Ag Around the World, Holly Spangler's 30 Day Blog Challenge

All You Need Is Rice

While agriculture used to be the most important sector in Vietnam, the industry is sadly fading away at the hand of large factories. Nonetheless, agriculture continues to employ over half of the population of the country, and is the sole source for the country’s raw materials and accounts for the majority of Vietnam’s exports.

Throughout the 1970’s, the country suffered from severe shortage of rice productions; however, their economy noticed a major boost when the commodity’s growth picked back up in the late 1980’s. To date, rice is principally the most vital crop to the stability of Vietnamese economy and agricultural industry. In fact, as the staple of the Vietnamese diet, it occupies 94% of the agricultural land in the country. Cultivation varies throughout the country, but primarily covers large areas of the country’s lowlands. Single-cropping is the status quo for much of the agricultural productions throughout the country, due to the fact that heavy rainfalls occupy the south for half the year, while the other half of the year sees little to no moisture at all. The most prosperous terrains for agriculture exist within the Red River delta, and the Mekong River delta. Although other land areas have been use towards agricultural efforts, they have proved to be inefficient and produce low productivity. The southern regions are helpful in areas of transport and irrigational systems due to their strong canal networks.

Aside from rice, Vietnam also grows a wide variety of other major crops, most of which are staple foods to the civilian’s diets. Agriculturalists are known for their growth of sugarcane, cassava, corn, sweet potatoes, and nuts. Additionally, due to the country’s lack of wealth and technology, much of the agricultural work is incredibly labor-intensive.  For instance, water buffalo are still responsible for much of the plowing, and the people are forced to pick their produce and crops by hand rather than by machinery like first world industries.

Resources:

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/628349/Vietnam/52704/Agriculture-forestry-and-fishing

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/494426/Red-River-delta

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/494426/Red-River-delta

http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Asia-and-Oceania/Vietnam-AGRICULTURE.html

Image Sources:

http://www.mard.gov.vn/en/PublishingImages/aninhluongthuc.jpg

http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/photos/vietnam-agriculture-1349.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2f/Mai_Chau_-_Arbeit_mit_Wasserbüffel_im_Reisfeld.jpg

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Ag Around the World, Holly Spangler's 30 Day Blog Challenge

The Transition of Russian Agriculture

In the early 2000’s Russia took the world by storm when they rose to the top of the supply and demand chain of the agricultural world. Russia’s transition resulted in the development of their now complex and uneven production system. Little did the world know that Russia’s combination of policy reformations, production changes, and commodity and trade reconstructions would affect the markets across the globe.

Twenty years ago, Russia began their conversion from a planned to a market economy. Then, in 2014 the country’s government reacted to the sanctions regarding the Ukraine crisis by banning food imports from all Western countries. Many government officials have since spoken on the issue by saying that they believe it is not only possible for their country to be self sufficient, but that they can provide for other countries, as well. However, it seems that in all reality the country is facing issues with following through with that claim. While Russia is blessed with perhaps the most some of the most arable land in the world, they rely on imports to account for nearly 40% of the food that feeds the people of their country. A ratio of that extent would take farmers and producers years of hard work and increased funding to reach the goals that the government expects.

Considering their agricultural production issues, Russia is known primarily for their exports of crude petroleum and natural gases to countries such as the Netherlands, China, and Germany. While they are not known for their exports of agricultural products, their top export is wheat and other grains. In fact, in the year 2012 the country produced 11.2% of the world’s barley and 5.9% of the world’s wheat. While their imports more than double their exports in all areas of production, they are still able to produce and export small amounts of a range of products from wheat, to veal, to sugar and honey.

Resources:

http://aepp.oxfordjournals.org/content/34/1/37.full

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/398cbdce-1e4a-11e4-9513-00144feabdc0,Authorised=false.html?_i_location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ft.com%2Fcms%2Fs%2F0%2F398cbdce-1e4a-11e4-9513-00144feabdc0.html%3Fsiteedition%3Dintl&siteedition=intl&_i_referer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ft.com%2Fintl%2Fcms%2Fs%2F0%2F776c7c6a-2782-11e4-ae44-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3YXb1uHcA

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/776c7c6a-2782-11e4-ae44-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3YXb1uHcA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum

http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/est/meetings/wto_comm/Trade_Policy_Brief_Russia_final.pdf

Image Sources:

http://www.choicesmagazine.org/magazine/fig/figure_143_full.jpg

http://russia-insider.com/sites/insider/files/6adbekomb.jpg

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Ag Around the World, Holly Spangler's 30 Day Blog Challenge

Opportunities in Apples

While under communist rule, the country of Poland’s went through a series of land reforms where their large estates were divided up across the country. Although this caused the majority of the farms throughout the country to account for merely 15 acres, about 2 million family farms employ 27.5% of the Poland workforce. While the small farm precedent is on the verge of growing, agriculture has not been sufficient enough to support families, hence has forced many to search for outside jobs.

Poland is one of the world’s leaders in potato, rye, apple, milk, and pork productions. In some regions the growing seasons are forced to be incredibly short due to the harsh climates; however, the growing seasons and climates vary throughout the country. Poland’s primary exports include grains, sugar, processed meats, and dairy products. Poland’s sugar industry is known as one of the oldest and most pre-vaiing industries in the world. Sadly, the country’s sugar commodity is struggling to stay competitive due to overseas producers pressuring Poland with stiff prices and quantity demands. In addition, to the decline in sugar production, the potato industry has faced a decline, as well. Improved livestock feeding habits combined with stiff competition from imported commodities and insufficient export markets have forced a general dissatisfaction among a large amount of farmers and producers throughout Poland. Because of all of these issues, it has been predicted that less than 700,000 will prevail through the next ten years. Large, commercial farms will force the small, family farms out of business due to the poor economy and increased expenses across the country’s agricultural industry. On the contrary, pork and dairy farmers have found a way to stay competitive in the country’s systems. The two productions have adapted smoothly to the transition from a system of fixed prices to that of a market economy. The people have also organized cooperatives and discovered new and innovative technologies that have enabled their businesses to stay afloat.

Still, many have referred to this day in age as the “golden age” when it comes to Polish farming. Since the country’s augmentation to the European Union in 2004, Polish farmers have been granted access to funds deriving from the Common Agricultural Policy. Aside from these benefits from the EU, the producers of Poland have benefited from increased domestic funding towards agriculture. They remain the world’s largest exporter of apples, and many believe this is the commodity that will continue to propel within the country. In fact, the Polish export of apples even surpassed China in 2003. While agriculture still needs reform, there are many opportunities that continue to present themselves to the agricultural people.

Resources:

http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/economies/Europe/Poland-AGRICULTURE.html

http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2014/03/polands-agriculture

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Agricultural_Policy

Image Sources:

http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/economies/Europe/Poland-AGRICULTURE.html

http://sd.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/i/keep-calm-and-eat-polish-apples-13.png

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Ag Around the World, Holly Spangler's 30 Day Blog Challenge

The Japanese Standard

As many countries throughout the world have different cultures and customs, the one entity that they all have in common is agriculture. Japan is no different from any other country; Agriculture in Japan is very important to the economy and provides abundant different occupations for the public. Compared to other countries, the amount of tillable farm land is sparse in certain regions. The average land being farmed by individuals is around 3 acres which is rather small compared to the United States and other neighboring countries. The amount of rainfall, soil fertility, and the temperature helps in the success of producing large amount of crops each year.  The entire country of Japan small farms throughout the mountainous terrain, but the northern region thrives in agricultural production. The northern Island of Hokkaido produces around 10% of the national production. Many different modern methods are being used in farming which makes the crop production much more successful. Though Japan produces a variety of crops, they also have many different products imported from other countries such as the United States. Around 39% of the tillable land is being planted as rice fields. 

The government recently restricted the amount of rice being planted causing the farmers to plant other products. A large amount of the crops being grown in Japan comes from urban communities. Approximately 25% of the households in Japan has some sort of urban crop production. Agriculture is constantly growing in Japan as modern technology advances the production of crops. Local agricultural farmers produce enough vegetables to feed almost 700,000 city dwellers. As urbanization has increased over the past few years, this has diminished around 40% of the arable farmland. Unlike countries such as the United States, most of Japanese farmers have other sources of employment other than farming. Japan has close to 1.5 million farmers but approximately 420,000 farm full time as their only form of income. Many of the part-time farmers strictly produce rice which mainly consists of the urban farmers. 

 

 

 

 

References: 

http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Asia-and-Oceania/Japan-AGRICULTURE.html

http://unu.edu/publications/articles/japan-s-urban-agriculture-what-does-the-future-hold.html

http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21576154-fewer-bigger-plots-and-fewer-part-time-farmers-agriculture-could-compete-field-work 

Image Sources:

http://www.k-international.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Japanese-Agriculture.jpg

http://img.cdn2.vietnamnet.vn/Images/english/2014/01/23/12/20140123115751-japan.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/07/Rice_02.jpg

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Ag Around the World, Holly Spangler's 30 Day Blog Challenge

A Self Supported Canada

Throughout the past years, Canada has significantly advanced in farming and the agricultural production that now supplies this country with a large number of jobs for the local communities. Agriculture has always been a major occupation, but recently the agriculture sector of this country has greatly expanded. Canada is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. During 1996, a study was shown that one- quarter of the farmers used computer systems to help manage not only their crop production, but also their livestock. Though Canada grows a large amount of domestic crops, the county also imports many different products that cannot be produced by the farmers. Over the past few years, the number of Canadian farms has decreased which has caused a great demand of imported crops from the United States.  As of 1999, Canada had a total of $10 billon (amounted in United States currency) of imported goods from other countries. Most of the farms in Canada are rather large in average acreage compared to other countries such as the United States.

            Compared to other countries, Canada’s agriculture is highly sophisticated which makes farming large amounts of land easier and more manageable for the producers. With the large demand of exports from other countries, the technology used by these farmers gives them an advantage to get the crops in and out of the fields faster and easier. Though the agriculture sector began to decrease during a period of time, it has recently grown over the past few years. Agriculture plays a huge role in Canada’s economy providing around 2.1 million jobs for the people of this country. The export of the crops produced by Canada provides a large amount of revenue each year due to the demand from other countries that cannot produce an abundant amount of crops each year. 

 References:

 http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/economies/Americas/Canada-AGRICULTURE.html

http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/about-us/publications/economic-publications/alphabetical-listing/an-overview-of-the-canadian-agriculture-and-agri-food-system-2013/?id=1331319696826  

Image Sources:

http://www5.agr.gc.ca/resources/prod/Internet-Internet/MISB-DGSIM/ATS-SEA/images/5489001-eng.gif

https://tce-live2.s3.amazonaws.com/media/media/eb1dd649-d35f-4f22-ac98-797635dadf5f.jpg

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Ag Around the World, Holly Spangler's 30 Day Blog Challenge

Poverty Driven Agriculture

Despite drastic efforts to transform the Philippines to an industrialized country, it is still considered predominantly agriculturally driven. The Philippines is one of the most poor countries across the globe, yet the people still use the methods they have for hundreds of years to contribute to the agricultural industry. The country’s agricultural system consists of two primary entities and two subsidiary entities. First and foremost, crop production and fisheries are the two most heavily engaged agricultural pursuits. While forestry and livestock remain relevant commodities, they are not nearly as prominent in the agricultural efforts of the economy.

With farming being the Philippines most dominant commodity, they have many exports that they are known globally for. Their primary crop exports are generally tropical and considered specialty goods to many countries due to the particular climate of the country. The Philippine goods are exported to countries across the world; however, the chief recipients of their goods are the United States, Japan, Europe, and ASEAN countries.

abaca plant

The main crops grown in the Philippines are rice, corn, sugarcane, bananas, coconut, pineapple, coffee, mangos, tobacco, and abaca. Recently, a move towards organic farming within the Philippine industry has been considered for the country’s future. Along with continuing to increase the amount of food produced within their lands, it is the country’s hopes to move towards “green revolution crops”. On the contrary, the country’s agricultural leaders believe they will face many opportunities and challenges in the upcoming years. Therefore, they are hoping to be pro-active in many of the affects the country will face with issues like climate change and meeting food requirements. Although, the Philippines is considered one of the most poverty stricken countries in the world, they are considering policy changes to enable a more sustainable and profitable system to help support the global industry.  

Resources:

http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/economies/Asia-and-the-Pacific/Philippines-AGRICULTURE.html

http://www.fareasternagriculture.com/crops/agriculture/organic-farming-the-future-of-philippine-agriculture

http://www.pids.gov.ph/dp.php?id=5145&pubyear=2013

Image Sources:

http://www.fftc.agnet.org/htmlarea_graph/web_articles/20110705103712/478676602.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/20/Musa_textilis_-_Manila_Hemp_-_desc-flower.jpg

http://philsense.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/agriculture.jpg

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Ag Around the World, Holly Spangler's 30 Day Blog Challenge

Columbian Diversity

Mountains account for much of the country of Columbia’s terrain, coupled with a wide variance of climate changes throughout the landmass. Both of these contribute to the country’s ability to produce a broad assortment of both tropical and temperate-climate crops. In fact, Columbia is not only known for their production of bananas, but also for their potato commodities. This is a rarity and considered incredibly unusual throughout most countries in the world. Additionally, locally grown cotton supplies the expanding Columbian textile industry.

Columbia’s population is primarily agriculturally invested; therefore, the country is considered self-suficient in most essences. Aside from their other products, coffee and flower exports are some of the most major contributors to their economy and exports. One of the major factors that sets Columbian agriculture apart from many other countries is the variation of small and large farms. Over 60% of the farmers are considered incredibly small; whereas, the agrarian reform has pushed the rest of the country to expand and support larger commodity surpluses. Still, it seems that only rich farmers have the abilities to finance infrastructures, machinery, and fertilizers and pesticides.

Resources:

http://www.usergioarboleda.edu.co/pymes/agrarian_sector.htm

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