- What is Mediterranean Agriculture?
- What is Mediterranean Agriculture known for?
- Mediterranean Agriculture Climate
- Mediterranean Agriculture Map
- What regions have Mediterranean Agriculture?
- Is Mediterranean Agriculture Intensive or Extensive?
- Is Mediterranean Agriculture Subsistence or Commercial?
- What is grown in Mediterranean Agriculture?
What is Mediterranean Agriculture?
Mediterranean Agriculture is the type of Commercial Agriculture that is practiced in parts of the world that enjoy a Mediterranean climate.
The Mediterranean region itself has been a hot spot for agriculture for millennia. This region stretches from the south of France all the way down to northern Africa and includes Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Egypt. The climate in these regions can be described as semi-arid with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers.
The Mediterranean climate is what makes Mediterranean agriculture what it is. The climate has a large impact on what plants grow in this region, and what animals can be raised there. It is its climate that makes this agricultural zone one of the most productive on earth!
However, the Mediterranean climate is not restricted to the Mediterranean region. A similar climate can be found in parts of California, South Africa, Chile and Australia. Therefore, agriculture in these regions can also be referred to as Mediterranean Agriculture.
What is Mediterranean Agriculture known for?
Mediterranean Agriculture is known for what it produces and the lifestyle and eating habits that it promotes.
Taking advantage of the unique climate and soil found in the Mediterranean region and similar regions elsewhere, as well as the long hours of sunlight throughout the day, Mediterranean Agriculture produces grapes, olives, pistachios, apricots, oranges, persimmon, lemons, figs, almonds, etc.
Mediterranean Agriculture is also associated with the Mediterranean lifestyle. This includes the way of living and eating that is commonly seen in Mediterranean countries.
The traditional Mediterranean diet is considered to be one of the healthiest in the world. It consists of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. It is low in saturated fat and processed foods, and high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Mediterranean Agriculture Climate
The Mediterranean region is a semi-arid to arid climatic zone. The temperature and rainfall depend on the location, but the region overall can be described as having mild temperatures with dry, warm summers and cool, wet winters.
The region has an average of 300 days of sunshine per year. Temperatures in summer can reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), while in winter they can go as low as -5 degrees Celsius (23 degrees Fahrenheit). The average annual rainfall is between 400 and 600 millimeters (16-24 inches).
The Mediterranean climate is considered to be temperate, making it ideal for growing a wide range of crops and raising different kinds of livestock.
Mediterranean Agriculture Map
What regions have Mediterranean Agriculture?
As seen on the map in the previous section, Mediterranean agriculture is practiced in the following regions:
- The regions around the Mediterranean Sea (Southern France, Italy, Southern Spain, Greece, Turkey, Spain and Egypt)
- Central and Southern California
- Central Chile
- The Western Cape of South Africa
- South and Southwest Australia
Is Mediterranean Agriculture Intensive or Extensive?
Mediterranean Agriculture follows Intensive Farming techniques with the goal of maximizing yields.
Intensive Farming is performed with high inputs of labor, capital, and management relative to the land being farmed, in order to produce higher than normal yields. Intensive Farming tries to extract as much as possible from the land.
Extensive Farming, on the other hand, uses a small amount of capital and labor relative to the land being farmed. Extensive Farming usually results in a smaller yield and so if Extensive Farming is used as a technique in Commercial Farming, large amounts of land are needed for the farm to be viable.
Mediterranean Agriculture is often practiced on large farms which need substantial capital, labor and management in order to generate enough produce to be a worthwhile investment. This is why most farms following Mediterranean Agriculture practice Intensive Farming techniques.
Is Mediterranean Agriculture Subsistence or Commercial?
Mediterranean Agriculture is a form of Commercial Farming where farmers are in the business of growing crops or raising livestock with the sole intent of selling them on the market to make a profit.
Almost all farms practicing Mediterranean Agriculture are businesses. They may be orchards growing apples, olives, grapes, lemons or peaches. Or they may be vineyards growing grapes for making wine. Or they may be livestock farms raising and breeding goats, sheep, cows and fish.
And because they are businesses they tend to make use of the latest Agricultural Technologies to minimize costs, maximize yield and maximize profits.
What is grown in Mediterranean Agriculture?
Here are some commonly grown crops in Mediterranean Agriculture.
Fruits: Peaches, Apricots, Grapes, Olives, Figs, Oranges, Apples, Cherries, Pomegranates, Clementines, Dates, Melons, Avocados, Nectarines, Tomatoes
Vegetables: Eggplants, Broccoli, Zucchini, Peppers, Spinach, Peas, Cauliflower, Sweet Potatoes, Cucumbers
Mediterranean Agriculture refers to the type of agriculture practiced in regions with a Mediterranean climate. These regions are found around the Mediterranean Sea as well as in parts of California, Chile, Australia and South Africa.
Mediterranean Agriculture is a direct outcome of the Mediterranean Climate which is temperate with mild, wet winters and warm to hot, dry summers.
Mediterranean Agriculture is both Intensive and Commercial and grows a wide range of fruits and vegetables typically found in the Mediterranean Diet.