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Social Sci LibreTexts

10.5: Key Terms Defined

  • Page ID
    38705
  • agribusiness: commercial agriculture engaged in the production, processing, and distribution of food

    agriculture: a science, art, and business directed to modify some specific portions of the Earth’s surface through the cultivation of crops and the raising of livestock for sustenance and profit

    biofuels: fuel derived from biological materials

    biorevolution: the genetic engineering of plant and animals with the potential to exceed the production of the Green Revolution

    biotechnology: the manipulation through genetic engineering of living organisms or their components to make or modify products or processes for specific use

    commercial agriculture: a system in which farmers produce crops and animals primarily for sale

    conventional farming: agriculture that uses chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides) and/or hormone-based practices

    crop rotation: method in which the field under cultivation remain the same, but the crop is changed in order to avoid exhausting the soil

    double cropping: method used in the milder climates in which intensive subsistence fields are planted and harvested twice per year

    famine: extreme scarcity of food

    food regime: specific set of links, indicating the ways a particular type of food is dominant during a specific time

    food security: the situation when all people, at all times, have access to food for an active and healthy life

    food sovereignty: the right of people, communities, and countries to define their own agricultural policies

    globalized agriculture: agriculture increasingly influenced more at the global or regional levels than at national level

    genetically modified organisms (GMOs): organisms that have their DNA modified in a laboratory

    Green Revolution: a new agricultural technology characterized by high-yield seeds and fertilizers exported from the core to the periphery in order to increase their agricultural productivity

    hunting and gathering: activities through which people obtain food from hunting wild animals, fishing, and gathering fruits, nuts and roots

    intensive subsistence agriculture: a form of subsistence agriculture in which farmers involve the effective and efficient use of small parcels of land in order to maximize crop yield per hectare

    nontraditional agricultural exports: new export crops that contrast with traditional exports

    organic farming: a method of crop and livestock production without commercial fertilizers, pesticides, growth hormones, and genetically modified organisms

    pastoralism: subsistence activity that involves the breeding and herding of animals to satisfy the human needs of food, shelter, and clothing

    pastoral nomadism: a traditional form of subsistence agriculture in which the pastoralists travel with their herds over long distances and with no fixed pattern

    plantation: large landholdings in developing regions specialized in the production of one or two crops usually for export to more developed countries

    ranching: a form of commercial agriculture in which the livestock graze over an extensive area

    shifting cultivation: a form of subsistence agriculture, which involves a kind of natural rotation system

    slash-and-burn agriculture: a method for obtaining more agricultural land in which fields are cleared (swidden) by slashing the vegetation and burning the debris

    subsistence agriculture: farming designed to grow food only to sustain farmers and their families, consuming most of that they produce without entering into cash economy of the country

    sustainable agriculture: the efficient production of safe, high quality agricultural products, in a way that protects and improves the natural environment, the social and economic conditions of farmers, and safeguards the health and welfare of all farmed species

    swidden: land that is cleared for planting using the slash-and-burn process

    transhumance: a seasonal vertical movement by herding the livestock to cooler, greener high country pastures in the summer and returning them to lowland settings for fall and winter grazing

    undernourishment/undernutrition: inadequate dietary consumption that is below the minimum requirement for maintaining a healthy life

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