Advantages of agriculture wikipedia

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Advantages of agriculture wikipedia

Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. The history of agriculture began thousands of years ago. After gathering wild grains beginning at leastyears ago, nascent farmers began to plant them around 11, years ago. Pigs, sheep and cattle were domesticated over 10, years ago. Plants were independently cultivated in at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture in the twentieth century came to dominate agricultural output, though about 2 billion people still depended on subsistence agriculture into the twenty-first.

Modern agronomyplant breedingagrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizersand technological developments have sharply increased yields, while causing widespread ecological and environmental damage. Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry have similarly increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal welfare and environmental damage. Environmental issues include contributions to global warmingdepletion of aquifersdeforestationantibiotic resistanceand growth hormones in industrial meat production.

Genetically modified organisms are widely used, although some are banned in certain countries. The major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers, fuels and raw materials such as rubber. Food classes include cereals grainsvegetablesfruitsoilsmeatmilkfungi and eggs.

Over one-third of the world's workers are employed in agriculture, second only to the service sectoralthough the number of agricultural workers in developed countries has decreased significantly over the centuries.

The development of agriculture enabled the human population to grow many times larger than could be sustained by hunting and gathering.

Rice was domesticated in China between 11, and 6, BC with the earliest known cultivation from 5, BC, [10] followed by mungsoy and azuki beans. Sheep were domesticated in Mesopotamia between 13, and 11, years ago. Sugarcane and some root vegetables were domesticated in New Guinea around 9, years ago.

Sorghum was domesticated in the Sahel region of Africa by 7, years ago. Cotton was domesticated in Peru by 5, years ago, [15] and was independently domesticated in Eurasia. In Mesoamericawild teosinte was bred into maize by 6, years ago.

Studies of the transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies indicate an initial period of intensification and increasing sedentism ; examples are the Natufian culture in the Levantand the Early Chinese Neolithic in China. Then, wild stands that had previously been harvested started to be planted, and gradually came to be domesticated.

In Eurasia, the Sumerians started to live in villages from about 8, BC, relying on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and a canal system for irrigation. Ploughs appear in pictographs around 3, BC; seed-ploughs around 2, BC.

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Farmers grew wheat, barley, vegetables such as lentils and onions, and fruits including dates, grapes, and figs.Genetically modified crops GM crops are plants used in agriculturethe DNA of which has been modified using genetic engineering methods. In most cases, the aim is to introduce a new trait to the plant which does not occur naturally in the species. Examples in food crops include resistance to certain pests, diseases, environmental conditions, reduction of spoilage, resistance to chemical treatments e.

Examples in non-food crops include production of pharmaceutical agentsbiofuelsand other industrially useful goods, as well as for bioremediation. Farmers have widely adopted GM technology. Acreage increased from 1. As ofmajor crop soybean, maize, canola and cotton traits consist of herbicide tolerance In GM maize outperformed its predecessors: yield was 5.

Non-target organisms were unaffected, except for Braconidaerepresented by a parasitoid of European corn borerthe target of Lepidoptera active Bt maize. Biogeochemical parameters such as lignin content did not vary, while biomass decomposition was higher. There is a scientific consensus [6] [7] [8] [9] that currently available food derived from GM crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food, [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] but that each GM food needs to be tested on a case-by-case basis before introduction.

However, opponents have objected to GM crops on grounds including environmental impacts, food safety, whether GM crops are needed to address food needs, whether they are sufficiently accessible to farmers in developing countries [26] and concerns over subjecting crops to intellectual property law.

Safety concerns led 38 countries, including 19 in Europe, to officially prohibit their cultivation. Humans have directly influenced the genetic makeup of plants to increase their value as a crop through domestication. The first evidence of plant domestication comes from emmer and einkorn wheat found in pre-Pottery Neolithic A villages in Southwest Asia dated about 10, to 10, BC. Independent development of agriculture occurred in northern and southern China, Africa's SahelNew Guinea and several regions of the Americas.

A hybrid cereal grain was created inby crossing wheat and rye. Modern advances in genetics have allowed humans to more directly alter plants genetics. In Hamilton Smith's lab discovered restriction enzymes that allowed DNA to be cut at specific places, enabling scientists to isolate genes from an organism's genome. Plasmidsdiscovered in[36] became important tools for transferring information between cells and replicating DNA sequences. In a bacterium that caused plant tumors, Agrobacterium tumefacienswas discovered and in the early s the tumor inducing agent was found to be a DNA plasmid called the Ti plasmid.

With the introduction of the gene gun in it became possible to integrate foreign genes into a chloroplast. In genetically modified seeds were produced in Arabidopsis thaliana by simply dipping the flowers in an Agrobacterium solution.

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The first genetically engineered crop plant was tobacco, reported in The tobacco was infected with Agrobacterium transformed with this plasmid resulting in the chimeric gene being inserted into the plant. Through tissue culture techniques a single tobacco cell was selected that contained the gene and a new plant grown from it.

The first genetically modified animal to be commercialised was the GloFisha Zebra fish with a fluorescent gene added that allows it to glow in the dark under ultraviolet light.


Genetically engineered crops have genes added or removed using genetic engineering techniques, [56] originally including gene gunselectroporationmicroinjection and agrobacterium.

Gene guns also known as biolistics "shoot" direct high energy particles or radiations against [57] target genes into plant cells. It is the most common method.Modern agriculture has vastly increased the amount of food that farms are capable of producing with great gains in efficiency, but it can also have a major negative impact on the environment.

advantages of agriculture wikipedia

Large-scale farms are vital for keeping the world fed, but they can devastate local ecosystems through clearcutting and runoff, which often releases methane, ammonia and other toxic chemicals into the environment.

In order to grow crops, the natural flora of an area must first be removed. This can lead to habitat destruction and a major change in the ecological balance. Much of the destruction of the rain forests is due to the expansion of agricultural operations. Removing old-growth plants and trees can also increase erosion, remove nutrients from the soil and spur flooding. The dust storms that plagued the Midwest in the s were, in part, due to over-farming of the land and clearing of natural plant cover.

Runoff from farming operations can often include toxic substances. Pesticides and ammonia are common pollutants leftover from industrial farming operations, and they may find their way into the water table through the natural water cycle.

In addition, livestock farms can be a massive source of methane and other pollutants from animal waste, and if this runoff enters lakes and streams, it can trigger dangerous algae blooms and kill fish and other wildlife. What Are the Disadvantages of Shifting Cultivation? What Is the Definition of Sedentary Farming?Sustainable agriculture is farming in sustainable ways, which means meeting society's present food and textile needs, without compromising the ability for current or future generations to meet their needs.

There are many methods to increase the sustainability of agriculture. When developing agriculture within sustainable food systemsit is important to develop flexible business process and farming practices.

Agriculture has an enormous environmental footprint ; [3] it is simultaneously causing environmental changes and being impacted by these changes. Sustainable agriculture provides a potential solution to enable agricultural systems to feed a growing population within the changing environmental conditions. In Franklin H. King in his book Farmers of Forty Centuries discussed the advantages of sustainable agriculture, and warned that such practices would be vital to farming in the future.

There was an international symposium on sustainability in horticulture by the International Society of Horticultural Science at the International Horticultural Congress in Toronto in In the US National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of[10] the term "sustainable agriculture" is defined as an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term:.

The British scholar Jules Pretty has stated several key principles associated with sustainability in agriculture: [11]. It is considered to be reconciliation ecologyaccommodating biodiversity within human landscapes. There is debate on the definition of sustainability regarding agriculture.

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The definition could be characterized by two different approaches: an ecocentric approach and a technocentric approach. The technocentric approach argues that sustainability can be attained through a variety of strategies, from the view that state-led modification of the industrial system like conservation-oriented farming systems should be implemented, to the argument that biotechnology is the best way to meet the increasing demand for food.

One can look at the topic of sustainable agriculture through two different lenses: multifunctional agriculture and ecosystem services. Those that employ the multifunctional agriculture philosophy focus on farm-centered approaches, and define function as being the outputs of agricultural activity. These functions include renewable resource management, landscape conservation and biodiversity.

advantages of agriculture wikipedia

It is also claimed sustainable agriculture is best considered as an ecosystem approach to agriculture, called agroecology. Most agricultural professionals agree that there is a "moral obligation to pursue [the] goal [of] sustainability.

Practices that can cause long-term damage to soil include excessive tilling of the soil leading to erosion and irrigation without adequate drainage leading to salinization. The most important factors for a farming site are climatesoil, nutrients and water resources.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Agriculture

Of the four, water and soil conservation are the most amenable to human intervention. When farmers grow and harvest crops, they remove some nutrients from the soil.

Without replenishment, land suffers from nutrient depletion and becomes either unusable or suffers from reduced yields. Sustainable agriculture depends on replenishing the soil while minimizing the use or need of non-renewable resources, such as natural gas or mineral ores. A farm that is able to "produce perpetually", yet has negative effects on environmental quality elsewhere is not sustainable agriculture. An example of a case in which a global view may be warranted is application of fertilizer or manurewhich can improve productivity of a farm but can pollute nearby rivers and coastal waters eutrophication.

Sustainable agriculture

The other extreme can also be undesirable, as the problem of low crop yields due to exhaustion of nutrients in the soil has been related to rainforest destruction. In Asia, the specific amount of land needed for sustainable farming is about In some cases, a small unit of aquaculture is included AARI Possible sources of nitrates that would, in principle, be available indefinitely, include:.Land levelling is a measure used in surface irrigation, such as basin and furrow irrigation.

It consists of:. Levelling results in more efficient irrigation and, if fertigation and chemigation are applied, in more efficient use of fertilizers and pesticides. In case of low spots, water and the dissolved nutrients and chemicals might accumulate there and create zones of water logging and nutrient or pesticide accumulation. This in turn will disturb soil aeration and water uptake by crops. In either case, the uniformity of the crop cover is disturbed and yields might decrease.

advantages of agriculture wikipedia

Levelling can be done manually or with machinery and corresponding equipment. Heavy earth movement should be avoided in order to keep the natural soil structure undisturbed, thus maintaining good growing conditions for the crop roots and keeping costs low. Experienced farmers often do land levelling according to visual assessment, e.

Equipment such as grading blades and hydraulically operated levellers mounted on wheels are used with tractors.

More advanced and sophisticated levelling equipment is operated with a laser emitter, a laser sensor or receiver, and a scraper pulled by a tractor. The laser light is used as the levelling reference. It directs the hydraulic system of the moving tractor and scraper, and thereby controls the levelling. As shown in the table below, the total cost of levelling depends on the technology used. The highest net profit can be obtained with precision laser levelling, but it is not commonly used.

This can be due to a variety of factors: limited access to laser units the few units available cannot be used all year round, but only during a limited period before planting rice or wheat ; infrastructural problems too narrow roads, too high water tables for the heavy machinery ; or gender constraints. Other important issues are the relatively high costs compared to regular levelling although they arise only once in four years and the increase of costs per unit when used on small, individual plots of less than one feddan.

Terms of Use. Contests SLM for climate resilience and biodiversity. Help Help Contact. Namespaces Page Discussion. Views View View source History. Jump to: navigationsearch. Categories : Enabling Environment Excellent. Contents 1 Technical parameters 2 Effects and benefits of land levelling 3 Costs and net profit — Example from Egypt 4 References 5 Links.Advantage: Controllable food supply.

Disadvantage: In order to keep feeding people as the population grows you have to radically change the environment of the planet. Advantage: Especially if you grow grain, you can create a food surplus, which makes cities possible and also the specialization of labour.

But, if you have a surplus, agriculture can support people not directly involved in the production of food. Like, for instance, tradespeople, who can devote their lives to better farming equipment, which in turn makes it easier to produce more food more efficiently, which in time makes it possible for a corporation to turn a profit on this ninety-nine cent double cheeseburger. Some would say that large and complex agricultural communities that can support cities and eventually inexpensive meat sandwiches are not necessarily beneficial to the planet or even to its human inhabitants.

Advantage: Agriculture can be practised all over the world, although in some cases it takes extensive manipulation of the environment, […] irrigation, controlled flooding, terracing, that kind of thing.

Disadvantage: Farming is hard. So hard, in fact, that one is tempted to claim ownership over other humans and then have them till the land on your behalf, which is the kind of non-ideal social order that tends to be associated with agricultural communities.

Agriculture is good.

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However, GM and control of farming by power-mad corporations is evil, and those responsible should be converted into fertilizer forthwith. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Share this:. Like this: Like Loading Monopolies are indeed very worrying.

Not useful enough to satisfy people pls add more light to it. All the same bravo. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:.It has already made a significant contribution to the economic prosperity of advanced countries and its role in the economic development of less developed countries is of vital importance.

In other words, where per capita real income is low, emphasis is being laid on agriculture and other primary industries. Bright Singh. The history of England is clear evidence that Agricultural Revolution preceded the Industrial Revolution there.

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Similarly, various under-developed countries of the world engaged in the process of economic development have by now learnt the limitations of putting over-emphasis on industrialisation as a means to attain higher per capita real income. It is seen that increased agricultural output and productivity tend to contribute substantially to an overall economic development of the country, it will be rational and appropriate to place greater emphasis on further development of the agricultural sector.

According to Prof. Kinderberger, Todaro, Lewis and Nurkse etc. As a matter of fact, if the process of economic development is to be initiated and made self-sustaining, it must begin for agricultural sector. The agriculture sector is the backbone of an economy which provides the basic ingredients to mankind and now raw material for industrialisation.

Therefore, the role of agriculture for the development of an economy may be stated as below:. The lessons drawn from the economic history of many advanced countries tell us that agricultural prosperity contributed considerably in fostering economic advancement. Agriculture is the basic source of food supply of all the countries of the world—whether underdeveloped, developing or even developed.

Due to heavy pressure of population in underdeveloped and developing countries and its rapid increase, the demand for food is increasing at a fast rate. If agriculture fails to meet the rising demand of food products, it is found to affect adversely the growth rate of the economy. Raising supply of food by agricultural sector has, therefore, great importance for economic growth of a country.

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Agricultural advancement is necessary for improving the supply of raw materials for the agro-based industries especially in developing countries. The shortage of agricultural goods has its impact upon on industrial production and a consequent increase in the general price level. The progress in agricultural sector provides surplus for increasing the exports of agricultural products.

In the earlier stages of development, an increase in the exports earning is more desirable because of the greater strains on the foreign exchange situation needed for the financing of imports of basic and essential capital goods. Initially, agriculture absorbs a large quantity of labour force.

Agricultural progress permits the shift of manpower from agricultural to non-agricultural sector. In the initial stages, the diversion of labour from agricultural to non-agricultural sector is more important from the point of view of economic development as it eases the burden of surplus labour force over the limited land.

Thus, the release of surplus manpower from the agricultural sector is necessary for the progress of agricultural sector and for expanding the non-agricultural sector. The development of agriculture requires roads, market yards, storage, transportation railways, postal services and many others for an infrastructure creating demand for industrial products and the development of commercial sector. The development of agricultural sector has minimized the burden of several developed countries who were facing the shortage of foreign capital.

Agriculture sector requires less capital for its development thus it minimizes growth problem of foreign capital. In a country which is predominantly agricultural and overpopulated, there is greater inequality of income between the rural and urban areas of the country. To reduce this inequality of income, it is necessary to accord higher priority to agriculture.

The prosperity of agriculture would raise the income of the majority of the rural population and thus the disparity in income may be reduced to a certain extent.

If the agricultural sector does not grow at a faster rate, it may result in the growing discontentment amongst the masses which is never healthy for the smooth running of democratic governments.

For economic development, it is necessary to minimize political as well as social tensions. In case the majority of the people have to be kindled with the hopes of prosperity, this can be attained with the help of agricultural progress. Thus development of agriculture sector is also relevant on political and social grounds. The development of agricultural sector would tend to increase the purchasing power of agriculturists which will help the growth of the non-agricultural sector of the country.


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