What Was The Impact Of Imperialism On Agriculture, Forestry As Reflected In 18th-20th Century?


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Most assuredly imperialism contributed to wide areas of deforestation to provide room for agriculture. Some deforestation of course was to plant rubber trees, or other trees that produce food, coffee etc.
Consolidating farm land into large plantations in many cases left too little land available to feed local populations, yet agriculture of a sort was still going on. The concern was that the production from that agriculture was often committed to export contracts. It is somewhat of a myth that imperialism was particularly a problem for the environment. Often the actual damage to the environment was coming from expansion of non-plantation agriculture needed to feed the people displaced from the plantation lands. Often this displaced agriculture was taking place on rough terrain that was easily subject to erosion, and it broke up mountain forests while plantation agriculture was now using valley bottom land, any large relatively flat area of land. The displaced farmers had experience on those flat lands but none regarding farming hilly terrain. Their treatment of those sloping areas was disastrous.

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