Agriculture overview

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Rice plant

The development of agriculture spans thousands of years. It has evolved by the interaction of human cultures, climate variations (floods and droughts), developing technologies and marketing network.

Agriculture includes a wide range of specialties, practices and techniques, including means to expand the suitability of lands and make them arable for raising crops, making means for irrigating the developed land.

The basic foundation of farming has been raising plants and crops on the land made arable and herding livestock on pastures and ranches. In the past sixty years methods have been evolved to identify various farming activities and also to quantify them.

Farming concept has changed from ancient and tribal 'slash and burn cultivation' (shifting cultivation) into industrial agriculture. Farming concepts like organic farming, green farming, rotation of crops, inter-cropping, and other sustainable agricultural practices are being evolved.

Modern agronomy, biotechnology, plant breeding, organic manures and fertilizers, pesticides and biological control of insects, technological improvements in harvesting and processing, storage and transportation, and marketing and distribution have made the food production to become surplus in many developed and developing countries.

However the present starvation in the developing countries is the result of falling purchasing power of the people (development and growth becoming vertical and getting restricted to small section of the society) and defective distribution mechanism.

The improvements in farm production have simultaneously, brought in land degradation, environmental damage and peaking of yield with the feared slide in yields. These are the very important issues to be immediately look into to avert a global disaster.

Agricultural activity is crucial to economic growth. Agricultural development is one of the most powerful tools for poverty reduction and food security. The need of the hour is a climate-Smart agriculture which can boost productivity, enhance resilience and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
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