Food Crops Case Study

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Cash crops or food crops A smallholder farmer, grows crops on a small scale hence for the land to be used effectively there can only be one focus, cash or food crop. Barbier, (1989) points out that there is no clear path to defining these two terms because of the overlap in the definitions. Cash crops are defined as the crops produced for the sole purpose of generating profit whether sold within the country or by export, for example cotton. On the other hand the cash crop may be a food plant for instance beans in Nigeria (Nigerian Orient News, 2013). The term food crop explains the purpose of the produce, which is to be consumed by the farmer’s family as well as the surrounding community. Similarly food crops can also be exported and sold…show more content…
Similarly it adds, to a limited extent, to the food security of the household (Chapoto, 2013). Food crops can also bring in cash when they are sold on local or international market. In the case of a small-scale farm the surplus of crops can be sold on the local market to bring in money (Takahatake, 2001; Seavoy, 2008). A disadvantage that emerges from this is that one cannot produce all types of crops needed to sustain their families, while providing them with all minerals needed to maintain a balanced diet. This implies that if there is no good surplus of crops, there is less money to supplement the family’s diet, and purchase other essential goods and services. This disadvantage however can be cancelled by the process of exchange. A farmer can make use of his/her social capital and exchange the crop that he has for other crops with surrounding farmers (Seavoy, 2008). In this way a variety of foods can be eaten along with needed minerals that contribute to the families or dependants diet to being balanced. Food crops like maize grown in marginal areas threaten the soil health increasing the risk of soil degradation (Barbier,…show more content…
Food security is not guaranteed when growing food crops. While tending and growing crops, the farmer and his family might not have food. The question of what is being consumed meanwhile crops grow emerges. Food might not be available in the future as much as it is after harvest (Seavoy, 2008). This is brought about by storage challenges. This applies when the farmer does not make enough money from the surplus food crop to sustain his and his dependant’s livelihoods and nutritional needs (Storey, 1986). When growing cash crops a farmer can never have storage issues because money does not diminish or does not need preservation like food does. An income or availability of finance is one of the factors contributing to food security. Having money and living in a place where there is availability of food to practice that buying power adds to being food secure (WHO, 2014). With surplus money the smallholder farmer can improve their farm by purchasing newer technologies. On the other hand a food farmer is not likely to have much money left over (Seavoy, 2008). Barbier, 1989 throws light at the researches that found Food crops to be more environmentally sustainable than cash crops. In the context of cash crops monoculture is practised, this has a number of disadvantages. While food crops allow for There to be rotation of vegetation taking

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