Agriculture

 


photo M. Noonan

As the human population increases, rainforest lands are being cleared to make room for crops and ranches used to feed the ever-increasing number of people. When establishing agricultural areas, farmers often clear the existing forests first, making way for crops or grazing grass for ranches.


photo M. Noonan

The problem with this is that the forest soil can only support about 2-3 years of successful plant production. Once the land has been exhausted, the farmer moves on, and the soil in the area may not be able to support growth for 25-30 years. While farmers have attempted to slightly increase the longevity of rainforest soils through fertilizers, no long-term solutions have been found yet. As a result, forests are continually being cleared for agriculture.

 

CAC is a program of the Institute for the Study of Human-Animal Relations at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY.