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High-Density Farming

Relationships to Needs

Agriculture has had to continually adapt to sustain the rising population with enough food. In the current situation, the amount of arable land is depleting with the emergence of cities and industries around the world.The total potential arable land is about 41.4 million square kilometers while the population is over 7 billion people (fao.org). The development of non-farming activities over the past 250 years after the British revolution partnered with the exponential growth of the population has created a rising demand for agricultural output as well as increased investment into agriculture to produce an increased output (Riggs 267). New technologies and strategies have created high-density farming. High-density farming is producing a higher yield of production in a smaller area.  

As more people inhabit the Earth, they need land to live on, which takes away a great deal of our arable land. High density farming can sustain more people using less area. With rising costs of land and energy in our developing world, high density farming is using less overall of both precious resources and the farmers are not needing to buy more land. 

 

Relationships to Organizational Forms

Large industries as well as peasant farmers utilize high-density farming. High-density farms grow crops for individual sales.

 

Relationships to Resources

The most important aspect of high-density farming it is raising food production and utilizing the land in a better way. A key resource that is needed is initial knowledge on intensive farming. Some crops do not increase their yield when grown in high densities and proper handling in production is needed to cease any soil erosion. Water is another resource, usually used in the manner of drip irrigation. 

 

Examples of High Density Farming

India

Bananas

India is the number one producer and consumer of bananas in world and provides livelihood security to marginal farmers throughout the country (kvkcard.org). It is vital for poorly resourced farmers to obtain maximum income per hectare area of cultivation since 70% of banana cultivation is done on leased lands (kvkcard.org). In 2007, Kerala Agricultural University created a strategy to grow banana trees closer together and it was implemented through demonstrations, seminars, training dates and other field visits to the local farmers. Now they produce almost 20 tons per hectare than neighboring farmers not using high-density cultivation (kvkcard.org).  In addition to a higher yield, the compacted plants help utilize water by micro irrigation and fertilizer in a more efficient way by increasing the root density of the plants. The stronger plants then resist wind and often times do not have to be staked vertically also saving the farmer money (Biswas & Kumar).

Guava

Guava production always had a problem with increasing production due to its giant tree canopy. High-density spacing allows the farmer to manage the canopy by pruning and thus creating better light distribution. (Singh). The standard distance is plants six (row to row) by six (plant to plant) meters apart but with high density farming, the farmer can utilize more land by planting the trees three by three meters or even one and a half to three meters (Singh). In return more branches receive light, have some room to grow and produce multiple buds. The higher density of the plants causes an erect growth and gives a higher yield per unit area in the early years of production.

China

Rice Paddies

 

Related Links and Stories

 

References

Biswas, B.C. & Kumar, Lalit. (2010). "High Density Planting: Success Stories from Banana Farmers". Fertiliser Marketing.  41(6). pp. 3-10. Web.

"High-density banana cultivation for boosting farmer's profit". (2012) Farm Science Centre, ICAR, Govt. of India. Web.

"Long-term scenarios of livestock-crop-land use interactions in developing countries". (1997). National Resources Management and Environment Department. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. kvkcard.org. Web. 

Rigg, Jonathon. 1997. Southeast Asia: The Human Landscape of Modernization and Development. Routledge Publishers.

Singh, Gorakh. (2008). "High Density and Meadow Orcharding of Guava". Central Institute for Subtropical Horticulture. Web.

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