Agriculture has been the primary occupation of human beings, and that too a very important one. It provides a variety of products – crops – that are essential for humankind. Agriculture not only supports humans for their subsistence, but helps a large number of industries too.
Agriculture forms the raw material for numerous farm products based industries. The basic products, resulting from agricultural activities, are processed in big factories, before the final product is marketed. As such, agriculture generates employment, both for people working in the farming sector as well as those in the industrial, agriculture-based sector.
These days, agriculture has become an important commercial activity. A variety of crops are grown, which can be classified as –
Agriculture has benefited a great deal from the various advancements in the field of science and technology – with modern machines making the ‘field’ jobs much easier than ever before. All over the world, agriculture is managed efficiently with the help of modern farm equipment. In the US, farmers rely much more on technology than on manual labor.
Machines are used for all important farm operations like – tilling, sowing, harvesting, sorting of fruits, etc. Most farmers prefer employing those laborers who are skillful, and who can operate upon their tractors, combines and harvesters. In fact, farmers are also ever so ready to try out every new development in the variety of crops, pesticides, fertilizers and the like.
The importance of agriculture also lies in the fact that it supports the export sector also – most of the farmers in the United States produce largely for exports, as the soil produce is quite fertile, and coupled with modern technology, the returns are huge. Some of the major farm products are crops like – rice, wheat, sugarcane, cotton, jute, tea, coffee and rubber – which are produced in most parts of the world.
In countries that export surplus farm output, agriculture is all the more significant, and the agricultural production is fairly high. As the farmer gets a good profit, his financial position, especially in developed countries, is better than many other entrepreneurs. He is now able to purchase the latest machinery, use latest techniques of farming, buy new and improved hybrid varieties of seeds, and use the best fertilizers to increase productivity.
Nowadays, there are improvements in wholesale marketing as well as transportation of farm products. The use of refrigeration systems and efficient rail transport has made possible the safe delivery of perishable farm products like dairy products, vegetables, and fruits. With barely 4% of total population of United States engaged in agriculture, they have huge exportable surplus.
Agriculture is not just limited to crop cultivation, dairy farming has become an indispensable part of the agricultural process. Dairy farming is the practice of farming in which cattle are kept for milk and milk products. Oftentimes, poultry is also included. In fact, the scope of agriculture has widened, with interrelated sectors over-lapping one another; and in the present scenario, each of these sectors is as important as any other!