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Observations About International Farming Differences

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Written by Kate Moreland |

Different countries and regions of the world have their own unique culture, which defines their way of life, whether it’s cuisine, business customs or greetings. The same is absolutely true of farming. Personal characteristics and values are the core of why people do things the way they do them. A multitude of factors affect farming techniques in all regions of the world, including culture, development, regulations, climate and terrain.

Rice farming in Pakistan

Cultural differences between the East and West are the most obvious. Eastern cultures are more team oriented and uniform, with a heavier focus on collaboration than Western cultures. They also hold duty, obligation, loyalty, modesty and a hierarchy of power to high importance.

Western cultures, in comparison, practice more individualism and uniqueness. These cultures value attention, and skill, rather than authority, determines power. To illustrate these differences, consider a rice paddy in Asia and a wheat field in the United States. Rice paddy farming requires extensive teamwork, while wheat farming is a much more independent operation.

Country development and government-imposed regulations also have direct effects on farming practices world-wide. As countries develop, available land for farming decreases, therefore, countries need to invent new ways to grow more crops on the same amount of land. Yet, underdeveloped countries are setback by the lack of suitable water for irrigation, the lack of industrial equipment availability, and the lack of necessary training and education needed to operate more advanced equipment.

Regulations also impact farming around the world. For example; America is less strict regarding genetically modified foods and chemical pesticides. These practices are illegal in other countries, especially in Europe.

Climate and terrain determine the amount and types of crops that can be grown. Crops can only be grown in climates that will allow it. In a similar way, certain terrains are not conducive to farming, especially those extreme areas.

Given these impactful differences, it is astonishing how globalization has provided us with the means to establish international farming and trade. As we head into the future and our population exponentially grows, international farming will continue to evolve to better serve our needs.

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