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close this bookEnvironmental Handbook Volume II: Agriculture, Mining/Energy, Trade/Industry (GTZ, 1995, 736 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
close this folderAgriculture
close this folder27. Plant production
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close this folder28. Plant protection
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close this folder29. Forestry
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View the documentAnnex: Glossary of selected terms
close this folder30. Livestock farming
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close this folder31. Veterinary services
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close this folder32. Fisheries and aquaculture
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close this folder33. Agricultural engineering
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close this folder34. Irrigation
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close this folderMining and energy
close this folder35. Reconnaissance, prospection and exploration of geological resources
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close this folder36. Surface mining
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close this folder37. Underground mining
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close this folder38. Minerals-handling and processing
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close this folder39. Petroleum and natural gas - Exploration, production, handling, storage
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close this folder40. Coking plants, coal-to-gas plants, gas production and distribution
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close this folder41. Thermal power stations
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View the document7. Appendices
close this folder42. Power transmission and distribution
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close this folder43. Renewable sources of energy
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close this folderTrade and industry
close this folder44. Nitrogenous fertilisers (raw materials, ammonia and urea production)
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close this folder45. Nitrogenous fertilisers (starting materials and end products)
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close this folder46. Cement and lime, gypsum
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close this folder47. Ceramics - Fine, utilitarian and industrial
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close this folder48. Glass
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close this folder49. Iron and steel
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close this folder50. Non-ferrous metals
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close this folder51. Mechanical engineering, workshops, shipyards
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close this folder52. Agro-industry
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close this folder53. Slaughterhouses and meat processing
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close this folder54. Mills handling cereal crops
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close this folder55. Vegetable oils and fats
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close this folder56. Sugar
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close this folder57. Timber, sawmills, wood processing and wood products
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close this folder58. Pulp and paper
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View the documentAppendix A: Tables
View the documentAppendix B: Glossary
close this folder59. Textile processing
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1. Scope

The following terms recur frequently in this environmental brief and therefore require definition:

- Single cropping involves growing only one crop on a particular area of land, e.g. rice. The sequence in which various single crops are grown one after the other in a field is known as the crop rotation.
- Intercropping is a system in which a number of different crops grow together for the entire vegetation period or part of it, e.g. a combination of cassava, cowpeas and millet.
- Annual crops are generally herbaceous plants with a one-year vegetation cycle (e.g. cereals, legumes, various vegetables, tobacco).
- Perennial crops are plants which are used over a number of years; each plant is sowed or planted only once, e.g. fruit trees, tea, coffee and cocoa.
- Monoculture involves growing a particular crop on the same area of land over a number of cultivation periods, e.g. sugar cane.

Taking into account the production of wood, self-regenerating raw materials, animal fodder and crops used in the manufacture of semi-luxury goods, plant production represents - in terms of area - man's major form of interference with the Earth's natural balance.

Traditional farming systems are usually based on intercropping and tend to be subsistence-oriented. External inputs such as fertilisers and pesticides are uncommon and are used on only a small scale.

By contrast, large-scale plantation farming generally takes the form of monoculture (sugar cane, cotton) or permanent cropping (coffee, tea, cocoa). These forms of cultivation are market-oriented and dependent on external inputs.

Plant production involves activities in areas such as

- plant protection
- agricultural engineering and animal traction
- irrigation
- species and variety selection
- tillage and fertilising
- crop tending and weed control, harvesting, post-harvest treatment, storage
- erosion protection and control.

Crops are grown to meet the needs of the producer or the market. They also play a role in protecting soil, air and water.

Plant production is carried out on farms, for the most part using family labour, in order to ensure subsistence and earn monetary income.