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Agriculture versus Forestry Essay

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Updated: May 7th, 2019

When making a choice on whether to develop land for farming or forest growing purposes, a number of innumerable factors ought to be considered. Agriculture entails apportioning land to food production and keeping of animals while forestry involves devoting land to the growth and generation of forests. It is imperative to consider some aspects when making a choice on what activity to practice on the land.

Upon considering how the two contribute towards income and resources, it is noticeable that significant proportions people are dependent on both of them. Agriculture is a foremost source of income in many countries; furthermore, it contributes to a country’s “Gross Domestic Product”. An appropriate example of a country where agriculture contributes appreciably to the country’s economy is Brazil.

It is evident that it contributes 14% of the GDP per capita, 33.5% of its export worth, and 31% to its total work force (National Research Council 38). Conversely, forests also play a role in provision of income to many people in the world. There exist a number of economic benefits that forests provide which are saw timber and fuel. Most veneer industries and local lumbers depend on trees for income generation.

As long as these people are featured, they would rather the land be devoted to forest growth. More over by comparing the two, it is apparent that upon consideration of resources and income, the land should be used for agricultural purposes (National Research Council 38).

Sequentially, in the endeavor to determine what type of an activity to be dedicated to a land, it is proper to comprehend how the activity would work towards maintaining an excellent ecosystem‘s functionality. An ecosystem constitute of both “biotic and abiotic components”.

Therefore, it becomes imperative to maintain these components at reasonable ratios for continuous existence. A few of a biotic component include “sunlight, temperature, and precipitation”. They undertake very significant activities in the ecosystem, which involve making of food from which the biotic components obtain energy.

However, in trying to understand how agricultural practice would aid in making sure that these components are in balance, it is notable that flowering plants use “water, sunlight carbon dioxide during photosynthesis” (Naeem, Bunker and Hector 78).

Upon food generation, the biotic component, which is made up of the human beings and animals utilizes such resources thus energy flow continues in the bionetwork, resulting to its maintenance. Conversely, forest plantations act as the main water catchments zones and this commodity is solely vital in life. Plantations such as rainforests are paramount in attracting rain needed for plants growth that results to food generation.

For conducive “ecosystem maintenance”, forests are known to be a home for many animals. Therefore, destruction of these habitats would greatly result to imbalances in the system. In as much as energy flow in the system is paramount, it is excellent to put animal’s natural habitats in to consideration (Naeem, Bunker and Hector 78).

Forested zones are the main river sources since such areas experience rain often. There is a scientific principle that explains why this is true thus; forests are deemed very useful since water is source life. Regardless of the fact that agriculture is pivotal for existence, water that is from rainfall is prioritized. Without rain agriculture can not be practiced.

Forests reduce water flow by augmenting infiltration thus improving the quality of underground water and reduce flooding. Forests advance the eminence of water in streams by providing shade thus temperature reduction. In most cases, places with no ground cover are prone to erosion. Agricultural practices also prevent flooding aid in water infiltration but to a little extent.

As long aesthetics is concerned, devoting a piece of land to agriculture does not help in sustaining the beauty of the country. However, any vegetation cover to an extent helps improve the country’s beauty. Numerous tourist attraction sites are forested zones, because this improves the beauty of any given place.

Therefore, it is evident that forests perk up the beauty and appearance of a place. When basing the decision on what practice is most likely to improve air quality, implementing a forest would be a better option because some trees especially rainforest are pivotal in air purification. They are known to take up carbon dioxide and discharge oxygen to the atmosphere that is vital in life.

In as much as the above would be factors to consider when deciding what type of activity to be practiced on a land, the physical climate of a place would have the final decision to be made. In as much as people wish to have fresh air, beautiful scenery, generate income from timber or keep the ecosystem conducive, it might be pretty impossible to assign land for forest generation because the physical climatic condition might not favor it.

Therefore, in such a scenario, agriculture practice is opted at the end. In a society with enough food resources and other different means of obtaining proceeds, people would practice forestry on any available land other than production of crops or keeping of animals. The available type biome on any geographical area would contribute considerably on what to be done on the land.

In a biome like rainforest, agriculture would be the best activity to be practiced while in a desert keeping of indigenous breeds would be better since the land cannot support plant growth (Kalman 4). In general, factors such as air quality, water, ecosystem balance, and aesthetics would not be very imperative in such a scenario.

Works Cited

National Research Council (U.S). Managing global genetic resources. Washington, DC: National Academics, 1991. Print.

Naeem, Bunker, and Hector. Biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and human well-being: an ecological and economic perspective. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 2009. Print.

Kalman, Bobbie. What Are Earth’s Biomes? New York, NY: Crabtree Publishing Company, 2009. Print.

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