Relationship between religion and agriculture definition

relationship between religion and agriculture definition

Social and cultural barriers to agricultural change to religious ceremonies, which means that farmers are not available for farm work or for extension activities. those based on relationships of birth and marriage within and between families. Almost simultaneously, Americans are becoming aware of the fundamental contribution that married family life and regular religious practice can make to. Recent studies of the evolution of religion have revealed the cognitive There is a significant positive relationship between most characters years since the advent of agriculture (Matthews ; Norenzayan ). There have been as many attempts to define religion as to explain its origins. Broadly.

They include religious festivals, celebrations to mark important seasons, such as the start of planting or the end of harvest, and ceremonies for events within the life of a family or community, such as marriage, birth and death.

An extension agent needs to know when these take place so that he can plan his activities around them. He should also take care to behave in the appropriate way on such occasions.

Traditional means of communication All societies have ways of spreading information and sharing ideas. Songs, proverbs, drama, dancing, religious gatherings and village meetings are just a few of the traditional means of communication that an extension agent may find in a rural area. There are two main reasons why these means of communication are important for extension: An understanding of local proverbs, for example, will give the agent an insight into people's knowledge of their environment and their attitudes toward farming.

Songs and dances often express deeply held feelings which an extension agent should be aware of when planning his programmes. Many extension services now use drama, puppets and songs to convey new ideas.

Social and cultural change Social structures and cultures are never completely static; they can and do change. The speed at which change takes place depends to a large extent on the contact people have with other cultures and new ideas, and on the ability of individuals within the society to initiate and accept change. Although the extension agent should respect and work through the existing culture and social structure, his task should be to help to speed up cultural change in farming.

This may in turn contribute to wider social changes. As ideas or methods are accepted within a society, they gradually come to be regarded as customary. A hundred and fifty years ago, land preparation in most of what is now Botswana was done with hoes. Farmers saw ploughs being used in what is now South Africa and introduced them to their own farms, with the result that an ox-drawn plough is now regarded as the normal equipment for land preparation and planting.

More recently, in parts of Pakistan and Egypt, tractors are becoming part of the culture as they gradually replace draught animals as a source of power in farm operations. New crops can also be introduced. Cocoa was unknown in Ghana until it was brought from the United States.

Ghanaian farmers began to cultivate it in the nineteenth century when traders were keen to export the cocoa beans to Europe. Farmers learned the necessary techniques of raising young trees, fermenting and drying the beans and storage. Land-tenure rules changed as families moved to new areas to acquire land from other people on which to start cocoa farms.

Cocoa gradually became a central part of Ghana's economy, tradition and culture. As well as being aware of the social and cultural changes occurring in the area where he is working, the agent should try to understand the factors that can bring about such change. Factors in change Innovators In every society, there are some individuals who are more ready than others to accept new ways of life.

These people have a certain influence, but they can also often cause suspicion and jealousy among those who are less eager to change. However, if the new ways are seen to benefit those who have adopted them, the rest of the community may eventually come to accept them. The innovator may then be regarded without suspicion, and even gain in influence. General attitudes toward cultural change can then shift; new ideas may be welcomed as promising a better life instead of being regarded as a threat to established ways of doing things.

Contact with other cultures Contact with other societies is an important force for cultural change. Cassava, for example, was first introduced to the west coast of Africa by Portuguese travellers who brought it from South America. It is now an important element in the diet in West African towns, and its introduction has led to many changes in farming systems.

Similarly, maize spread from the United States throughout the world as people took it with them on their travels to other countries. Extension agents often travel outside their areas in order to study. People who leave their society, to study or work among another society, bring back ideas which may change their way of life and be adopted by other people in their society. New styles of clothing, music, religious beliefs, house designs, political ideas and so on are spread from culture to culture by visitors and returning travellers.

The more people are exposed to new ideas, the more likely it is that change may be accepted by the society as a whole. Communication Contact between different cultures is far more widespread than it used to be. New methods of communication bring societies throughout the world relatively easily into contact. On a more local scale, roads and railways have brought many changes to rural society.

Travel has been made easier and more people can visit other places and learn different ways of doing things. Traders establish shops and the goods in them may act as incentives for farmers to produce more in order to buy them.

Religion and agriculture - Wikipedia

Crops can be marketed more easily and farming inputs brought into rural areas more quickly and cheaply. Air travel has also had important effects. In Papua New Guinea, air services have enabled isolated mountain communities to market vegetables in towns and mining settlements that used to be inaccessible.

The aeroplane has also helped to open up previously inaccessible areas of the Peruvian and Bolivian mountain regions. Villagers can now visit other communities and receive visitors from all over the world.

Newspapers, radio and television can also bring rural people in remote areas into contact with the outside world. People in rural communities who have radio sets or who read newspapers are usually influential and can spread their knowledge or new ideas to their neighbours. Education is another way of introducing people to the ideas, values and way of life of other societies.

Population growth There is a close relationship between population size, farming systems and other aspects of culture. Where there are not many people in an area and there is plenty of farming land, farmers may abandon their fields after two or three seasons and move on to fresh, fertile land.

The old fields then have a chance to recover during a fallow period. Whole villages may move as new land is cleared and prepared for farming but as population grows, land becomes scarce. New methods of farming have to be developed which allow fields to be cultivated year after year.

Villages become permanent settlements. More elaborate houses can then be built because they do not have to be abandoned or moved every few years.

relationship between religion and agriculture definition

As land becomes more and more scarce, individuals or families may move to other areas or to towns to look for work. Economic factors Economic development leads to changes in many aspects of people's lives and culture. The growth of towns and cities and the development of mines and industries have created new kinds of work in new places. People leave their rural homes to find work. In southern Africa, many men go to work in the mines and cities for a year at a time, leaving their wives to look after their farms.

Jobs on the farm that were traditionally done by men now have to be done by women. Elsewhere, on the fringes of the city, farming may become only a part-time occupation. Most families' main income may come from jobs in the city, but they keep their farmland as an insurance against unemployment and as a source of food.

The presence of large numbers of part-time farmers will affect extension. Day-time meetings may be poorly attended, and part-time farmers will not necessarily be interested in new farming practices that increase output if it means spending more time working in the fields. The growth of towns affects other aspects of culture, as well as the pattern of farming. Inheritance and land-tenure rules may change as people no longer have to rely on farmland to make a living. Where a lot of people from a village work in towns, they may be unable to attend traditional rural ceremonies and festivals which may then decline in importance.

At the same time, those working in towns bring money and new possessions back to the village. These can improve rural living standards and have an important influence on values at the village level. Social and cultural barriers to agricultural change Although cultures and social structures are always changing, the process is often slow.

relationship between religion and agriculture definition

In the short term, there will be features of society and culture that may act as barriers to change in agriculture. It is important that the extension agent be aware of the existence of such barriers and to take them into account in his work. Respect for tradition Many rural societies look upon new methods with indifference and sometimes with suspicion.

Respect for elders often results in the attitude that the old ways are best. Farmers not only fear the unknown and untried but they also fear criticism for doing something different from other farmers. In such situations, the motives of extension agents and others seeking to promote change can often be misunderstood. Village people may think that the extension agent is introducing changes to benefit himself.

Such attitudes explain the behaviour of farmers who seem to agree that a new method is good but are not prepared to put it into practice.

Belief in one's own culture Members of all societies believe that their way of life is best. Pride and dignity Farmers may be too proud to practice ways of farming that could result in other farmers looking down on them.

For example, they might be too proud to carry cattle manure to the fields. Many young people leaving school look down on farming, even though some successful farmers earn more than most government employees and schoolteachers.

Relative values Extension agents often emphasize the improved yield or cash return that can be gained by adopting new farm practices. However, farmers may value taste, appearance or some other factor more than the level of output. They may also value their leisure time so highly that they are not prepared to work longer hours on their farms.

Certain improved varieties of maize have been rejected by small-scale farmers in several countries because of their poor flavour, even though they have shown a much better yield than local maize. Farmers and their families have to eat what they produce as well as sell some of it, so taste and cooking quality are very important. Responsibilities and social obligations Individuals within a society or a kinship group have responsibilities which they are expected to carry out.

People who avoid such responsibilities anger other members of the society. As an individual's income increases, so obligations to society or family increase. By about 10, BCE, humans began to establish agricultural villages. This had massive ramifications on the social sphere, marking an important departure from past social systems; people lived in larger, denser, and more permanent settlements, and not everyone had to devote their full time to food production.

Since there was no need for all residents to devote themselves full time to producing food, specialization within society was made possible. Another notable effect of this new social order was the evolution of the idea of ownership; contrary to migrating hunter-gatherer bands, farmers invested a great deal of their time and energy in cultivating specific areas of land, and as such they were attached to them.

As this likely lead to disputes, strong leaders and codes of conduct evolved in response. The advent of agriculture did not happen simultaneously and completely everywhere in the world; some communities adopted farming earlier or more fully than others, and some did not adopt it at all. Despite this variability, however, farming undeniably revolutionized human history. Farming settlements spread rapidly all over the world; humans had foraged for over a million years, and yet, within the last 12, years, farming has replaced foraging almost entirely.

Very few foraging-based systems survive to this day. What kinds of social changes resulted from this transformation of food production? The surplus food that agricultural systems could generate allowed for people to live in larger, more permanent villages. Villages were more productive not only agriculturally but creatively. People produced textiles, pottery, buildings, tools, metal work, sculptures, and painting, which were both directly tied to agriculture and to settlement in bigger villages.

A piece of pottery with a geometric design. It is a vessel with a narrow mouth and a wide base, featuring stripes and zig-zag designs in a contrasting dark color on a tan neutral background. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons. Farming began a process of intensification, which meant that many more people could be sustained in a given land area since more calories could be produced per acre.

As a result, the world population rapidly rose. Between 10, and BCE, the population of the world went from about 6 million to about million. With more people, societies needed to change in unprecedented ways and become more sophisticated with how they organized human life. Biotechnology is science in its purest form and must distinguish itself as a science apart from industrialized agriculture.

Right now, for many, agbiotech is industrialized agriculture. Agbiotech must be viewed as a tool that can be used to improve agriculture and preserve the future of the food supply. Until agbiotech changes the media and worldwide perception of the science, pathways for approval and importation of GM products will continue to be delayed and rejected, leading to negative consequences for many agricultural products and the people that could benefit from the science.

Hawaii provides an excellent case study for how the collection of data based on the methodologies presented could create greater acceptance and understanding of potentially beneficial crops.

This example looks at both levels of stakeholder engagement—the farmer and the consumer—and shows how the culture of agriculture affects the acceptance of one GM crop papaya and the rejection of another taro. A group of scientists embarked on a proactive research process to find a solution.

The scientists first tried classic breeding methods using cross-pollination but could not get a resistant strain. PRSV is spread by aphids, yet increased pesticide use was not proving to be effective and was exposing farmers to increased risk. This research was being conducted at the dawn of modern agbiotech and the concept of pathogen-driven resistance, which states that a transgenic plant that expressed a transgene of pathogen would be resistant to that given pathogen Gonzales et al.

This is attempted with the resulting production of one strain showing resistance to PRSV. To keep costs down and speed the success, the one resistant plant was cloned for field testing. Successful field testing resulted in the distribution of free seeds to farmers. Scientist then collected data from papaya farmers through surveys concerning their satisfaction and adoption of these new genetically modified varieties. GM papaya was successfully adopted by Hawaiian farmers, and papaya Carica papaya became the first horticultural fruit crop on the market that was produced by agricultural biotechnology.

GM papaya has been grown in Hawaii since the mids with little opposition. Hawaiian papaya is sold and eaten by millions of people across the United States.

Taro As early as and confirmed indocumentation states that the Hawaiian taro plant is susceptible to no less than 23 pathogens, the most serious of which is the fungal disease caused by Phyophthora colocasiae, commonly known as leaf blight. Dithane-M45 is the fungicide recommended to deal with these outbreaks. The material safety data sheet issued by Dow Agro-Sciences on Dithane-M45 fungicide states clearly that not only is this fungicide toxic to aquatic organisms, but it causes cancer and birth defects in laboratory testing.

It would appear on the surface that not only the taro farmers would immediately benefit from the introduction of GM leaf-blight-resistant taro by not having to use this fungicide, but in addition, the Hawaiian aquatic ecosystem would benefit by minimizing the use of this fungicide.

Looking at the success of papaya, why does the resistance to taro exist? Risk, safety, and bio security assessments have been completed on GM taro, but resistance to the crop still exists. Is this rejection fueled by the global anti-GMO movement? Is it deeply rooted in the agricultural practices of Hawaii and the sacred relationship to the taro plan? Is it possible that the apparent religious and cultural resistance to taro is simply a convenient reason for what is truly an expression of anger because of the way other GM crops have invaded the landscape of Hawaii?

To change the genetics of Hawaiian taro is to alter that which is divine. Taro is a sacred gift to the people, and as a gift, it must remain unchanged. This is the core belief system both religiously and culturally between Hawaiians and taro. Nothing about that will change—ever. Additional resistance rests within the farming methods and traditions with taro that do not apply to papaya.

Taro is planted by almost all families in Hawaii.

Religion and agriculture

Taro saplings are shared among neighbors and families. Hawaiian children are taught how to cultivate taro as part of understanding their culture.

They are taught how to plant, nurture, harvest, pound, and make poi from the crop. This closeness to taro cannot be separated from larger-scale production of taro because the family farmer and the production farmer have the same responsibility of nurturing the ancestors through taro farming.

There is also a core element of farming that is critical; when a plant suffers, it is speaking. This is a language only farmers and those connected to plants understand.

The plant is communicating that something is out of balance. For the indigenous farmer, this is a sacred communication that must be honored. GM intervention at this juncture is seen as merely a bandage, not a solution to the underlying problems that address the future security of taro in Hawaii.

The failure to understand the totality of the agricultural systems of Hawaii created an environment where the benefits of GM taro could not even be considered. Hawaii is blessed with some of the most fertile soil on the planet and this, to the Hawaiians, is their source of life.

Religiously, the Hawaiian Islands themselves are sacred—the mountains, the plants, and even the rocks contained the souls of the ancestors. To not understand and respect this is to threaten the very existence of every native Hawaiian.

The island of Kauai has some of the most fertile soil on the planet; it has been a hotbed for GMO conflict in recent years. Plots of land on the west side of the island have been used for seed production for GM corn and other crops for years.

Pesticide and herbicide runoff and airborne spraying have been blamed for illness and environmental degradation. Lawsuits filed against agbiotech companies continue, and outrage over the use of Hawaiian land for corporate profit fuels the opposition. Taro appears to be the final sacred straw.

relationship between religion and agriculture definition

This failure to understand the religious and cultural beliefs surrounding the agriculture of the native Hawaiians was short-sighted. Many biotech companies only saw fertile lands for their own profits. So now, Hawaii is a hotbed for the rejection of GMOs that could actually contribute in a very positive way to the environmental sustainability of Hawaii.

Now farmers refuse to plant it and consumers refuse to eat it mainly because the cultural and religious aspects of this crop were ignored. The importance of regional dialogue and regional understanding of agriculture for the future implementation of GMOs cannot be too greatly emphasized at this point. This future potential will only be realized through embracing agricultural knowledge of smallholder regional farmers and engaging their equal participation in solving regional agricultural challenges.

Otherwise, there will be many locations like Hawaii that jeopardize the introduction of a technology that can potentially preserve culturally significant foods and provide food sovereignty and security for many people. Administrative Consequences Information dissemination and implementation rests largely on biotech companies taking the initiative in creating the platform for this dialogue. Cultural agricultural knowledge and techniques need to be communicated to the research and development sector, and applicable biotechnology needs to be accessed according to cultural practices to maximize acceptance and benefit.

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There exist two key cultural stakeholders in this process—the farmer growing the food and the consumer eating the food. Each of these requires a different process for assessment and information gathering, and each of these require separate outreach and educational engagements.

Barriers may lie in one or both of these groups, but understanding where and why they exist is critical for successful introduction and application of agbiotech. The future of agricultural biotechnology rests in addressing the most pressing regional challenges as they relate to hunger, poverty, biodiversity, and regional diets Figure 2. Through culturally sensitive education and public outreach utilizing regionally focused media-driven campaigns, companies can seek to involve, inform, and educate the public about the importance of GMOs in the effort to contribute to food sovereignty and security challenges.

Focus areas for cultural acceptance. Agbiotech is a product, and just like any product, it needs to be evaluated and rebranded to reach its greatest marketing potential.

Products that support sacredness, happiness, and well-being are the products that will be part of the sustainable future. Answering the following question is critical: If the answer is no, then what has been created needs to be abandoned, and a renewed focus must ensure that the power that rests in plant biotechnology is a form of knowledge bestowed to do that which is the highest and greatest good.

If the planet is truly sacred, and is here so that we may create happiness and well-being for all of its inhabitants, why are toxic things still made and known carcinogens put in the environment?