Farmers and the Environment
Agriculture is one of the world’s most important industries.
It produces food and provides employment for millions of people.
Farmers work on the land and try to control and adapt the natural ecosystem.
They use fire to clear the land and they irrigate crops.
They plant crops at certain times of the year.
They try to control pests and diseases.
In hunting and gathering societies, people have very little impact on the natural environment.
In urban societies, people have a very large impact.
Agricultural ecosystems affect the environment more than hunting and gathering societies, but not as much as urban societies.
Agro-ecosystems can be complex, with hundreds of crops and animals, or they can havejust one type of plant and animal.
Two of the most important agro-ecosystems in Asia are slash-and-burn cultivation (also called ‘swidden’ or ‘upland agriculture’) and lowland rice cultivation.
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