UWA Agriculture, Economics and Nature – Promo

UWA Agriculture, Economics and Nature – Promo


[MUSIC PLAYING] Hi. I’d David Pannell
from the University of Western Australia. Agriculture has delivered
massive benefits to humanity. The development
of agriculture is what got human beings
started on the long trip from hunter/gatherers
to modern civilization. We wouldn’t have had our current
wealth, health, knowledge, and technology if our ancestors
around 10,000 years ago hadn’t decided to start cultivating
crops and rising animals, rather than just collecting
seeds and fruit and hunting wildlife. Agriculture remains an
economically important industry in developed countries. And despite massive growth
in cities in many developing countries, more than half of the
labor force in those countries is still engaged in agriculture. If you join us, then over
the six weeks of the course we’ll cover a broad range
of issues that will give you a new perspective on
agriculture, including questions such as
why have prices for some major agricultural
products fallen so dramatically for more
than a hundred years; how have farmers
stayed in business despite those price
falls; what are some of the key challenges
facing agriculture in coming years; how should farmers
approach decision-making about agricultural inputs,
such as fertilizers; what have government policies for
agriculture attempted to do and how can they be improved;
and how can we best protect the environment from
the negative impacts of agricultural production? Agriculture is not just an
important and interesting topic. There are also many
satisfying jobs available that relate to agriculture, in
agricultural research; input sales; marketing; transport;
education and training; environmental
management; government policy; and, of course,
in farming itself. The course provides a
foundation in important aspects of agricultural and
resource economics. It would set you up nicely for
further study in this area. The course is about
agriculture, including agricultural production and the
interaction between agriculture and the environment. We’ll be looking at these issues
from an economic perspective. This is relevant because most
farms are still owned and run by individual families. But at the same time,
they’re businesses, which depend on good economic
decision making in order to survive. Governments, of course, depend
on good economic information to make good decisions on
behalf of the community. The key economic principles that
we’ll learn about in the course can help those of us
engaged in agriculture to make better decisions
about how agriculture should be managed, about how
we can get best value from natural resources
used in agriculture, and about the design
of government policy. They can also help
us think about how to strike a good balance
between agricultural production and its environmental impacts. There are thousands of
agricultural economists around the world who
work on these issues. So there’s a wealth of
knowledge for us to draw on. In each case, we’ll
look at these issues from a general
perspective and then from a specifically
economic perspective. You’ll see that the economic
perspective can often really enrich our understanding
of what’s happening and how we might respond. So join me in the
course as we tackle these fascinating
and important issues. I think you’ll enjoy it. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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