Biological Conditions

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Biological conditions refer to the nature of crops and animals and the pests and diseases that threaten them. The nature of crops and animals can be described in terms

Table 1.2. Characteristics of agricultural systems

A Social attributes

1 Percentage of land held in common

2 Percentage of land in labor or share tenancy

3 Percentage of land in private ownership

4 Percentage of land in state or collective ownership

5 Size of holding according to numbers employed

6 Size of holding according to area of agricultural land

7 Size of holding according to value of output

B Operational attributes

8 Labor intensity: number of employees per hectare of agricultural land

9 Inputs of animal power: draught units per hectare of agricultural land

10 Inputs of mechanical power: tractors, harvesters, etc. per hectare of agricultural land

11 Chemical fertilizers: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium per hectare of cultivated land

12 Irrigation, irrigated land as a percentage of all cultivated land

13 Intensity of cropland use, ratio of harvested to total arable land

14 Intensity of livestock breeding, animal units per hectare of agricultural land

C Production attributes

15 Land productivity: gross agricultural output per hectare of agricultural land

16 Labor productivity: gross agricultural output per employee in agriculture

17 Degree of commercialization: proportion of output sold off farm

18 Commercial production: commercial output per hectare of agricultural land

D Structural characteristics

19 Percentage of land in perennial and semiperennial crops

20 Percentage of total agricultural land in permanent grass

21 Percentage of total agricultural land in food crops

22 Percentage of total agricultural output of animal origin

23 Animal production as percentage of total commercial output

24 Industrial crops (sugar, fiber, rubber, beverages) as percentage of total agricultural land

Source: J. Kostrowicki (1976) as cited in [3] p. 3.

of nutritive value (or usefulness in the case of nonfood products), productivity (yield), and growth characteristics (perennials or annuals, planting season, bearing time, etc.). Besides being useful to man, crops and livestock are part of the natural food chain. This means that other living creatures, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, insects, birds, and beasts of prey, also are interested in the crops and livestock. To the farmer, these other living creatures are pests that can threaten the production of crops, livestock, and the products derived from them and thus food security and the farmer's income.

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