Civilization started with agriculture which, to this day, remains very important and plays a significant role in our lives. And while its significance may be even more pronounced in some countries than others, the reality is that every country depends on agriculture to sustain itself in one way or another.
For decades, it’s been associated with the production of food crops. However, the importance of agriculture goes above and beyond farming. It’s evolved into forestry, fruit cultivation, beekeeping, arbitrary, mushroom, dairy, etc. Today, the processing, distribution, and marketing of crops and livestock products are all acknowledged as a part of agriculture.
Agriculture plays an essential role in sustaining and driving the economy. It’s the backbone of everything that drives us. In addition to providing food and other raw materials, it also provides employment opportunities. Safe to say the importance of agriculture cannot be overstated. On that note, we found it compelling to highlight its importance. Here’s what we know:
Importance of Agriculture in the National Economy
It’s no secret that the agricultural sector is the backbone of almost all economies in the world. It provides the basic ingredients mankind needs and the raw materials necessary for industrialization. Here’s a brief overview of the role of agriculture and how it impacts the national economy:
1. Source of Food Supply
As aforementioned, agriculture has been the basic source of food supply for mankind for centuries. Whether a country is underdeveloped, developing, or developed, all nations depend on agriculture for its food. And as the demand for food continues to increase, so does the demand for more land to farm and cultivate food products. Agriculture has been found to adversely affect the economic growth of many nations, making it an important factor for every country’s economic growth.
2. Contribution to National Income
Agricultural prosperity has significantly contributed to and fostered the economic advancement of several countries. It’s also been correctly observed that even the leading industrialized countries were once predominantly agricultural. Similarly, developing countries now have the dominance of agriculture, which largely contributes to their national income.
3. Relief from Capital Shortage
The development of the agricultural sector of developing countries has also helped relieve them from a shortage of capital. Previously, developing countries were more reliant on foreign capital, which usually came with strings attached to them. The agricultural sector requires a lot less capital for development. Thus, it minimizes the growth problem touching on foreign capital.
4. Pre-Requisite for Raw Materials
Besides providing just food products, agricultural advancement has also made this industry a hub for raw materials. The shortage of agricultural products can impact the agro-based industry significantly and usually cause a consequent increase in their product price levels. It can also impede the growth of the nation’s economy, especially developing countries, which largely depend on agricultural products to boost their economies.
5. Creation of Infrastructure
Agricultural development subsequently requires the development of other national infrastructures like roads, storage units, transportation railways, market yards, postal services, etc. For an infrastructure that’s creating high demands for industrial products, the agricultural sector also demands the development of the commercial sector.
Why is Agriculture Important to Everyday Life?
There are several ways agriculture impacts people’s lives every day. It’s an important industry, if not the most important in some regard. The agricultural sector, which includes crops and livestock, produces most of the world’s foods and raw materials.
Agriculture impacts our lives in critical ways that it’s difficult to imagine a world without it. If you don’t think it impacts your life, think again. Agriculture plays a key role in your:
Sure, you may not own a farm or livestock, but agriculture still impacts your entire family. This trickles down to how you feed your family, where the food comes from, how you clothe them, and where those fabrics and other raw materials come from. If it wasn’t for agriculture, it would be impossible, or almost impossible to sustain yourself and your family.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, food and its related industries, all contribute over $1 trillion to the country’s GDP. This vast industry also provides US citizens with over 22 million full-time and part-time jobs. Whenever the ag sector is able to meet the supply and demand curve for food and other agricultural products, their prices go down.
Most crops are always grown for food and for their raw products. However, the health sector benefits from agriculture just as much. Some crops are grown more for their minerals and other nutrients they are rich in. Other plants are grown specifically for medicinal purposes like the yarrow, plantain, sage, elder, and common mallow. Most farmers also grow fruits and vegetables, which are excellent for maintaining a healthy diet and adding vital nutrients to the body.
The importance of agriculture to the community cannot be overstated. For one, it creates jobs for members of the community, boosts the community’s economic growth, sustains the community by the food source, and other raw materials. Basically, agriculture has more positive impacts on the community than most people fathom.
Importance of Agriculture for Farmers
By this stage, you should already know that agriculture is a crucial source of livelihood. As one of the most honest income sources, most farmers find agricultural farming a reliable source of livelihood for their families.
Many farmers, especially ones from underdeveloped and developing countries, rely on agriculture for their family’s livelihood. It’s the primary source of their food products and income. Agriculture provides direct employment for farmers who depend on it to sustain themselves and their families.
Importance of Agriculture for Students
As a nation, it’s important that our children know how food gets to their plates. Not only that, but they must also know how to know which food products are nutritious, safe, and good tasting.
On that note, it’s vital that we encourage school districts to consider using creative ways to pique their students’ interest in agriculture. This includes teaching agriculture as part of the students’ curriculum. Schools can do this by teaching students how to plant herbs, care for them, and harvest them.
Therefore, it’s important to ensure that both the state and provincial budgets can adequately fund your schools’ agricultural education programs. Students must learn the importance of agriculture from an early stage, so they know how it contributes to our everyday lives.
Role of Agriculture in Rural Development
The concept of rural development with reference to agriculture depends more on how rural families can survive off agriculture. There’s been an increasing emphasis on several rural development projects and programs and the recognition of rural areas that need more development.
More than half of the world’s population come from underdeveloped and developing countries. And a vast majority of that population lives in rural areas. Furthermore, this population depends mostly on some form of agriculture for their livelihoods.
These people have had very little to no benefits from modern technology.
Agriculture’s essential role is one of production, both for food and other raw materials for the rural and urban populations. The land is a basic resource for agriculture, and rural or developing areas have lots of it. The exploitation of this resource has helped families in rural areas turn agriculture into a revenue source and develop.
Importance of Agricultural Research
The rapid advancement of technology has made the future of agriculture a bright one. What with scientists discovering exciting new research in plant and animal sciences every year. Our standard of living keeps improving every day through agricultural research. Below are a few examples of how agricultural research has impacted our lives today:
1) Animal Immunization
Diseases have devastated livestock production enterprises for centuries. But agricultural research has now found medicines and vaccines to improve livestock health. Animal immunization has helped animals become more resistant to diseases through inoculation and vaccination. It has helped reduce diseases and helped farmers to breed their livestock in disease-free environments. This has also ensured lower costs for producers, which is always every farmer’s goal.
2) Artificial Insemination
Most superior animals are always the products of superior parents. And while this is always good news, especially to livestock owners with superior animal breeds, not all livestock owners are that lucky. Come artificial insemination. This is the placement of semen in the reproductive tract of a female animal by artificial techniques. This is a sure way to transfer genes from a superior male parent. Through modern semen collection, storage, and distribution techniques, almost any livestock producer can now access and have the industry’s best livestock genes.
3) Biological Control
Most pests greatly reduce or inhibit agricultural productivity. They are also always very difficult to control and quite costly at that. But agricultural research came up with biological control, which has proved to be very effective. Some of the most effective pest management methods using biological control involve predatory insects, fungi, viruses, and bacteria. These biological pest control methods have helped to reduce the effects of pests on agricultural productivity significantly.
The Bottom Line
From the above excerpt, it’s evident that the importance of agriculture cannot be overstated. As scientists continue to discover new procedures to increase crop and livestock yields, increase overall food quality, and reduce loss due to insects and diseases, we can safely say that agricultural research still has a long way to go.
Through continued studies and research on agriculture, our standard of living can improve significantly. And the greatest benefactor to all this will be everyone and everything that relies on agriculture, including economies.