In this chapter, we will examine geographic hearths where domestication of plants and animals first occurred and study the processes by which domesticated crops and animals spread. This diffusion process helps explain why distinct regional patterns emerge concerning diet, energy use, and the adaption of biotechnology.
This module also exams major agricultural production regions of the world, which are categorized as commercial or subsistence operations and are characterized as extensive (e.g., shifting cultivation) or intensive (e.g., mixed crop/livestock). Agricultural production regions were examined, as are settlement patterns and landscapes typical of each significant agriculture type. We will learn about land survey systems, environmental conditions, sustainability, global food supply issues, and the cultural values that shape agricultural patterns. In addition, this module will address the roles of women in agriculture production, particularly in subsistence farming and market economies in the developing world.
We will analyze theories and models about patterns of rural use and associated settlements (e.g., von Thunen’s land use model). We also will study the impacts of large-scale agribusiness on food production and consumption. The effects of economic and cultural globalization on agriculture and the need to increase food supplies and production capacity are also addressed.