What is intensive agriculture?

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intensive agriculture it is a agrosystem which essentially aims at increasing productivity and reducing production time. To achieve this goal, those who practice this modality of agricultural production make intensive use of inputs, machines, implements and technology applied to cultivation.

THE agriculture intensive is typical of developed countries, which have more resources to invest in this type of production. However, it is also found in underdeveloped countries, but generally in these nations, agricultural production in this modality is intended for export.

Characteristics of intensive agriculture

In intensive agriculture, there is the use of machines throughout the production process
In intensive agriculture, there is the use of machines throughout the production process

  • It is an agricultural system that presents high productivity per hectare. This means that more and more is produced in the same planting space. In addition to the focus on productivity, there is also concern about reducing the time between soil preparation and harvesting;

  • There is an intense mechanization

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    of production. Agricultural implements are used such as plows, cutters, planters, machines for the application of pesticides or airplanes, harvesters, tractors, trucks for transport etc.;

  • Mechanization significantly reduces the need for workers, and labor which is used in this modality is specialized, as he needs to know the techniques used and the operation of the machinery;

The control and elimination of pests through the use of chemical pesticides is common in intensive agriculture
The control and elimination of pests through the use of chemical pesticides is common in intensive agriculture

  • A large amount of fertilizers and soil correctors, as well as insecticides, herbicides and others pesticides to combat pests that affect crops. This is one of the reasons why intensive agriculture needs a significant amount of financial resources, due to the high value of these inputs;

  • It is also common to use selected seeds and seedlings that have immunity or resistance to pests or that are more suited to the type of soil and climate. This selection ensures greater productivity and less waste;

  • There is investment in techniques and technologies, such as biotechnology (genetic modification of seeds and plants), irrigation, terracing, soil drainage, etc.;

  • Intensive agriculture is a very integrated into the industry, both as an activity that depends on the industry to be carried out - agricultural implements, pesticides, fertilizers - and as a supplier of raw material – its products are sold to the food processing industries, biofuel, textile, cigarette, furniture and several others.

The contribution of intensive agriculture to the increase in productivity and production of agricultural products as a whole is undeniable. The intensification and improvement of agricultural production techniques are subordinated to the needs of this modality. However, there must also be a concern for agricultural practice to be allied to sustainability of natural resources.

Organic agriculture, irrigation techniques, the use of fertilizers and biological pesticides are just some of the attempts to minimize the impacts caused by agriculture on the environment. Whether this coexistence will be peaceful in the future, we still do not know, however, actions must be taken in this direction.


By Amarolina Ribeiro
Graduated in Geography

Source: Brazil School - https://brasilescola.uol.com.br/o-que-e/geografia/o-que-e-agricultura-intensiva.htm

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