Sample Essay on Factors Affecting Crop Production in the Tropics
Crop production in the tropics is affected by a wide range of factors. They include environmental and human factors. Climatic factors are known to have a greater impact on crop production in the region and they include
When temperatures fall below 6 degrees Celsius, many plants cannot grow well. Many areas in the tropics are not suitable for cultivation of crops because temperatures often fall below 6 degrees.
In the tropics, different crops can grow well during different seasons. This affects crop cultivation a great deal. Additionally, crops require varying lengths of the growing season. For example cereals grow well in South East of Britain because it meets its growing season.
Oats on the other hand grow well in Northern parts of the UK because they need a short-growing season. Cotton needs 200days and as a result, it cannot be grown in Britain because the climate is not favorable.
Altitude affects temperatures and crop production at large. With high temperatures, there is sufficient crop production and rice can be grown successfully in the region.
Crops need water to grow well. Rainfall reliability in the tropics affects crop production. With average temperatures, farmers are assured of sufficient water supply for their crops.
Summer drought affects crop production despite annual rainfall because of high temperatures. It therefore encourages evaporation and dries soil in the end. It also affects water levels and does not favor crop production.
Wind also affects crop production in the tropics. It has a high destructive effect on crops compared to other climatic factors. With severe wind, soil erosion occurs and crop cultivation becomes a problem.
Tropical climate is characterized by different types of soils including clay soil. Different crops grow well in different soils. Clay soil for instance is good for root vegetable production because it has high water retention.
Human factors also affect crop production in the tropics.
For commercial crop production to thrive in the tropics there should be good demand for the products. When the demand for specific crops drops, farmers often replace it with a more profitable plan. Low demand can occur as a result of changes in lifestyle where consumers can move towards vegetarianism, health reasons, health scares, religion and marketing at large where specific products can be promoted over the others.
Transport affects farming in the tropics. If a crop is bulky, it should be grown near the market place to cut down on transportation costs. Many countries in the tropics have a poor transport network and it plays a crucial role in determining the types of crops grown in specific areas.
Crop production sector is also affected by new technology. New technology helps to increase yields. However, technology is costly and many countries in the tropics have not embraced latest crop production technologies due to lack of funds.
It is with no doubt that green revolution comes with many benefits. Even so, many farmers cannot afford the cost of green revolution thus, affecting yields in the region.
Other human factors affecting crop production in the tropics include capital and government policies.
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