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Subsistence Farming

Subsistence farming is a common lifestyle in many African states. It includes the rearing of domestic animals and the cultivation of crops for home and domestic use, as opposed to doing so for commercial purposes.

Farming of this kind is not a discipline one needs to go to university for, it is often passed from generation to generation, which in turn means it is not a science in the strictest sense.

This then makes it open to set backs due to ignorance, and lack of proper knowledge pertaining to successful farming. One such set back is the effect that improper farming methods may yield, particularly on the environment.

In the rise of global warming, climatic patterns are not as predictable and clear set out as in past times.Excessive rainfall and droughts are being recorded in countries around the world, however to the average uneducated simple farmer, a drought is countered by blind hope for a yield regardless of the prevailing conditions.

Thus in the rural areas, it is not uncommon for people to till the soil during spring and actually putting seeds to the ground, even when there have been reports of an oncoming drought.

Whilst governments do well to inform their citizens on impending natural disasters, they have the greater responsibility to advise on how to go through the drought while minimising human induced negative environmental impact, amongst other things of course.

Tilling the soil just before a drought can be catastrophic, in that the loose soil is vulnerable to wind which can blow away top soil, leaving the harder subsoil which does not effectively retain water when rains do eventually come. This may have long lasting effects on the ability of such soil to grow vegetation in the future, which in turn can lead to soil erosion.

Uneducated farmers who sometimes are inexperienced in farming under harsh conditions need to be informed on how to deal with the effects of global warming, so as to mitigate further damage to the environment.

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