Meaning of Agriculture
Agriculture is simply defined as the science and business of cultivating crops and rearing of animals (livestock), for man’s use and economic purpose. Animals reared or those that can be raised in the farm are called farm animals.
Agriculture is one of the oldest means of livelihood and it’s still very much lucrative now. It is derived from the Latin words ager meaning soil and cultura meaning cultivation.
It is a broad term encompassing all aspects of crop production, horticulture, livestock farming, forestry, fisheries etc.
Types of Agriculture
There are basically two types of agriculture
- Subsistence Agriculture whereby farmer cultivate crops and rear farm animals for family use only with little or no farm product for the market.
- Commercial Agriculture whereby farmers cultivate crops and rear farm animals enough to feed a community, state, nation or nations.
Agriculture is the most important enterprise in the world. I say this because almost everything around you is from the farm. Agriculture is a manufacturing plant, where the free gift of nature such as land, water, air, soil energy etc are used as inputs and then converted into a single essential unit, that is crop plants and their yield which are vital for human beings.
Those principal units are bump off through animals and are converted into secondary units like milk, meat, eggs, honey, wool, silk hides, etc.
Importance of Agriculture
1. Source of food for humans
One of the most important aspect of agriculture is that it’s the source of the world’s food supply. Everything edible is from the farm, it doesn’t matter the mix up, when properly traced, you’ll be at the farm. All roads lead to agriculture. In countries dealing with food insecurity and severe malnourishment, it’s because their agriculture sectors are suffering. When agriculture thrives, fewer people go hungry.
2. Employment opportunities
Employment opportunities in agriculture will never go extinct. There’s always a job for you, education isn’t really needed to be a good farmer. If you’re young and you’re still moving about for jobs, have you tried farming? There are different areas to major in and live happily ever after.
3. Raw materials
Many raw materials, from cotton, sugar, wood, palm oil, hides, Rubber, etc all come from agriculture. These materials are essential to major industries in ways many people aren’t even aware of, such as the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, diesel fuel, plastic, and more. In fact, raw materials are so important in production that the economic health of a country strongly depends on how many raw materials it possesses.
4. Drives Innovation in Technology
Because healthy agriculture is so essential to a country’s well-being, it’s been the setting of some of the most exciting innovations in technology. Through artificial intelligence, blockchain software, gene manipulation, and more, scientists and farmers have been figuring out ways to increase crop productivity, use less water, and reduce negative impacts on the environment. For scientists and tech companies, agribusiness is one of the most fascinating and productive fields to work in.
5. Contribution to national income
Agricultural prosperity has significantly contributed to and fostered the economic advancement of several countries. It’s also been correctly observed that even the leading industrialized countries were once predominantly agricultural. Similarly, developing countries now have the dominance of agriculture, which largely contributes to their national income.
6. Significance in Transport
Bulks of agricultural products are transported by railways and roadways from farm to factories. Mostly, internal trade is in agricultural products. Moreover, the revenue of the government, to a larger extent, relies on the success of agricultural sector.
7. Food Security
A stable agricultural sector ensures a nation of food security. The main requirement of any country is food security. Food security prevents malnourishment that has traditionally been believed to be one of the major problems faced by the developing countries. Most countries rely on agricultural products as well as associated industries for their main source of income.
The bottom line
Agriculture plays a good role in any country’s economy. Hunger will thrive where agriculture isn’t properly managed. And always remember that whatever you eat is directly or indirectly from a farm somewhere somehow.