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human geography by majid husain - pdf

Concept of Agriculture
Significance of Problems
Choice of Region
Review of Literature
Data Collection and Research Methodology
Geography deals with spatial distribution of various characteristics on the
earth surface. Geography involves such a wide range of knowledge that the subject
has been divided into two major areas of the study. The first of these is physical
geography, which is concerned with the physical environment, landforms, weather,
climate, soil, plants etc. The second is Human Geography, which is concerned with
man’s activities on the surface of the earth. Later on several branches have been
developed and are interrelated to each other. Geography is an integrative discipline,
which combines natural and social sciences (Nanaware, 2007). Agricultural
Geography is the major branch of Economic Geography, in turn Human geography as
most of the world’s population is related to agriculture.
The word agricultural comes from a Latin term ‘Agricultura’ which has its
origin in the words ‘Ager’ meaning a field and cultura meaning to cultivate Nat son’s
Longman Modern English Dictionary (1976) define the word agriculture as the
‘science or the art or the practice of large-scale soil cultivation’ in order to produce
crops (Singh and Dhillon, 1987).
The “Concept of agriculture” refers to the point in time or space at which
agricultural first existed (Obara D. A., 1992). Agricultural Geographers used the word
agriculture to cover both cropping and grazing (Watson, O.C.1976). Humphrey’s
American peoples Encyclopaedia 1965 mentions under the head ‘Agriculture’, the
production of crops, livestock and their products. It is in such a broad context that
term is used here to include both rearing of animals and rising of crops (Humphrey,
Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating soil growing and harvesting of
crops, domestication of animals and raising of plants for the use of human being
(Majid Hussain, 1996). Agriculture includes not only domestication of plants and
animals useful to man but also many of the operations regarding with them. When,
where and how agriculture developed has been a topic of considerable research during
the last century.
Integrated Crop Management (ICM) is a common sense approach to
farming."ICM is a method of farming that balances the requirements of running a
profitable business with responsibility and sensitivity to the environment. It includes
practices that avoid waste, enhance energy efficiency and minimize pollution. ICM
combines the best of modern technology with some basic principles of good farming
practice and is a whole farm, long term strategy". It combines the best of traditional
methods with appropriate modern technology, balancing the economic production of
crops with positive environmental management. It is based on understanding the
intricate balance between our environment and agriculture and is a whole-farm
approach in achieving a proper balance. Basic components of ICM are crop
management, nutrient management, pest management, and financial management.
Each of these components of ICM is associated with agricultural Best Management
Practices (BMP). Each BMP overlaps between the broader components of ICM. The
relationship between farm management and BMP implementation is very dynamic.
For instance, crop rotations can be used for reduced erosion and nutrient mobility,
increased pest prevention, and better nutrient balancing through the use of nitrogen
fixing plants. Through the process of ICM, farmers make better use of on-farm
resources. In the end, ICM and subsequent improved use of on-farm resources cause a
reduced dependency on outside inputs of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides through
the integration of farm management components and best management practices
(Dinesh Kumar and Shivay Y.S., 2008).
The anthropologists and archaeologists hold different opinions about the time
and place of the beginnings of Agriculture. But there is unanimity on the point that
agriculture has no single, simple origin.
Agriculture is one of the oldest and most important occupations of man. It is
generally understood to mean both the cultivation of plants and the raising of
livestock. Hence, the origin of agriculture goes back to the beginning of domestication
of plants and animals (Noor Mohammad, 1992).
But domestication and effective food production perhaps began only 12000
year ago, and we do not have any direct evidence to pin point the time with certainly.
Although hunting and gathering continued to be of varying importance unit quite
recent times, by about 9000 B. C. Some people had begun to replace the old way of
life with at least a partial reliance on domestic food resources.
At the initial stage plant domestication gave rise to “seed” agriculture and
“veg-culture” which are to be differentiated. The former includes the cereals which
are now staple food crops, in almost all the parts of the earth.
In seed agriculture seeds are sown enmesh and crops are harvested usually in
very short period. They have marked growing seasons. This necessitated arrangement
for storage facilities during off seasons. It has formed the basis of the major
agricultural civilisations and was associated with an early plough and drought
animals. The latter refers to plants reproduced by vegetative propagation. They