Saturday, February 18, 2012

Agriculture

WHAT IS AGRICULTUURE?
Have you ever wondered where the food you eat comes from? As food is one of our basic needs, it is important to understand where our food comes from.

Until about 12 000 years ago, people led nomadic lives. They hunted animals and gathered  fruits and nuts for food. Slowly, people settled down and learnt to grow crops and rear animals for food. The growing of crops and the rearing of animals is called agriculture.

About one-third of the Earth's land area is used for agricultural purposes and more than two and a half billionpeople worldwide are engaged in agricultural activities. This is about twice the populaton of China, which is currently at 1.3 billion people, or about 20 percent of all the people in the world. Agriculture is very importantin countires such as China and India. More than 70 percent of people in these countries are farmers.

AGRICULTURE AS A PRIMARY INDUSTRY
Beside providing food, agriculture can also provide raw materials or natural resources that can be used to manufacture products. For instance, cotton is a raw material that can be used to produce thread and cloth. We call an industry that provides raw materials for othe industryr uses a primary industry. Hence, we say that agriculture is a type of primary industry. Other types of primary industries include fishing and mining.

There are many types of agriculture in different  parts of the world. These types of agriculture, or agricultural types differ from one another according to these characteristics:
-the purpose of the farm
-the inputs of the farm
-the outputs (produce of the farm)

PURPOSE OF THE FARM
Some farms produce enough crops for their own consumption only. This is known as subsistence farming. Other farms produce crops on a large scale and sell their producein the market. This is known as commercial farming.

INPUTS INTO THE FARM
Farmers need land, labour, seeds, fertilisers, pesticide and tools or machinery to grow crops. In some farms, irrigation systems are also used to channel water from rivers and lakes to the fields. To obtain some of the above, farmers need capital (money to pay workers or for materials) The land, labour, materials and capital used by farmers are colectively known as the inputs of a farm.

OUTPUTS (PRODUCE) OF THE FARM
Some farms produce only one type of crop, while others, produce a variety of crops. Also, subsistence farms tend to yeild small amounts of produce which is usually just enough for the farmer's own family. On the other hand, commercial farms usually yeild large amounts of produce for sale.Therefore, the output per unit area in subsistence farming is usually low, while the output per unit area in commercial farming is usually high.

AGRICULTURAL TYPES:
-Shifting cultivation
-Wet rice cultivation
-Plantation agriculture
-High-tech farming

1 Comments:

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