cash crop

Crops that are grown for sale in the town markets or for export. They include coffee, cocoa, sugar, vegetables, peanuts and non-foods, like tobacco and cotton. Huge areas of countries in the developing world have been turned over to cash crops. Those countries with no mineral or oil resources depend on cash crops for foreign money, so that they can import materials do develop roads, for construction, or to buy Western consumer goods and, indeed, food. However, critics argue that cash crops are planted on land that would otherwise be used to grow food for the local community and say this is a cause of world famine. Cash crops, such as peanuts, can ruin the land if it is not left fallow after six years of harvests. Moreover, if the best agricultural land is used for cash crops, local farmers are forced to use marginal land to grow food for local consumption, and this has a further dramatic effect on the environment.

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