IB GEOGRAPHY HL
Mar 24, 2003
A Study On Agriculture Systems
Intensive subsistence farming system utilizes a small area of land but with a high input of labour and sometimes capital on unit land. Scale of intensive subsistence farming is usually small, with the purpose of self-survival rather than maximizing profits.
Crops raised are normally consumed locally. The small scale and low capitol input of intensive subsistence farming system greatly limits availability of technology such as machineries. Results in general ineffectiveness of such system. Like most subsistence farming systems, intensive subsistence farming are usually found in relatively less developed areas with inexpensive labour, where the land may be fertile but unsuitable for extensive agricultural activities due to adverse environmental factors like a mountainous terrain or economic factors such as high land value.
The irrigated rice farming in Nepal is an example of this system. Nepal is situated in warm subtropics with plentiful summer rainfall, but the climate and topological feature varies greatly in different area of this country.
Irrigated rice field make up about 20% of the harvested area in the country, predominate in the northern part of the country, where the elevation changes rapidly and the soil is not as fertile or humid as the prime rain fed wetlands in southern plains. Most fertilizer application in Nepal is done in irrigated rice fields. However, because reliable water supply is usually not available the irrigation is only partial and there are constant shortages of supplies like fertilizers due to low input of capital. In year 1995 the cultivated land receive only 18% percent of recommended urea application. Most farms cannot afford modern machinery so they are cultivated using manual labour, studies show only one tractor is available for every 300 hectors of land. Because of the...