What Is Agriculture and How Does It Help Society?
What is Agriculture? Agriculture is the practice of farming plants and livestock. This practice was a crucial development in the rise of sedentary human civilization. Domesticated species made food more abundant, which made it possible for humans to settle down in cities and have food surpluses. Agriculture dates back thousands of years. Read on to learn more about the history of agriculture. What are the benefits of agriculture? And how does it help society? Let's take a look at some examples.
Farming is the production of food
The profitability of farming is a growing concern worldwide. To boost farming productivity and make it more environmentally friendly, policy frameworks must be strong. These frameworks should support multiple farming systems and enable coexistence of diverse farms. In some cases, this might mean adopting genetic modification of crops or plant breeding techniques. However, such practices should be avoided. There are many other concerns that are worthy of consideration. The following are some of them.
As food prices continue to increase, environmental and animal welfare concerns will continue to grow. In North-western Europe, agricultural policy is being driven by environmental concerns and incentives for smaller scale farming. However, societal attention to environmental issues is fragmented and evolving, putting pressure on farmers. Furthermore, many feel that farming lacks a long-term perspective. In the United States and Canada, farming is a major contributor to global warming.
The future of farming must take both food security and rural household needs into account. Currently, land fragmentation in Africa and a lack of alternative livelihoods outside of agriculture hinder sustainable intensification. This requires more regionalised agricultural production systems that shield smallholder farmers from globalised markets. This can be achieved through the re-coupling of livestock and arable farming. A reversal of this trend will be needed to keep small farms viable.
Farming is the production of fibre
Growing fibre crops is an interconnected system that feeds into an industry based on soil-based fibers. This industry is estimated to be worth $1 trillion in 2017 and is expected to double to $1.6 trillion by 2022 - more than twice the size of the global mobile phone industry. The production of fibre crops is an unsustainable business model that is based on chasing cheap labor and low-cost materials. Farming is the production of fibre is an industry that benefits both the environment and human health.
Plant-based fibres can be derived from various types of plants. The most commonly grown fibre crops are cotton and jute. Coconuts are not fibre crops; however, the coir that grows inside the coconut shell is. This coir is used for doormats. Jute, a yellowish-brown plant fibre, has high cash value. It is harvested from many sources and is used in textiles and other products.
The use of natural fibres was common in the past before the production of synthetic fibres. Fibre crops were the source of natural fibres for manufacturing industries. Since cellulose is found in many plant species, these crops are classified as textile fibres, cordage fibres, and filling fibres. Once harvested, fibre plants are processed by retting bast fibres using microbes and bacteria. This process requires fewer chemicals to produce the fibres, and is less harmful for the environment.
Natural fibers come in two forms: cellulose and lignin. The former is made from plant matter and is the chief plant-based fibre used in clothing today. Animal fibers, on the other hand, are made from minerals and are more complex than plant fibres. However, both types of fibres have their own comfort benefits. The production of fibre is a vital part of human culture. The benefits of fibre are far-reaching, and can help reduce our dependency on synthetic fibres.
Farming is the production of timber
The Philippine government and the wood industry sector need to acknowledge the role of smallholder farmers as land managers and efficient producers of many important agricultural commodities including timber. These smallholder farmers can produce large quantities of timber and supply local markets efficiently. Despite the current policies that discourage tree planting, they are the most efficient producers of many important agricultural commodities and timber. The government and the wood industry sector must recognize the contribution of smallholder farmers. In the future, they will become the biggest sources of timber and other valuable forest products.
Intentional farming of non-timber forest products is an alternative to clearing natural forest resources and limiting its effects. Unlike clearing natural forests, forest farming can reduce pressure on natural populations, produce stable raw materials, and create new income opportunities for landowners. However, it requires intensive management of the forests and can have major negative environmental and social impacts. While the production of timber from fast-wood forests is necessary, it is often at the expense of the environment.
Timber can be used in many ways. Many people use balsam fir trees for wreaths and longleaf pine needle baskets. The wood can also be used for making products that benefit other industries. For example, timberland can be used to raise cattle, raise livestock, and produce timber. Some landowners use the timberland to enhance the productivity of other agricultural industries. For example, a healthy forest will help the livestock industry.
Tree farming has a long history in the forestry industry. It began in the early 1940s as a way to promote resources on private land and provide fiber for timber companies. The Weyerhaeuser Company organized the first tree farm tract and promoted it as a way to change public opinion on the timber industry. The first tree farm became an official entity in Montesano, Washington, in 1964. This practice is widely accepted throughout the U.S. as a means to promote environmentally sound and productive forestry.
Farming is the production of foliage
The market for cut foliage is growing worldwide, with increased demand for decorative branches for flower arrangements. Ireland is one of the leading producers of this product, with about 70 percent of its production exported to the UK and 20 per cent to Holland. Home market sales comprise only 10 per cent of total production, mostly to florists. Demand for natural-looking products is expected to increase in the future, with the production of forest and wild species set to grow at a faster pace.
The demand for cut foliage is increasing year on year, with peak periods at Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Mother's Day. Agricultural producers are implementing organic weed control techniques for foliage crops. Nevertheless, this is a challenging task in Ireland, where weeds can grow all year round. Listed below are some of the most important weed control methods. For weed control, growers should use organic fertilizers and other agrochemicals.