Topics: Agriculture, Slash and burn, Subsistence agriculture Pages: 2 (355 words) Published: March 3, 2013
Agriculture is the practice of cultivating the land or raising stock. It is also the process of producing food, seeds, fiber and desired products by the cultivation of certain plants and the raising of domesticated animals (livestock). The practice of agriculture is also known as farming, all methods of production and management of livestock, crops, vegetation, and soil can be done in farming.

Describe local methods of subsistence farming in The Bahamas, that is crop and animal farming in the major islands.

Subsistence farming is farming on a small scale, mainly to meet family's needs. This type of farming produces enough food staple items to feed the farmer's family with some remaining for sale. Some animals that are raised by subsistence farmers are chickens, goats, and pigs. Plants grown by these farmers are tomatoes, peppers, pigeon peas, limes, bananas etc. There are two types of methods used in subsistence farming and they are the slash and burn technique and pothole farming.

Slash and Burn Method

* Using cutlasses a diminutive area of dense natural vegetation is cleared. The thickness of the natural growth tells the farmer that the soil and water supply is probably good. The plants cut down to stubble, with only larger trees remaining. The remains, is spread equally all over the plot, left to dry, and is then burnt. The ash adds nutrients to the soil. Ash adds potassium to the soil, a mineral needed by plants. Crops are planted in the ash-enriched soil.

Although the burning enriches the soil, it has some detrimental effects. The burning kills any organisms in the topsoil. It also burns up the humus, soil together. Humus is formed from the decayed remains of dead plants. This method of farming reduces the fertility of the soil. Which helps to hold the

Once the plants have exhausted the soil nutrients that came from the burned debris the subsistence farmer would abandon that plot. The soil usually becomes sterile after 2-3 years. The...
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