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Lecture 2

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Pierre Desrochers

GGR287 Lecture #2 Historical Perspective 1) First (insect) farmers 2) Fire, tools and early agriculture 3) Transition to modern era 4) Green Revolution 5) Modern Agribusiness Humans • Have eaten almost that flies in the air, swims in the sea, moves on the land • But can digest approximately 20 000 plants out of > 400 000 ** Agriculture • >>> % usable species plants & animal / cultivated area (90% VS 0.1%) • modify species to make them more productive TraditionalAgriculture • "subsistence agriculture" or "globally-important ingenious agricultural heritage systems" (GIAHS) ** Characteristics of SubsistenceAgriculture • small farm size & continuous production • diversified production based on mixtures of crops. trees and animals • maximum use of local resources • low dependence on off-farm inputs **Characteristics GIAHS (continued) • net energy yield high because energy inputs relatively low • labour drawn largely from household or community • nutrients and other materials regularly recycled • built on natural ecological processes, not against them **Modern Agriculture: Main Features • Monocultures (annual plantings of same crops) • Synthetic chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides) - manufactured by human beings • Fossil Fuels • Mechanization **Results over time (crops) • Production: o new architecture (dwarf wheat) o < length growing season o resistance to pests and diseases o size of seeds and fruits • Consumption: o fewer toxins o easier digestion o better nutrition o longer shelf life o enhanced freshness **Characteristics of InsectAgriculture • monocultures • indoor production (controlled environments) • antib
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