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End of assignment: Reflection and continuation

Today is the submission date for this blog, which I set up as part of a Geography Environmental Pollution module that I am taking in NUS. On the whole, this blogging exercise has taught me many things. I have realised the importance and benefits of self-learning, and that noting down the information and content learnt (in the form of a blog, or any prose forms), can be a revision for me to synthesise what I have learnt so far in my NUS undergraduate career.

In this blog, I have tried to use diagrams and videos to make the blog more interesting, and have applied knowledge that I have learnt from other seemingly unrelated modules. I think my blogging skills have improved quite a bit from when I started till now. I will strive to maintain this blog, since so much effort has been put into it.

It is unfortunate that I didn’t comment (virtually) on my classmates’ blogs, but I did learn quite substantially from theirs, and tried incorporating their points/ seek inspiration from their posts.

I will continue blogging, especially since I didn’t manage to blog about aquatic-farming, blue revolution and their environmental impacts and pollution.

Seeya soon!

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Background of commercial farming

Today’s post will look at the background of modern commercial farming.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (UNFAO) 2013, commercial farming do not contribute significantly to global but it plays an important role because approximately 1/3 of the world’s population still works in the agricultural sector.

World agricultural production has also grown on average between 2 – 4% annually since the 1960s, while the cultivated area (permanent cropland and arable land) has grown by only 1% annually. More than 40% of the increase in food production has come from irrigated areas, which have doubled in size.

There is little scope for easy expansion of agricultural land. At present, more than 1.5 billion ha – about 12% of the world’s land – is used for commercial farming. Potentially accessible agricultural land is very unevenly distributed among regions and countries. 90% is located in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa and at the other end of the spectrum; hardly any spare land is available for agricultural expansion in South and Western Asia and Northern Africa.

So far, land and water management systems have been able to meet the rapidly rising demands placed on them. This situation has been made possible through gains in yields resulting from increased use of inputs, technology and irrigation.

However, with world population set to reach 9 billion in 2050, the demand for food and farm produce is also set to increase. Can commercial farming expand to accommodate to this rise in demand? While land and water management systems have been able to meet the demands, the future seems bleak as 28% of arable land lost to land degradation is caused by modern farming and agricultural practices, which commercial farming plays a significant role in.

That will be all to today’s post. The impacts of commercial farming on the environment will be discussed in the subsequent posts.

Stay tune 😀

And check out some interesting statistics on commercial farming and the environment at http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3107e/i3107e.PDF

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Brief understanding of commercial farming and how the blog is run

Before delving deep in to the topic, what is commercial farming?

Commercial farming involves farming for a profit. The farmer is growing crops or rearing animals to sell for as much money as possible. These farms can be arable (just growing crops), pastoral (just rearing animals) or mixed. Foods produced tend to involve advanced technological means for sale in the market.

There are many forms of commercial farming. They can include farming on land such as high-tech farming/ agro technology, plantation agriculture, organic farming and even farming in the seas and rivers such as in the case of aqua farming.

The subsequent posts to come in the blog will look at each forms of commercial farming, and how they pollute the environment. When possible, the posts will include findings on how the environmental pollution caused by commercial farming can adversely affect human health.