Why it is difficult to practice agriculture on mountains


Mountain agriculture faces a number of constraints including inaccessibility, shorter and more pronounced agricultural seasons, ecological fragility, limited infrastructure, and distant markets.

The first is the weather and soil conditions that shorten growing seasons. The second is the labour cost, which is higher than in other zones. Third, the gradient and the undulations in the terrain make it difficult to use conventional agricultural machinery.


Why is it so difficult to farm in mountainous areas?

Farming in mountainous areas is so difficult because the soil quality of this land is very poor. The mountainous areas are cut in flat surfaces or platforms, almost resembling the structure of stairs.

Are mountain regions “disadvantaged” for agriculture?

The EU has ranked them among the most “disadvantaged areas” for agriculture. However, in mountainous regions, “disadvantaged” is not synonymous with marginal. On the contrary, in these areas, agriculture is central.

Why is farming productivity low in mountain regions?

Due to geographical constraints, productivity is on average 28% lower in mountainous areas than in other disadvantaged areas and 40% lower than farming on the plains.

Can Mountain Farmers compete with mountain farmers for crops?

So mountain farmers generally can’t compete growing most crops. But they can do ok raising certain kinds of fruit, such as apples, and they can use their land as pasture to raise various kinds of livestock.


Is agriculture possible on mountains?

There are four major production systems in mountain agriculture: (1) pastoral livestock production system; (2) agro-pastoral production system; (3) rain-fed agricultural production system, including fruit trees; (4) irrigated agriculture production systems.

Why is farming in mountainous areas so difficult without terracing?

1 Answer. A) Prepared farmland will have all of its topsoil washed off by rains without terraces to provide a level holding area. B) It would also be much harder for people to work at an angle to the ground all day, instead of having a relatively level field area in which to work.

What can be farmed in mountains?

Favorite Mountain Garden Crops Carrots, radishes, potatoes, beets, sweet corn, most squash varieties, peas, some varieties of tomatoes, kohlrabi, rutabaga, turnips, melons, many varieties of beans, pumpkins, and other favorites can be grown with great success in most high mountain valleys.

What method of farming is used in mountainous areas?

terrace cultivation, method of growing crops on sides of hills or mountains by planting on graduated terraces built into the slope. Though labour-intensive, the method has been employed effectively to maximize arable land area in variable terrains and to reduce soil erosion and water loss.

Why is agriculture less in mountain areas?

There is relatively smaller size of land holdings in the hills (0.77 ha) and mountains (0.68 ha) compared to the average size of landholding in the Terai (1.26 ha). In addition to this, agricultural lands in the mountains and hills are less fertile and less productive.

How is farming in the mountains different from farming in the plains?

Explanation: Agriculture in plains are more easy than agriculture in the hilly slopes . In the hilly slopes the essential nutrients of the soil easily gets carried away with the water due to its steep land forms. In the mountains generally terrace farming is done .

What are the difficulties of farming on mountains?

Accessibility is a key issue in mountain farming, especially in developing countries. This is not only limited to farm inputs – it includes access to basic infrastructures such as health services, schools, roads, transport, markets and communication with the rest of the world.

Why do mountain regions have limited means of livelihood?

Answer: because the mountain regions have less oxygen.

What are the reasons of less agricultural production in mountain and hilly region than Terai region?

The people in hill and mountain mainly depend on rain water for irrigation but there are several irrigation projects running in terai region to increase production. Due to the difficult topography modern technology cannot be used for farming in hill and terai so the it takes more work and time in those regions.

Why factories Cannot be built in the mountainous areas?

Farming activities in mountainous regions face natural constraints that inhibit high productivity. … On the other hand, because of the lower productivity of the land, from a life cycle assessment (LCA) perspective, the provision of agricultural goods from these regions is less eco-efficient than in the lowlands.

How to increase income in mountain communities?

It is important to train people, particularly women, on how to produce high-quality hygienic yogurt and cheese which can fetch high market prices and increase the income of mountain communities. Examples of successful stories of wool, walnuts, fresh mint and other Future Smart Food varieties are briefly introduced and explained. The chapter summarizes the role of the UN agencies, FAO, Mountain Partnership, ICIMOD and other major institutions’ contribution to mountain agriculture. It calls for more collaboration and meaningful technical, policy and financial investment in mountain agriculture development. The sustainable development of mountain agriculture requires long-term investment in holistic and integrated approaches that involve policy, socio-economic and institutional aspects; natural resource management; and crop and livestock improvement. (Figure 2).

Why isn’t Cambodia included in the Mountain Consultation?

2The country study from Cambodia is not included in this publication due to limited national data on mountain agriculture available. To access the presentation from Cambodia at the Mountain Consultation, please visit the website on Regional initiative of Zero Hunger at FAO RAP.

Why isn’t Cambodia included in the FAO report?

1The country study from Cambodia is not included in this publication due to limited national data on mountain agriculture available. To access the presentation from Cambodia at the Mountain Consultation, please visit the website on Regional initiative of Zero Hunger at FAO RAP.

What is the transition to food systems that are nutrition-sensitive, climate-smart and sustainable?

The transition to food systems that are nutrition-sensitive, climate-smart and sustainable requires government leadership to reinforce intersectoral efforts and acknowledge the wealth and diversity of mountain agriculture. This publication provides a clear message to policymakers, researchers and practitioners: we must include mountain agriculture in our agendas when tackling hunger and malnutrition, poverty alleviation, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and climate change adaptation. We have to work together in our commitment to include mountain agriculture and “leave no-one behind” on the road towards achieving the Zero Hunger goal.

Why are valleys cooler than hillsides?

An exception to this general rule is that valleys are often cooler than surrounding hillsides, due to the sinking of cool air at night.

How many GDUs are needed for a mountain garden?

For a typical mountain summer day in Gilpin County the calculation might look like this: (79 + 45 / 2) – 50= 12 GDU. In this example location, around 1,000GDUs may accumulate over the course of the summer (but remember that each garden will have specific microclimates, and may acquire more or less GDUs). Even ultra-early ‘Siberian’ or ‘Arctic’ tomatoes require 1,100 GDUs for the first ripe fruit, and extra-early corn can require 1,870 GDUs, which explains why it is so difficult to grow warm season crops in the mountains. Unfortunately, comprehensive lists of GDUs needed for various vegetables are difficult to find, so this concept maybe more illustrative than a practical tool.

How to know when a plant needs to mature?

Be aware that the actual days a plant needs to mature may be considerably longer in the mountains, because the ‘days to maturity’ number was usually established in a warmer climate. Other desirable mountain characteristics to look for on a seed packet include “cold-tolerant,” “reliable in cool weather,” ‘easy to grow’, ‘vigorous’, ‘productive’, and ‘great flavor’.

Why do you need a soil test?

It is highly recommended to get a soil test to determine pH, organic matter, and major nutrients, and then to amend and fertilize the soil accordingly.

Which vegetables are the most successful?

Cool-season vegetables are the most successful.

When does plant development occur?

Plant development occurs only when the temperature exceeds a specific base temperature for a certain number of days. Each type of plant is adapted to grow best over its own specific base temperature, called T base.

When to use raised beds?

Raised Beds. Raised beds will warm up more quickly in the springtime than in-ground beds and are a good option when the ground is too rocky to dig. They are also good for gardeners who may have trouble bending down.. Alternatively, pile the soil in the bed so it is south-sloping.

Where did farmers live?

The earliest farmers lived in the Fertile Crescent, a region in the Middle East including modern-day Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Israel, Palestine, southeastern Turkey and western Iran. And scientists had long assumed these early farmers were a homogenous group that traded and intermingled, swapping farming tools and tricks — as well as their genes. In other words, farming was long believed to have been started by one group of ancestral humans.

Where did farming originate?

The idea that farming began in a single population came from initial archaeological discoveries in one part of the Mideast — the Southern Levant , says Melinda Zeder, an archaeologist at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, who wasn’t involved in the study.

Where did the Zagros farmers move to?

An unpublished study by a team at Harvard Medical School confirms the genetic closeness of the early Zagros farmers with South Asians, and also shows that the early farmers of the Southern Levant (modern-day Syria and Palestine) moved to Africa, taking their farming traditions south with them. Clearly, the different populations in different parts of the Middle East migrated in different directions.

Where did the Stone Age farmers come from?

Just last month, he published a study that found that late Stone Age farmers from the Turkey region had migrated north into Europe and introduced farming there. So understandably, he had expected to be able to trace European agriculture all the way back to the eastern Fertile Crescent. But that’s not what the DNA said.

Where was the first farm in the world?

The Zagros Mountain range, which lies at the border between Iran and Iraq, was home to some of the world’s earliest farmers. The Zagros Mountain range, which lies at the border between Iran and Iraq, was home to some of the world’s earliest farmers. Sometime around 12,000 years ago, our hunter-gatherer ancestors began trying their hand at farming.

Did farming start in the fertile crescent?

In other words, farming was long believed to have been started by one group of ancestral humans. But a new study suggests something different — that multiple groups of people in the Fertile Crescent started agriculture, and these groups were genetically distinct from one another.

When did hunter-gatherers start farming?

Sometime around 12,000 years ago, our hunter-gatherer ancestors began trying their hand at farming. First, they grew wild varieties of crops like peas, lentils and barley and herded wild animals like goats and wild oxen. Centuries later, they switched to farming full time, breeding both animals and plants, creating new varieties and breeds.

What are the consequences of agricultural practices?

Improper agricultural practices lead to the pollution of both soil and water.

Why are land practices causing degradation?

Most of these practices are not tuned to the natural processes and the natural variety of nature. That is why, they have been causing land degradation (among other things).

Why do monocrops have pesticides?

This is causing a rise in pesticide use. Pesticides have a destabilizing on the ecosystem by selectively killing parts of a food web. Sometimes, pesticides also kill the insect along with their natural predators. Insects, however, tend to develop mutations to build resistance to pesticides. When the natural predators of an insect are dead, the insect population will rise with these mutations, leading to resurgence of pest attacks.

Why is it important to go local?

Go local: Modern agriculture emphasizes on volume; we need more food to feed global markets. If farmers decide to stay local and not worry about world markets, they can focus on producing healthy, good quality produce for their local customers – which will make their farming environmentally safe by default.

Why are indigenous crops shunned?

Previously, a single patch of land would have many types of crops being grown in it over the year. This would allow the land to replenish itself of lost nutrients, since different crops have different nutrient requirements.

How long has agriculture been around?

Agriculture has been practiced in human society for the last 10,000 years. But for most part, human population stayed under 1 billion. Today, in order to ensure enough food is produced, farmers have had to resort to “modernized” agricultural practices. What does that include?

Can we get the same yield with 40% less fertilizers?

Research shows that we can get the same yield with 40% less fertilizers currently being applied to fields. The excess amount of macronutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, get washed away with irrigated water to local water bodies, leading to eutrophication. Poor agricultural practices are reducing soil porosity, …

Why is the temperature colder in the mountains?

Higher elevation of mountains results in less heat being trapped near the peaks. This causes the temperature to be cold.

How are hills and mountains differentiated?

A hill and a mountain is differentiated by the criteria of height. So, a landform above the elevation of 700m, steep slopes and a summital convex is a mountain and one below that is a hill (the criteria of slope and summital convex remains the same).

What are the hills?

Hills- The elevated landforms on earth below the height of 700m and above the height of 300m ( generally). They have to have a summit and cannot have a flat and extended top (which would make them plateaus). Garo, Khasi, Jaintia Hills, etc.

What landforms have a summit?

They have to have a summit and cannot have a flat and extended top (which would make them plateaus). Garo, Khasi, Jaintia Hills, etc

What is the difference between a mountain and a hill?

A hill is a landform that is elevated compared to the surrounding land. It has a distinct visible summit. A mountain is a large landform which usually extends over 2,000 feet above sea level and has a peak.

What is mixed farming?

Mixed farming is a system of farming in which a farmer conducts different types of agricultural practices together, on a single farm in view of increasing his income through different sources, is called as mixed farming.

How are mountains formed?

A mountain is formed through shifting of tectonic plates or volcanism.

What is the problem with agriculture?

This problem of agriculture is faced by people all over the world. The steady industrial growth coupled with the ever-increasing urbanization is leaving little to no room for any agricultural land. Deforestation and concrete jungles are taking up maximum area leaving little to no room for farming.

What are the problems farmers face?

Insects, poverty, and lack of irrigation facilities are only a few of the issues that farmers face on a daily basis. Even in developed countries, it is not difficult to spot farmers who lack basic financial and technical support.

Why do farmers need to upgrade their machinery?

The machinery for farming also need to be upgraded if one intends to see agriculture growing as a capital sector.

What is the main occupation of most people in developing countries?

In almost all developing countries, agriculture is the main occupation of a majority of people. However, it is not given its due importance. Farmers in such countries are hardly given any financial benefits, and the schemes designed in their favor rarely make it to them. Insects, poverty, and lack of irrigation facilities are only a few …

Why is agriculture important?

Agriculture was and will always be one of the most important occupations since it is responsible for feeding the world and providing sustenance.

Is agriculture a good business idea?

This article is just to inform you and not to discourage you. I am sure you already know that agriculture or farming in particular is a good business idea.

Is the storage of crops finite?

The storage facilities for crops, after harvesting, are also finite. The number of people willing to actually go out there are toil in the fields is decreasing day by day. If nothing else, the machinery and equipment needed for farming are also scarce in most countries.

What are the disadvantages of terrace farming?

This is dangerous since it causes the overflow of water during the rainy season. The consequence of overflowing water is that it causes more dangerous water runoffs. Terraces may also result in mudslides if not well managed.

Why is terrace farming important?

Its absence would have led to most parts of Asia being unproductive. Hence it needs to be explored in other parts of the world such as Africa, America and other parts of the Asia that are not yet using it.

How does terrace farming help?

Terrace farming prevents the washing away of soil nutrients by the rains. This leads to the growth of healthy crops. Secondly, it prevents the carrying away of plants by the heavy flowing rivers of water. Sometimes rain water carries away the crops leading to low crop yield. Thirdly, terraces help in reduction of soil erosion and water loss. The fourth benefit of terrace farming is that it has made the idle hillside land become productive. Lastly, terraces trap rainwater allowing the people to engage in cultivation of water-intensive crops such as rice.

What is terracing in agriculture?

This leads to the growth of healthy crops. There are two types of terracing known as graded terracing and level terracing. Terrace farming was invented by the Inca people who lived in the South American mountains. This farming method has made cultivation of crops in hilly or mountainous regions possible.

Is terrace farming labor intensive?

Another limitation of terrace farming is that there’s need for huge inputs of labor to construct and maintain the terraces. Hence it is expensive as it is labor intensive. However, it can be cheap if there’s access to cheap labor. Terrace farming also leads to the reduction in soil quality due to the leaching process.

Can rice be grown at high altitudes?

On very high altitudes, other crops apart from rice can be grown. This is because rice does not do well at high altitudes. There are two types of terracing known as graded terracing and level terracing. A graded terrace may have either constant or variable grades along its length.


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