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Why Do Farmers Face Economic Difficulties?

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Presentation on theme: "Why Do Farmers Face Economic Difficulties?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Why Do Farmers Face Economic Difficulties?

2 Objectives Challenges for Commercial Farmers
Challenges for Subsistence Farmers Strategies to Increase Food Supply

3 Challenges for Commercial Farmers
Victims of their own success What’s important? access to markets – distance influences what crops to plant Economic Model: Von Thunen model: crop/ animal choice with proximity to market 2Factors: cost of land versus cost of transportation

4 Von Thunen Model 1) city/ market 2) Dairy and mixed crops 3) crop rotation 4) enclosed fields animals 5) grazing animals 6) forests

5 Overproduction in Commercial Farming
: 10.8 to 9.3 million cows, but milk production + 128B to 190B. (demand stays the same) Farmer Welfare? 1) Farmers avoid producing crops in excess supply 2) gov pays farmers when certain prices are low 3) gov buys surplus and donates Good for consumer. Bad for farmer

6 Sustainable Agriculture
- an agricultural practice that preserves and enhances environmental quality. (organic farming – less than 1% of farms) Lower profits but lower cost Characteristics of Sustainability: 1) sensitive land management 2) limited use of chemicals 3) better integration

7 1) Sensitive Land Management?
Farming method: protects soil through ridge tillage Pros: lower costs & better conservation Cons: more labor intensive

8 2) Limited Use of Chemicals
Commercial farms use genetically modified seeds to resist chemicals for killing bugs and weeds. (i.e. DEET, Roundup) *Organic farms minimize chemical use.

9 3) Integrated Crop and Livestock
“Grow crops that animals use… and use animals for fertilizers” – Four things to consider… A) number of livestock: conducive to the environment and climate? (use of farm space to balance both) B) How should animals be confined?: moral and ethical treatment of animals C) Management of extreme weather conditions: droughts, fires, etc D) Flexible feeding & marketing: finding alternatives in reducing costs (producing or purchasing feed for farm animals.)

10 Challenges for Subsistence Farmers
LDC vs MDC: Efficient and productive farming need to meet population growth. 20th century and modern medicine – demand for higher yields has greatly increased. How to meet needs? 1) new farming methods 2) land left fallow for shorter periods

11 Subsistence Farming and International Trade
Double Edge Sword for LDC farmers and global demand? LDC focus on producing crops that are out of season or impossible to grow in MDCs. Use revenue to adopt better farming methods and technology. Dilemma: more land devoted for exports the less land for domestic.

12 Drug Crops Heavy Demand = Big Business
Asia: opium from Afghanistan and Burma for Central Asia South America: cocoa from Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia for North America Marijuana: est. 140 million world-wide users.

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