By definition, agriculture is the art of crop production, cultivating soil, and raising livestock. Through the years, the meaning of agriculture has evolved. At present, it involves dairy, forestry, beekeeping, poultry, and mushroom cultivation. It also acknowledges the concept of marketing, processing, distribution of crops and livestock products. Arguably, agriculture has been deemed the backbone of every country’s economic system. Aside from providing food and raw materials, it also opens employment opportunities to a large chunk of the population.
Let’s know more about agriculture and its significance in every society.
Source of Subsistence and Livelihood
Agriculture is the foundation of human life. Food, shelter, and clothing are the necessities for human sustainability. In rural areas, subsistence farming remains the source of income. Aside from rural dwellers and agricultural workers, farming also feeds those people working and living in urban areas. Although most people in highly industrialized countries seldom engage in agriculture, it is still considered the main source of livelihood for more people than any other economic activity globally.
It Supplies Food and Fodder Crops
We all have to eat. Without the agricultural sector, the industry, services, and urban areas would not exist. Food production, processing and marketing, plant breeding, and seed production are worldwide activities that are consistently interlinked. Poor nutrition is the direct effect of difficulties in food production.
On the other hand, fodder crops are primarily cultivated to feed domesticated livestock such as goats, sheep, cattle, horses, pigs, and chickens. Most fodder is from plants, while others are of animal origin. This includes hay, Alfalfa, sorghum, maize, legumes, soybeans, palm kernel, oils, and mixed rations, sprouted grains, and many more.
Contributes to Economic Development
The growth of the agricultural sector contributes to economic development. Thus, improving the people’s income level and standard of living. This industry will even provide them the opportunity to venture into small scale business. Market diversification through e-commerce is one way to expand one’s portfolio of marketing channels.
The prevalence of the online environment gave an edge to the small-medium enterprise. Even agricultural products are sold in the virtual bazaar. This is what makes Pin Duo Duo become incredibly successful. The current Coronavirus pandemic has made most people dependent on online shopping that even cooking needs and ingredients are purchased through different online stores. Ecommerce contributes to economic development and becomes a growth factor for businesses’ competitiveness. Increased investment in agriculture can help rectify economic decline.
Ensures Food Security
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) stressed that agriculture is a key to food security in most parts of the globe. The report further emphasized that agriculture contributes to poverty reduction by improving farm income, reducing food prices, and providing employment. It can empower people to grow their food for subsistence that can provide nourishment or generate income for many people.
A vast majority of the population from underdeveloped and developing areas in the world live in rural areas and rely mainly on agriculture. Agricultural research, Technological advancement, and innovation have emerged but the significance and the essential role of agriculture remain constant.