South America’s agricultural land use consists of both commercial and smaller subsistence agriculture whose distribution is influenced by historical land ownership factors, population spatial patterns, as well as the physical terrain, natural resources, and climates of the continent. The rainforests of the Amazon basin is a site of forestry and agroforestry. The deforestation of Brazil and the Amazon rainforest has reached crisis levels despite governments increasing the areas of forest protection. The grasslands of the Southern Cone are used for pastoralism, while other farming endeavors can be found from northeastern Brazil to northern Argentina.
For example, a major crop for east central Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina is soybeans. In addition, grains, coffee, orange juice, wine, and sugar are some of the main exports of South America, as well as illegally farmed products like the coca leaves used to make cocaine.
Why is deforestation a threat to South America’s land? Agro-industrial operations have greatly expanded upon the deforestation caused by small land owners and colonists.
The rate of deforestation due to large-scale production has been so rapid that the textbook notes that an area the size of Texas is estimated to have been lost since only the 1970s. This deforestation has a devastating impact on the biodiversity of the region. I recall that the Amazon has been called the “lungs of the world” which shows its importance as an oxygen source and it is also an important carbon sink. Many deforested areas will quickly be abandoned as farming is not successful there for long, leaving the landscape barren and scarred.
Deforestation can also effect local water quality by increasing the amount of sediments washed into waterways by rain.
Define “push” and “pull” factors. Valente Provides an example of each in the context of South America. Push factors are those factors that compel people to leave an area. They are the conditions that “push” people out of a location. An example of this in South America is farmers who are experiencing poverty and who believe they have little ability for economic advancement if they stay in their location. Pull factors are those factors that compel people to move into an area. They are the conditions that “pull” people to a new location. An example of this in South America is that urban centers are viewed as having greater economic opportunity and a greater opportunity of receiving a better education or higher access to better medical care.
Provide two examples of supranationalism in South America. Some examples of supranationalism (a voluntary agreement between 3 or more nations that give up some aspect of their sovereignty in exchange for a mutual benefit in the economic, political, or cultural spheres) can be found in some of the trading blocs established by South American republics. These include the Mercosur/I which is a free trade zone and customs agreement between Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela, and 5 associate countries, and the Pacific Alliance free trade bloc established between Mexico, Columbia, Peru, and Chili. What are some of the megacities of South America? Some of the megacities located in South America where the population of the city is higher than ten million are the cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Buenos Aires in Argentina, and Lima in Peru.