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Modern industrial food production

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Agriculture and Food
  Modern industrial food production's advantages over prior methods are largely based on modern cheap, fast transport and limited product variability. But transport costs and delays cannot be completely eliminated. So, where distance strained industrial suppliers' reach, where consumers had strong preference for local variety, farmers' markets remained competitive with other forms of food retail. Recently, consumer demand for foods that are fresher (spend less time in transit) and foods with more variety  —  has led to growth of farmers' markets as preferred food-retailing mechanisms. Farmers' markets can offer farmers increased profit over selling to wholesalers, food processors, or large grocery firms. This, due to the fact that the middlemen are locked out of the chain.[3] By selling directly to consumers,  produce often needs: less transport less handling less refrigeration less time in storage By selling in an outdoor market, the cost of land, buildings, lighting and air-conditioning is also reduced or eliminated. Farmers may also retain profit on produce not sold to consumers, by selling the excess to canneries and other food-processing firms. At the market, farmers can retain the full premium for part of their produce, instead of only a processor's wholesale price for the entire lot. Where consumers perceive the farmers' produce as of equal or better quality than produce available through grocers, farmers may retain most of the cost savings to themselves. Some farmers also prefer the simplicity, immediacy, transparency and independence of selling direct to consumers. By contrast, relations with agricultural conglomerates can be burdened with quite complex contractual details. To communitiesAmong the benefits often touted for communities with farmers' markets: Farmers' markets help maintain important social ties, linking rural and urban populations and even close neighbors in mutually rewarding exchange.[4] market traffic generates traffic for nearby businesses buying at markets encourages attention to the surrounding area and ongoing activities  by providing outlets for 'local' products, farmers' markets help create distinction and uniqueness, which can increase pride and encourage visitors to return. Reduced transport, storage, and refrigeration can benefit communities too: lower transport & refrigeration energy costs lower transport pollution lower transport Infrastructure cost (roads, bridges, etc.) less land dedicated to food storage Farmers' markets may also contribute to innovative distribution means that strengthen civic engagement by reducing the social distances between urban and rural communities. With fewer intermediaries, the support of independent growers by local community members can enhance local economic opportunities and health & wellness in poor communities. [23][6] To consumers Consumers often favor farmers' markets for: reduced overhead: driving, parking, etc. fresher foods seasonal foods healthier foods a better variety of foods, e.g.: organic foods, pasture-raised meats, free-range eggs and poultry, handmade farmstead cheeses, heirloom produce heritage breeds of meat and many less transport-immune cultivars disfavored  by large grocers a place to meet neighbors, chat, etc. a place to enjoy an outdoor walk while getting needed groceries  Individuals often favor farmers' markets as a way to personally contribute to the community benefits of reducing transport, storage, & refrigeration.According to Farmers Markets of America, customers draw n to farmers’ markets shop locally for three main reasons: food quality, better prices, and a great social atmosphere.[7]Evidence seems to show that overall prices at a typical farmers' market are lower than prices at a supermarket because the process of  production is more concise; there is less distance to travel and fewer middlemen.[5] Based on a figure shown in Farmers Markets of America, the prices at a farmers' market are lower than prices at a supermarket 91% of the time.[7]Another reason that many shop at farmers' markets is that they provide produce at a much higher quality. Robert Sommer argues in his book that “there is no question that farmers market produce is fresher and more flavorful”.  You plant a crop of turnips, use the profits from that to plant a crop of tomatoes, make money to finance the crop of  potatoes and etc.  —   but to really know your costs and make sure you are selling crops for more than it costs to grow. I know that sounds  —    I mean you go duh! But you wouldn’t believe how many farmers don’t know their costs of  production. Production --> Harvesting, primary processing and storage --> Transport and logistics --> sales and marketing Production- Pre-production decisions based on accumulated market knowledge and intelligence, access to inputs Harv - Harvesting dates affected by market prices, grades adjusted on basis of market information, strong decisions  based on market knowledge and access and costs of storage Transport- Arranging the aggregation of product & consolidation of loads, seeking lower-cost transport and improved arrangements Sales and mkt- Establish supply , demand and prices; real-time market research and negotiation Sustainable farming needs math There’s a saying that farmers are always price takers, not price makers. You  have to become a farmer who is a price maker. You have to distinguish your product from the masses in the market.We really need to be growing the highest quality, most nutrient- dense produce. Unfortunately we don’t have the tools to assess that cheaply on  a daily  basis. If you can do that, you are a price maker.If you are just selling into an amorphous market, under someone else’s label, you are a price taker. But if you are selling locally, you can really identify your customers. We established our name and our label and found a few thousand people who would support it. You just carve out your constituency, figure out how to produce what they need, and get them to understand that they need to pay you fairly for it. If we are serious about sustainability, we cannot continue to farm in ways that deplete soil, pollute water, reduce  biodiversity, and impoverish rural communities. We need a new agricultural toolkit. Crops require fertile soil and  protection from weeds and insect pests in order to produce the food we need. Sustainable agriculture meets these requirements with sophisticated management practices grounded in the science of agroecology, which views farms as ecosystems made up of interacting elements  —  soil, water, plants, and animals  —  that can be modified to solve  problems, maximize yields, and conserve resources. Research has shown that agroecologically based methods  —  such as organic fertilizers, crop rotation, and cover crops  —  can succeed in meeting our food needs while avoiding the harmful impacts of industrial agriculture. Our food system is broken  —   but science can help fix it.  This policy failure is contributing to a massive and costly public health crisis, as rates of chronic, diet-related diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease have shot up  —  even, increasingly, among children.And the same policies that encourage unhealthy food production also support an outdated, unsustainable system of industrial agriculture, which has damaging impacts on soil, air, water, human health, and rural economi es.There’s a better way.Smart, science-  based food and farm policies can increase every American’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables, saving thousands of lives and billions of health care dollars in the process.And by encouraging farmers to grow a diverse mix of foods using modern, sustainable methods, healthy food policies will also help keep U.S. agriculture productive for the long term.With powerful interests defending current policies, transforming our food system in a healthier direction will not be easy. But we can do it  —  and our future depends on it. Agriculture in the United States has taken the wrong road, and it isn't working.The wealthiest nation in the world is feeding its citizens an unhealthy diet  —  and growing most of this food using unsustainable methods. The results? A  population threatened by a crisis of diet-related chronic illness; millions of acres of damaged farmland; chemical runoff spilling into our waterways.Our food system, for all its vaunted productivity, is failing us. To create marketing opportunities for small and marginal farmers in cultivation of fruits, vegetables and flowers  by formation of groups which includes production, storing and export. Establishment and maintenance of regulated markets in order to facilitate buying and selling of agricultural produce for the benefit of the farming community. Grading of agricultural produce in the regulated markets and at farm holdings to help the producers to get remunerative price for their produce. To create awareness among the farmers about the benefits of grading, marketing, value addition and processing their produce through regulated markets by taking up training, publicity and propaganda. To set up Agriculture Export Zones for promoting export of agricultural produce by increasing the area under exportable crops, providing necessary post harvest management and other infrastructure required and information on  prices prevailing at international markets as an integrated approach through computers. To take up Agmark grading of agricultural, animal husbandry and forestry products for the benefit of the consumers. To set up modern cold storage facilities to enable the farmers to store and sell their produce at favourable price and to help consumers to get quality food products. Food Processing Industries are promoted to minimise wastage of agricultural  products, to increase employment opportunities and to enhance foreign exchange.provide safe, nutritious food to all these  people? Biotechnology in agriculture is the use of technology to make advances in crop production and in animals. Seed technology has changed from the past to today, where crops are able to withstand harsh weather conditions such as drought and flooding. In the past, whole harvests could have been destroyed by a drought because the plants were not designed to withstand those conditions. But now, thanks to biotechnology and genetic engineering, crops are able to withstand harsh conditions which means that even in bad weather years, farmers are still able to harvest crops and provide food to the market. Farmers can grow a variety of things in their fields because seeds are designed to adapt to different conditions. This means that farmers can grow different foods and add diversity into our diets. Pesticides and herbicides, when used in moderation by farmers, offer the chance to protect crops against unwanted  pests such as insects and weeds. By decreasing the amount of pests, farmers are able to yield more food which allows them to sell more food to the market and ensure that people have enough to eat.
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