A pressure to modernize: a comparison between traditional and industrial agricultural practices.

Date and Time: 
Friday, 6 May, 2011 - 17:00 to 17:20
ELLIOTT, Cassandra - Quest University Canada

As the pressures of globalization and modernization increase over time, traditional agricultural practices and knowledge become obsolete. These pressures have created a shift away from a food system dependant on millions of farmers to a system controlled by few agribusinesses.  Modern agricultural practices emphasize production, capital gain, input intensity and crop consistence.  In contrast, traditional agricultural practices emphasize localization, biodiversity, shared genetic resources and a cultural appreciation for many different crops.  Shifts from traditional agricultural to modern agriculture will have significant implications for the biodiversity of cultivated and wild plants.  In the face of global environmental problems, it is essential that agriculture remains resilient to maintain and increase food security. Cultural and biological diversity are essential to agricultural resilience; if one method or crop fails, there are many to compensate. Cultural diversity can maintain biodiversity if the pressure to modernize is reduced and the number of conservation projects continue to grow.