Agriculture is known to be one of the most significant economic activities. It includes forestry, fishery, livestock and most importantly crop production. The agriculture sector is also one of the largest employers across the world, mainly in developing and underdeveloped nations. Millions of people around the world, directly or indirectly depend on the agriculture sector for their livelihood. It is an activity which provides our everyday requirements of food, vegetables, fruits, spices, etc.
Long and Short Essay on Agriculture
Essay 1 (250 words)
The term agriculture comes from the Latin word ager which means field and cultura that means cultivation. Agriculture basically involves the cultivation and production of crops and livestock products.
History of Agriculture
The history of agriculture dates back to several centuries. It began in different parts of the world independently about 105,000 years back mostly by the collection of wild grains for the purpose of eating. Here is how different countries were involved in this activity:
- In Mesopotamia, pigs were domesticated around 15,000 years ago. They began domesticating sheep around 2000 years later.
- In China, rice was cultivated around 13,500 years ago. They eventually began cultivating soy, azuki beans, and mung.
- In Turkey, cattle were domesticated around 10,500 years ago.
- Beans, potato, coca, llamas, and alpacas were domesticated around 10,000 years ago.
- Sugarcane and certain root vegetables were cultivated in New Guinea around 9,000 years ago.
- Cotton was domesticated in Peru around 5,600 years ago.
Similarly, the domestication of various plants and animals is being done in many other parts of the country for thousands of years.
Impact of Modern Technology on Agriculture
The development in the field of science and technology led to the use of modern techniques in agriculture. While it has contributed a great deal to the development of the agriculture sector, modern technology has also had certain negative repercussions on the sector. Here is the kind of impact it has had:
- The use of fertilizers and pesticides as well as the use of technologically advanced types of equipment for the cultivation of crops has increased the yields drastically however it has also been the cause of ecological damage and impacted human health negatively.
- Selective breeding and the use of other modern practices in the rearing of animals has increased the supply of meat however it has raised the concern about animal welfare.
Like every other sector, the agricultural sector has also evolved over the centuries and its development has brought about certain positive and negative repercussions to society.
Essay 2 (400 words)
Agriculture is a vast subject. It encompasses the production of crops, animal husbandry, soil science, horticulture, dairy science, extension education, entomology, agriculture chemistry, agri engineering, agri economics, plant pathology, and botany. These subjects are taught in various universities across the world to train people in the field.
Different Kinds of Farming
Here is a look at how the agricultural field has broadly been categorized in our country:
- Subsistence Farming
One of the most widely practiced techniques of farming in India. Under this type of farming, the farmers grow grains for themselves as well as for the purpose of sale.
- Commercial Agriculture
This type of agriculture focuses on high yield with the aim to export it to other countries to generate profit. Some of the commonly grown commercial crops in the country include cotton, wheat, and sugarcane.
- Shifting Agriculture
This type of farming is majorly practiced by tribal groups to grow root crops. They mostly clear the forested area and grow crops there.
- Extensive Agriculture
This is more common in developed countries. However, it is also practiced in certain parts of India. It focuses on the use of machinery to grow and raise crops.
- Intensive Agriculture
This is a common practice in densely populated areas of the country. It is focused on generating a maximizing output of the land by employing different techniques. A good amount of investment in terms of money and a huge labor force is required for this.
- Plantation Agriculture
This type of agriculture involves the cultivation of crops that require a good amount of time and space for growing. Some of these crops include tea, rubber, coffee, cocoa, coconut, fruits, and spices. This is mostly practiced in the states of Assam, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Kerala.
- WetLand Farming
The areas that receive heavy rainfall are well irrigated and these are apt for the farming of crops such as jute, rice, and sugarcane.
- Dry Land Farming
It is practiced in desert-like areas such as the central and northwest India. Some of the crops grown in such areas are bajra, jowar, and gram. This is because these crops require less water for growth.
With the advancement in technology, agriculture has come a long way. It is not limited to just growing crops and rearing of cattle. It includes a whole lot of other subjects and someone who is interested in getting into the agricultural field can choose to specialize in one.
Essay 3 (500 words)
Agriculture basically involves the cultivation of crops and the domestication of animals for the purpose of generating food and other things necessary for mankind. While it is being practiced for centuries, it has evolved over time and has become one of the major factors in the development of our country’s economy.
Significance of Agriculture
Here is a look at the significance of agriculture:
- Major Source of Food
It goes without saying that the food we eat is a gift of the agricultural activities that take place in the country. The country has seen times of acute food shortage before independence however the problem was resolved with the advent of the green revolution in agriculture in the year 1969.
- Major Contributor to National Income
Statistics reveal that the national income from primary agricultural activities was about 59% in the year 1950-51. While it has come down eventually and reached around 24% about a decade back, the agricultural sector in India is still one of the major contributors to the national income.
- Development of the Industrial Sector
Agriculture plays a major role in the development of the industrial sector by providing the raw material. Industries such as cotton textiles, sugar, jute, oil, rubber, and tobacco are majorly dependent on the agricultural sector.
- Employment Opportunities
The agricultural sector offers numerous employment opportunities as a large labor force is required for the smooth functioning of various agricultural activities. It does not only open a vast arena of direct employment opportunities but indirect as well. For instance, the agricultural products need to be transported from one place to another and hence it supports the transport sector.
- Boost in Foreign Trade
Foreign trade relies majorly on the agricultural sector. Agricultural exports form a good 70% of the total exports. India is an exporter of tea, tobacco, cotton textiles, jute products, sugar, spices, and many other agricultural products.
- Generation of Government Revenue
Excise duty on agro-based goods, land revenue, and taxes on the sale of agricultural machinery make for a good source of government revenue.
- Formation of Capital
The surplus income generated from agricultural activities can very well be invested in banks for capital formation.
Agriculture: A hazardous Industry
While the agricultural sector is of great importance to the country, we cannot deny the fact that is a hazardous industry. Farmers across the globe have a high risk of work-related injuries. One of the common causes of agricultural injuries is tractor rollovers and other motor and machinery-related accidents. Due to the nature of their job they are also prone to skin diseases, lung infections, noise-induced hearing problems, sunstrokes as well as certain types of cancers. Those exposed to pesticides may have serious illnesses and might even have kids with birth defects.
However, that said, agriculture does play a significant part in the development of human civilization as a whole. As Booker T. Washington said, “No race can prosper till it learns there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem”, the agriculture sector is an integral part of the country.
Essay 4 (600 words)
Agriculture is one sector that has been in place for thousands of years. It has developed over the years with the use of new equipment and techniques of farming and domestication. This is one sector that has not only seen immense growth but has also been the reason for the growth of various other sectors.
The Growth and Development of the Agricultural Sector
India is one such country that is largely dependent on the agricultural sector. Agriculture in India is not just a means of livelihood but a way of life. The government is continually making efforts to develop this sector. Let us learn how this sector has evolved with time.
Though agriculture is being practiced for centuries in India, it remained underdeveloped for a pretty long time. We were unable to produce sufficient food for our people and foreign export was simply out of question. On the contrary, we had to purchase food grains from other countries. This was because agriculture in India depended on the monsoon.
In case, there was enough rain, the crops fertilized properly, when there wasn’t enough rain the crops just failed and most parts of the country were hit by famine. However, things changed with time. After independence, the government planned to bring about improvement in this sector. Dams were constructed, tube-wells and pump-sets were set up, better quality seeds, fertilizers were made available and new techniques were employed.
With the use of technologically advanced equipment, good irrigation facilities and specialized knowledge about the field things began improving. We soon started producing much more than we required and subsequently started exporting food grains and different agricultural products. Our agricultural sector is now stronger than that of many countries. India stands first in the production of groundnuts and tea and ranks second in the production of sugarcane, rice, jute, and oilseeds across the globe.
However, we still have a long way to go and the government is making efforts in this direction.
Negative Repercussions of Agriculture on Environment
As much as it has helped in the development of the human civilization and the growth of the country’s economy, agriculture has also had certain negative repercussions on the people involved in this sector as well as the environment as a whole. Here are the negative repercussions of agriculture on the environment:
- Agriculture has led to deforestation. Many forests are cut to turn them into fields to cultivate crops. The negative impacts of deforestation and the need to control it are hidden from none.
- Not many of you may be aware that the building of watersheds and draining of water from the rivers for irrigation of fields leads to drier natural habitats.
- The runoff from the fields into the rivers and other water bodies results in that water getting poisoned owing to the use of excessive nutrients and insecticides.
- Topsoil depletion and groundwater contamination are some of the other issues that the agricultural activities have given way to.
Agriculture has thus impacted the soil and water resources negatively and this has had a major impact on the environment.
Agriculture is also considered to be a hazardous occupation. Those involved in farming are constantly exposed to different chemical-based fertilizers and pesticides and the continual use of these can lead to several health hazards such as skin diseases, lung infections, and certain other serious illnesses.
While agriculture has given so much to our society, it comes with its own set of cons that cannot be overlooked. While the government is doing so much to bring about growth and development in this field, it should also take measures to tackle the negative impact it is creating on the environment and those involved in the field.