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Sedentary Primitive Agriculture
Sedentary primitive agriculture is confined to plateaus and high land areas in the tropics and to small, scattered patches in tropical lowlands.
In the hot humid lowlands. The farmers, in the areas of dense population, have become sedentary and have permanently settled near ponds, lakes and streams. Spices from the East Indies, rubber and Brazil nuts from the Amazon basin, cinchona and rubber from south-eastern Asia led the natives to engage in sedentary farming in the neighborhood of major collecting and shipping points.
Being attracted by the minerals in the lowlands farmers have also become permanently settled near about mines, towns or transporting centres and have developed commercial agriculture with the use of fertilizer and irrigation. However, the crops are the same as raised by a migratory farmer. Nature of products are similar to those of migratory farmers. Of course, sedentary farmers take greater care in tilling the land, and in harvesting crops.
In wet-dry low latitudes. Sedentary farming is characteristics of wet-dry low latitudes along the margins of tropical rainforests where soils are less lateritic and have more humus.
Farmers have draft animals so as to relieve the strain on human muscle. Obstacles standing in the way of developing agriculture are the interior location of most of the areas, poor transport facilities and dry season.
In the low latitude highlands. In the subtropical plateaus and temperate highlands of the tropics, in Americas, Africa, southeast Asia, sedentary farming is practiced. Farmers grow their own foodstuffs on small plots near the commercial plantation areas. Plateau and highlands often support a larger population. The climate is comfortable on the highlands. Diseases are not common. Naturally the farmers have developed sedentary farming. The kinds of crops vary with altitude. Cereals and roots are staples. Temperate vegetable like tomatoes, beans and peas are also grown.
The method of tillage is intensive. Tillage is largely hoe culture. The implements commonly used are spades and hoes. Grains are cut with hand sickle and removed from the heads of the sheaves by animals. There is some rotation of crops and irrigation is quite common. Fertilization is rarely practiced because of paucity of manures. Poultry and swine are common.
Intensive method of agriculture: Intensive methods concern much labour and/or capital per unit area cultivated. Such methods generally imply the presence of minimum fallow, much use of fertilizer, carefully designed crop rotation, the use of specially developed high yielding varieties of seeds and scientific breeding and feeding of animals. The result is high yield per unit of land but not necessarily per unit of labour force specially when the investment of capital is low. By definition the intensive method is associated with high density of population. Intensive method of agriculture is divisible into two parts-advanced and backward. Japan and West European countries have to resort to intensive methods of agriculture which are also developed in the Asiatic countries like Bangladesh, India, China, Vietnam etc. but the difference lies mainly in the amount of capital investment and consequently the per unit land and labour production or productivity. Intensive methods in the backward regions are also characterized by the presence of higher proportion of fallow land. But there is little or no excess produce for export. Some geographers refer to this as oriental agriculture because it is so widely practiced in Monsoon Asia.
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