How commercialisation of agriculture led to disappearance of forests

A variety of industries cause deforestation either directly or indirectly, but the main driver is animal agriculture. Close behind are logging and infrastructural expansion. Natural forms of deforestation do exist, like forest fires and invasive species, but they are often exacerbated by human involvement.


How has the commercialisation of agriculture progressed?

“The commercialisation of agriculture had progressed most in those tracts where the crops were largely grown for export out of the country… Through the operations of exporters an efficient market organisation for moving the crops quickly to the ports had come into existence.”

What are the factors affecting forest conversion to agriculture?

Underlying factors affecting forest conversion to agriculture include population growth, changing food consumption patterns, agricultural development, land tenure, governance of land-use change, changing markets, technological improvements, and active policy interventions.

Does global commodity production cause forest destruction?

These pledges have not come to fruition. Global commodity production remains a leading cause of forest destruction.

What are the effects of the removal of forests?

This aggressive removal of forests threatens plant and animal species in addition to the natural regrowth of tree saplings.

How Commercialisation of agriculture led to the disappearance of forests?

Large-scale and more field crops were cultivated in commercial farming to supply crops on large markets, resulting in deforestation of large forest areas. Large-scale trees were cleared to meet commercial farming targets in colonial times.

How did commercial farming leads to a decline in forest cover during colonial period?

In Commercial farming crops were cultivated on large scales and more area to sell crops in big markets so it resulted into deforestation on large forest area. Forests were cut on large scale to achieve goals of commercial farming in colonial period.

How does commercial farming cause deforestation?

The tropical rainforests of the Amazon Basin face the threat of deforestation . Deforestation is happening for the following reasons: Farming – large areas are cleared for pastoral farming . As the global demand for meat has increased, many cattle farms have opened in the Amazon Basin for beef farming.

What was the impact of the commercialization of agriculture?

Commercialization of Indian agriculture resulted in reduced area under cultivation of food crops due to the substitution of commercial non-food grains in place of food grains. Between 1893-94 to 1945-46, the production of commercial crops increased by 85 percent and that of food crops fell by 7 percent.

How did commercial farming lead to a decline in forest during British period in India?

1) The British encouraged the commercial crops like wheat, sugarcane etc. The demand of these crops were increasingly growing due to increasing populations and rising industries. 2) They considered the forest to be unproductive.

Which factors were responsible for forest destruction in the 19th century?

Deforestation of forests happened to clear land for agriculture. No strict measurements have encouraged people to cut trees in extreme numbers. Developing of industries and factories near deposits of ores caused miners to cut trees. Smuggling of trees is another reason for destruction.

How does commercial agriculture affect rainforests?

Agriculture is the second main cause of forest conversion in the Amazon. In addition to deforestation, agricultural practices tend to cause significant soil erosion and river siltation, as well as aquatic contamination with agrochemicals.

How much is agriculture the cause of deforestation?

The biggest cause of forest loss – accounting for around 70 per cent – is agricultural deforestation, notably for beef, soy, palm oil and commercial timber.

How much does agriculture affect deforestation?

Agriculture is the direct driver of roughly 80 percent of tropical deforestation, while logging is the biggest single driver of forest degradation, says a new report funded by the British and Norwegian governments.

How did commercialization of agriculture resulted in famine?

The farmers were paid high for the production of the cash crops but this did not improve the economic condition of the farmers. It was because they had to produce more cash crops than the food crops. This resulted in famines all over the country.

What is commercialisation of agriculture Why did it arise in colonial India what negative impact it had on India?

The commercialisation of agriculture was a forced and artificial process for the majority of Indian peasants. It was introduced under coercion of the British and not out of the incentive of peasantry at large. The peasantry went for cultivation of commercial crops under duress.

What are the problems of commercialization of agriculture in Nepal?

Problems of Agriculture in Nepal There is a massive shortage of distribution, extension channel, knowledge, production and competition. Additionally, there is also a lack of proper agricultural infrastructures like storage facilities, market centre, roads, telecommunication and irrigation networks.

How did changes in forest management in the colonial period affect the Jhoom cultivation?

So the colonial government decided to ban shifting cultivation. As a result shifting cultivators were forcibly displaced from their homes in the forests. Some had to change occupations while some resisted through large and small rebellions.

What are the changes in the forest societies under colonialism?

(5) While the forest dwellers were deprived of their right to hunt deer, partridges and a variety of small animals, the Indian Kings and British officials were allowed to hunt freely in the reserved forests. Under the colonial rule, the hunting increased to such an extent that various species became extinct.

How were nomadic and pastoralist communities affected during the colonial period?

(b) Nomadic and Pastoralist Communities (i) The forest laws deprived people of their customary rights and meant severe hardship for the nomadic and pastoralist communities. They could not cut wood for their houses, could not graze their cattle or collect fruits and roots. Hunting and fishing became illegal.

What are the main features of shifting agriculture?

Answer parts of trees are cut and burnt in rotation.seeds are sown in the ashes after the first monsoon rainfall,its harvested in september-october. the land is cultivated for a couple of years or till it retains its fertility the land is left fallow.

What are the main causes of forest loss?

In South America and Southeast Asia, commodity crops (tan on the map) have become the dominant driver of forest loss. Common commodity crops include beef, soybeans, palm oil, corn, and cotton. They are typically grown on an industrial scale and traded internationally. Unlike the temporary forest clearings associated with small-scale agriculture, commodity-scale production often involves clear-cutting and results in significant impacts on forests (like the Indonesian palm oil plantation below).

What are the drivers of forest loss?

The map above, based on an analysis of Landsat data by The Sustainability Consortium and WRI, highlights several key drivers of forest loss. Shifting agriculture (yellow) typically involves the clearing of small plots within forests in Africa, Central America, and parts of South America. The clearing is done by subsistence farmers, often families, who raise a mixture of vegetables, fruits, grains, and small livestock herds for a few years and then let fields go fallow and move on as soil loses its fertility. The practice is especially common in Africa, and has become more so since 2000 due to increasing human populations.

How much tree cover did the Earth lose in 2020?

As has often been the case in recent years, the update for 2020 painted a bleak picture. In that one year, Earth lost nearly 26 million hectares of tree cover—an area larger than the United Kingdom.

How much forest is lost in 2020?

In 2020, for instance, Earth lost about 4.2 million hectares (16,000 square miles) of humid tropical primary forest —an area about the size of the Netherlands. Nearly half of that, their analysis shows, was due to food production, and half of that was due to commodity crops. In recent years, commodity crop production has pushed rates of forest loss to record levels.

Where are forests cleared for cattle?

The map above shows forests being cleared for cattle all over the world, but particularly in Brazil, where deforestation has been on the rise. Large tracts of forest have also been cleared in Paraguay, Bolivia, and Peru according to WRI data.

Is deforestation going up or down?

While new tools are making it easier to understand where food production is intersecting with new deforestation, huge challenges remain. “Deforestation rates are going up instead of down,” said Elizabeth Goldman of WRI. “There’s a lot of work left to do.”

Do forests grow back over time?

In contrast, forests cleared for forestry management or by wildfires generally grow back over time. In the U.S. Southeast, for instance, managers maintain certain ecosystems and animal habitats by periodically burning and planting forests to mimic natural cycles of burning and regrowth. Likewise, forests in the Pacific Northwest and Europe are often managed for timber in ways that cycle between periods of forest clearing and periods of regrowth.

How much forest is destroyed by global commodity production?

Recent Analysis by Greenpeace International suggested that, by the start of 2020, some 50 million hectares of forest — an area the size of Spain — is likely to have been destroyed for global commodity production since those promises were made in 2010.

What are the commodities that are losing forests?

As we rely on industrial agricultural commodities such as palm, soy, and industrial produced meat and dairy, we are losing forests and accelerating a climate and ecological emergency.

What is the biggest cause of deforestation in Amazon?

Cattle ranching — and the soy farming needed to feed the cattle — is the biggest cause of deforestation in virtually every Amazon country. Around 90% of soy is used to feed animals to produce meat and dairy products.

What is the impact of deforestation on the environment?

Deforestation for agricultural commodities like palm oil, soy, and cattle is wiping out biodiversity and driving this climate emergency. We are at a point in time where a complete cease in deforestation and serious restoration efforts are needed to prevent mass species extinction if we are to limit global warming under 1.5°C degree world.

What are the commodities that are being used to eliminate deforestation?

Starting in 2010, a wave of companies pledged to help eliminate deforestation by 2020 through the responsible sourcing of the commodities most linked to forest destruction — cattle, palm oil, pulp and paper, and soya.

What is the number one driver of deforestation worldwide?

Agribusiness —in which huge areas of forest are burned or cleared to make space for crops and livestock—is the number one driver of deforestation worldwide.

Where does the meatpacking industry come from?

Most of this comes from the Amazon region. In 2009, Greenpeace published a landmark three-year investigation entitled Slaughtering the Amazon. The same year, the leading meatpackers in Brazil committed to end deforestation, slave labor, and invasions into Indigenous Peoples’ Lands in the Cattle Agreement.

What event sparked off the process of commercialisation in agriculture?

Thirdly, another event that sparked off the process of commercialisation in agriculture was the American Civil War (1861-65). As the U.S.A. plunged into the Civil War, it transferred the British demand for raw cotton from America to India. Besides, exports of raw cotton, other raw materials like jute, oilseeds, and food-grains experienced a jump in exports. With the conclusion of the Civil War, exports of raw cotton fell off. But this was largely compensated by a great rise in domestic demand.

What was the decision to cultivate commercial crops?

The decision to cultivate commercial crops was usually determined by the requirements of subsistence farming of peasants. Thus, commercial agriculture in India had not been the product of an “allocative efficiency of peasants”. Production decision was entirely of peasants and profits (if any) from the marketed items were reaped by peasants.

What is commercialization of agriculture?

By commercialisation of agriculture we mean production of agricultural crops for sale in the market, rather than for family consumption. For marketization of agricultural products thus ‘surplus’ of production over consumption is required. But agriculture at that time was merely of the subsistence type.

What was the first form of commercialization in India?

The first form of commercialisation was associated with plantation agriculture, especially tea plantation of the northern districts of Bengal. The second type of commercialisation came to be known as ‘subsistence commercialisation’ or the ‘jute phase’. Under this jute version of commercialisation, peasants in search of minimum subsistence level of living turned to intensive cash crops, mainly jute in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

What is the correlation between prices of agricultural crops and land utilisation?

Dharam Narain has shown statistically a perfect correlation between fluctua­tions in the prices of agricultural crops and land utilisation. Whenever prices of certain crops rose, farmers switched over for cultivation from low-priced to high- priced crops. This sort of price responsiveness clearly suggests that agriculture in India during the 19th century did not follow the traditional path; on the contrary, it became market responsive.

How did the commercial revolution affect the food situation?

We have already said that the process of commercial revolution resulted in the substitution of commercial crops for food crops. The effect of this development on the overall food situation of the country was a tragic one. The famine of Orissa and Bengal in 1866 bore testimony to this process of substitution of crops. The changeover to cash crops discouraged the cultivation of poor men’s food crops like jowar, bajra or pulses.

Why did farmers have to sell their producers?

Farmers were forced to sell their producers to meet the revenue needs of the alien government as well as urban demand . Peasants had to cough up some surplus at least for the market since money had become indispensable to them. Thus commercialisation of agriculture was not a spontaneous one.

How much of the forest has declined over the last 5000 years?

Some estimates suggest that over the last 5000 years, surface covered by forests declined by 1.8 billion hectares, that is about half of the total area of forests today. Archaeological and historical evidence indicates that much of this forest loss was associated with population increases, and demand for land for crops and grazing, along with unsustainable levels of exploitation of forest resources; for instance, for fuel or shipbuilding.

How much has the forest declined in the 1990s?

In the period from 1990 to 2015, global forest area has declined by 129 million hectares (3.1 percent) and is now just under 4 billion hectares with 93 countries recording net forest losses (totaling 242 million hectares), and 88 countries net gains in forest area (totaling almost 113 million hectares), which were particularly evident in high-income countries. In tropical regions, over the 2000-2010 period there was a net loss of forests of 7 million hectares per year and a growth of agricultural land by 6 million hectares per year.

How much deforestation is there in the world?

Although the rate of global net forest loss slowed down from an average of 7.3 million hectares per year in the 1990s to 3.3 million hectares per year in 2010–2015, deforestation remains a matter of deep concern. Global forest area has declined by 129 million hectares (3.1 percent) in the period from 1990 to 2015 and is now just under 4 billion hectares with 93 countries recording net forest losses (totaling 242 million hectares), and 88 countries net gains in forest area (totaling almost 113 million hectares), which were particularly evident in high-income countries. In 2010–2015 forest losses (most of which was natural forest) were offset partially by a combination of natural expansion, often on abandoned agricultural land (2.2 million hectares per year), and the establishment of planted forests (3.1 million hectares per year.

What is the SDG 15?

SDG 15 – “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”.

How do forests contribute to the SDGs?

Forests can indeed help address the challenges brought by climate change, and properly managed forests can have an important role in absorbing carbon while providing other environmental services . The challenge today is to encourage positive trends recorded in some countries – especially low-income countries – in which food insecurity is still rife and where forests are still being lost.

What was the main driver of deforestation in the 19th and 20th century?

More specifically, in the 19 th and 20 th century, expansion of agricultural land remained the main driver of deforestation, together with the expansion of cities, and the development of infrastructure and mining. Deforestation was greater in the temperate regions until the late 19 th century, and is now greatest in the tropical regions.

Why is regulation of change needed?

Regulation of change is needed with appropriate social and environmental safeguards and private governance initiatives and where large-scale commercial agriculture is the principal driver of land-use change.

The Equatorial Forest

The equatorial forests of Africa have been little exploited and they contain phenomenal quantities of timber.

Consequences of the Disappearing Forest

Effect on Timber Production. – In general, it can be said that tropical Africa is tending to become savannah. Economically, for both local and world forestry, this tendency must have serious consequences.


Deforestation of Africa is going on now as it has been for ages past. At present we are witnessing the finishing touches to a process which probably started before the dawn of history and which reached a climax during the unknown era when the first great invasions of man into Africa took place.

The following are the ways, in which the shortage of food crops will affect people

The commercialization of agriculture will increase the production of commercial crops which means a producer will produce those corps which can be sold at higher prices. Therefore, the supply of commercial crops will increase and supply of other crops (food crops) will fall.


The following are the ways, in which the shortage of food crops will affect people.

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