land to reap economies of scale.
c) ECONOMIC FACTORS
i) Land Availability
Competition for land to produce food crop is high. Often, industrial crops such as cotton and oil palm may prove more profitable than food crops. As a result, many land owner s prefer to grow industrial crops instead of food crops.
Farming land near cities may also be lost to other land uses such as industrial expansion and new residential development.
A high demand for a certain crop encourages farmer to increase its output and productivity, so that they can sell more and earn more money.
Coffee production has expanded significantly in Brazil, India and other tropical countries when demand for coffee as a beverage has increased rapidly in the USA, Europe and other countries.
iii) Pricing of food products
It depends largely on the demand for these products from buyers.
If many farmers throughout the world produce sugar, there may be a surplus and the price will fall.
But if natural disasters such drought and floods occur, this can affect the supply of farm goods in the world market. When food becomes scarce, price will increase.
Capital refers to money, machinery, equipment and buildings used by farmers to grow crops and raise animals.
In Developed countries, farmer can quite easily obtain loans from agricultural banks and organisations. This allow farmers to upgrade their farming methods and equipment and hence able to produce more.
In LDCs money for farm development may be less readily available to individual farmers. Borrowing from local money lenders can lead to greater debt as high interest rates are usually charged. Indebtedness reduces the likelihood of agricultural progress.
d) POLITICAL FACTORS
Government policies and decisions affect farmers and the productivity of their holding in a number of ways. These include:
Financing and building infrastructure such as dam for irrigation.
Subsiding food production by paying farmers to produce a certain crop or by paying some of their costs, such as storage or marketing.
Controlling the trade in food items. The countries within European Union import food products from countries outside the Union only when that product is not available from its member countries.
Providing low cost loans, grants and or tax advantages help farmer to purchase machinery or repair eroded land.
Setting up agricultural training colleges for new farmers, forming advisory groups to deal with problems, such as soil erosion.
e) TECHNOLOGICAL FACTORS
The technology has changes in the amount of food production in many parts of the earth.
Technological advances include a wide range of developments such as computerised sprinkler system and development of hybrid seeds through green revolution.
Green revolution has helped many farmers in LDCs of Asia increase the output of rice. The new technologies introduced high yielding varieties of rice (HYV) , chemical fertilisers, pesticides and modern irrigation state.
IMPACT OF FOOD CONSUMPTION ON PEOPLE IN LDCs and MDCs
The impacts of differences in food supply are considerable . The Developed countries may have too much food, while on the other hand, 800 million people regularly go to bed hungry in the LDCs.
This is more common in MDCs than in LDCs
Obesity refers to excessive body fat in relation to body mass, increase the risk of health conditions, i.e. coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes
The food consumed by the MDCs are often sugar based processed foods, containing too much protein and fats. As a result, many children and adults in the Developed countries grossly overweight or obese.
The estimate range of annual expenditure on diet products will be increase from $40 billion to $100 billion in the US alone. The medical cost attributable to obesity will be increasing too.
Cost of treating: Obesity prevention programs have been found to reduce the cost of treating obesity related disease. The longer the people live, the more medical they incur and reducing obesity may improve public health and reduce overall health spending.
Lack of energy for working: Obesity can lead to disadvantages in employment. Obesity workers on average have higher rates of absenteeism from work and take more disability leave, thus increasing cost for employers and decreasing productivity.
In MDCs help for those affected by obesity has mainly come in the form of public education promoting a healthy lifestyle and weight loss companies such as weight watchers or the biggest loser television show.
Dieting and physical exercise are the mainstay of treatment for obesity.
Severe shortage of food intake leading to death. Hunger brought on by the lack of food creates exhaustion and pain.
Overtime, this leads to malnutrition which can be life threatening.
The people in such countries have skeletal appearances and their health may become permanently damaged.
Condition whereby a lack of food or an imbalanced diet result in poor health.
Eating disorder cause by malnutrition.
Why do many parts of Sub Saharan Africa suffer from Malnutrition?
The high birth rate and falling death rate means there are many people to be fed.
Few farmers have the money to buy high yielding seeds, fertiliser, pesticides or machinery or implement of irrigation schemes.
When food is scarce neither government nor people can afford to buy high priced surplus from overseas.
The soil is overused in the past and few nutrient remains. In places soil erosion has led to desertification.
Many areas, receive small and unreliable amounts of rainfall.
Pest and diseases destroy crops and stored grain.
Often there is not enough protein in the diet.
In many countries there is political instability.
Children under 5 years old are particularly susceptible to malnutrition. Children fall ill either because their diet contains too few proteins, which are particularly important during early stages of growth. The effect includes:
Kwashiorkor result from predominance of cereals (e.g. rice) and a deficiency of protein (e.g. milk, eggs and meat)
Marasmus is caused by a severe lack of food. It results in diarrhoea, wasting, and low immunity to other diseases. It is most common in children in their first year of life.
Two of several diseases resulting from a lack of vitamins are
Beri-beri due to lack of vitamin B, can lead to a wasting and paralysis of limbs.
Rickets caused by a deficiency in vitamin D , causes deformities in bones , legs and the spine.
Improved water supply , sanitation and hygiene
Health education for a healthy diet
Improved access by the poor , to adequate amount of healthy food.
Ensuring that industrial and agricultural development do not result in increased malnutrition.