Intensive Peasant Farming (IPF)

What do I need to know:

  1. What are the main features of the farming system?
  2. How has this farming system changed?
  3. What are the Impacts of those changes?

The Main Features of IPF

Model answer:

IPF takes place across the developing world, an example is in Malaysia. Here rural communities intensively farm the hill sides using terraces to maximise the space. This is a traditionally subsistence lifestyle although more is produced for sale these days. It is typically low in technology and high in workers. Typical crops include rice grown in flooded padi fields. For this reason these areas take advantage of seasonal monsoon rains to irrigate there terraces. Capital investment is low as these farmers are poor and lack government support. Premageniture causes plots of land to become smaller and smaller as they are divided up amongst large number of children.

The Main Changes of IPF

Model answer:

The Green revolution took place in the 1960s and has influenced global rice production across the globe. The principal was to increase food production due to fears of global population explosion. One way this was done was to produce High Yielding Varieties (HYVs) of crops such as rice. IR8 rice (grown in Malasia) and Mixipack Wheat (grown in Mexico) are examples. They boosted yields and allowed the farmers to increase profits. Due to growing quickly IR8 can be harvested twice in one year, this required increased levels of fertilizers and pesticides which polluted ground water supplies. Increased irrigation was needed as well and because of this reservoirs had to be built.

Steps have been made in mechanization. Affordable and practical Rotavators (small enough to be used on narrow terraces) are available to farmers. Agglomeration of farms has taken place as farmers form collectives to pool their money to buy these new technologies. This mechanization causes unemployment and as a result of that many young males migrate to cities such as Kuala Lumpur. This results in a loss of culture and tradition in the rural areas. Farms now need seasonal labour and hire migrant workers from Thailand.

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