Agricultural development

The flora is an essential asset for man, since it is a renewable resource and a source of basic products for the agricultural world and for several industrial and commercial sectors. As for many other resources, though, to be able to exploit them as efficiently as he could, man had to apply work and technology to plants and lands. The result was the development of farming. The basic role of farming is to produce more and more food and raw materials (wood and fibres).
Until the 1950s, farming was mainly based on the conservation of the organic matter contained in the soil, which made the plants grow and reproduce. This goal was achieved by following some simple rules that were passed on from one generation to the next: for instance, the rotation of cultivations and the periodical rest of the land or the fertilisation of the soil with manure.
Since the Fifties, the need to obtain more and better crops urged the industrialised countries to develop modern farming methods which are more and more dependent on external help (machinery, fertilisers, irrigation systems, plant chemicals, etc.) and which are based on very specialised cultures (growing of single species).

Special reports

From the Multimedia section

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    Interview with Maurizio Casiraghi

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    ecosystems

    Fred Pierce on agriculture and its impacts

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    Beech forest

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    Deforestation

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    Deforestation 2

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    Deforestation in the Amazon

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  • ecosystems

    Forest

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    Medicines from the forest

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    life

    Dionaea

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  • life

    Interview with Maurizio Casiraghi

    Look

    ecosystems

    Fred Pierce on agriculture and its impacts

    Look
  • ecosystems

    Beech forest

    Look

    ecosystems

    Deforestation

    Look
  • ecosystems

    Deforestation 2

    Look

    ecosystems

    Deforestation in the Amazon

    Look
  • life

    Interview with Maurizio Casiraghi

    Look
  • ecosystems

    Fred Pierce on agriculture and its impacts

    Look
  • ecosystems

    Beech forest

    Look

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