The Hidden Costs of Industrial Agriculture
Document Type:Research Paper
In also involves genetic technology in plants and animals and techniques which aim at achievement of economies of scale in productions. However, for industrial agriculture to be achieved much costs have to be incurred in the farms. In that case, people focus on the literal costs like the cost on fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides or the little direct costs involved in industrial agriculture (Guthman, 2014). For that reason, such people may end up concluding that industrial agriculture is cheap since they don’t focus on the hidden costs or the costs which are distantly associated with industrial agriculture or indirectly brought about by agriculture. These hidden costs are majorly the costs which are used to take care of the negative effects brought about by the industrial agriculture.
Biodiversity: Refers to the distribution of organisms in the ecosystem. Slurry: It is another name for soil solution. It is a mixture of water and soil. Organic matter: It is the top layer of the soil which is formed through decomposition of plant and animal matter by the action of soil microorganisms. Pesticides: these are chemicals which are to kill or to eradicate pests. Interviews I conducted interviews one on one with officers who provide treatment to unwell livestock. Through these, I sourced information about the various diseases which have been found in various animals and the responsible causes of the diseases. I also interviewed doctors in hospitals and enquired for the most common diseases among farmers and also responsible causes of such infections.
Content analysis Trucost news on the 15th of October 2015 revealed that over three trillion dollars are used to take care of the environment (Negowetti, 2016). This involved prevention of soil erosion practices, making soil productive again and making water save for consumption by both animals and plants. On the other hand, to test for presence of nutrients in the soil, I mixed the soil solution with water to form a slurry and then used known buffers to determine the presence of nutrients in the soil. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS Observation Results I made observations in the fish ponds, where some of the fish especially in the pods where in good health, others looked sick and others were dead and were seen floating on the water surface.
I noted that, the pods were at a stone throw distance from the farms where crops like soybeans and maize had been grown and water from the farms was directed to the pods. This had automatic implication that the water in the pods had been poisoned by chemicals like pesticides, insecticides and inorganic fertilizers which were drawn by water from the nearby farms to the pod waters where fish were kept. The water from the nearby farms did not just contaminate the pod water but also contaminated waters in the nearby dams where livestock source for drinking water. Toxicity was also said to be acquired from chemical sprays on the livestock’s body which are aimed at the control of parasites like the ticks and house flies.
However, interviews did not just touch on the health of livestock alone but also touched on the effects of industrial agriculture on the lives of humans. This was through interviewing of doctors especially those who offer treatment to members closely related to industrial agriculture a good example being the farmers. The doctors affirmed that, most of the farmers who went for treatment in the various hospitals possessed negative effects of industrial agriculture. This was common in members who take little or no precautions during the use of agrochemicals recommended by industrial agriculture. Cost calculations the costs used to maintain the land or return land to the original state have been said to have gone even higher than the value of the produce.
This implies that, these cost are hidden and that’s the reason why farmers are still in the practice of industrial agriculture. I consider them hidden from the farmers because, if the farmers had realized that they end up in loses as a result of industrial agriculture, then they would be involved in it. Therefore, farmers still involved in industrial agriculture consider the cost of soil conservation as a different case from the costs involved in industrial agriculture hence the name hidden costs in industrial agriculture. Sampling Results In the first experiment which involved the test for the presence of biodiversity, there was no production of bubbles from the soil confirm the absence of microorganisms in the soil. For instance, this paper has shown how industrial agriculture is responsible for negative effects on livestock, poultry, fish and environment thus showing how hidden costs are brought up by industrial agriculture.
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