Agriculture Class 8 of Class 8
Agricultural Development refers to efforts made to increase farm production in order to meet the growing demand of increasing population. This can be achieved in many ways such as increasing the cropped area, the number of crops grown, improving irrigation facilities, use of fertilisers and high yielding variety of seeds. Mechanisation of agriculture is also another aspect of agricultural development.
The ultimate aim of agricultural development is to increase food security. Developing countries with large populations usually practise intensive agriculture where crops are grown on small holdings mostly for subsistence. Larger holdings are more suitable for commercial agriculture as in USA, Canada and Australia.
- The size of an average farm is very small. This is chiefly due to the repeated division of a plot among the heirs of the cultivator generation after generation.
- The land is intensively cultivated. Double cropping and multiple cropping are common.
- The farm produce is used mainly for self-sustenance and there is very little surplus.
- The use of machines is very limited. Most farmers are too poor to afford expensive farm machinery. As the density of population is high, manual labour is cheap and is widely used in farm operations.
- There is limited use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides, improved seeds and modern methods of farming. This is partly due to lack of awareness and partly due to poverty.
- There has been limited development of pastoral farming and mixed farming. The farm is used mainly for growing food. As the land is usually not used for growing fodder, farm animals are fed on farm wastes. No special provisions are made for housing these animals or caring for them.
- The farm is usually managed by illiterate farmers. Schemes are now being introduced to raise their level of awareness.
- The yield of crops is generally low.
- The average size of a farm in the USA is much larger than that ef an Indian farm. A typical farm size in the USA is about 250 hectares. This is because land is abundant and cheap.
- The extensive type of agriculture is practised. Single-cropping is the usual practise, with scope for growing fodder crops.
- Agriculture is commercial. Most of the produce is sold. As the local demand is small, there is a large surplus, which is exported.
- Farms are highly mechanised, most operations being performed by machines. As farms are large, the use of machines is a necessity. Also, manual labour is scarce and hence expensive.
- High-yielding varieties of seeds, chemical fertilisers, pesticides and modern methods of farming are used. As the farmers are wealthy, they can easily afford these. However, due to the adverse effects of chemicals, farmers are now switching to ecofriendly methods.
- Animals are reared using scientific methods, both on ranches and on dairy farms. Mixed farming is common, which is a boon to farmers in the event of a crop failure. Fodder crops are grown to feed farm animals.
- The farm is managed by well-educated farmers, who are aware of the latest techniques and developments in the field of agriculture and the conditions prevailing in the market.
- The yield per acre is lower than in many other countries, but the yield per worker is high.
Some Interesting Fact
- Organic farming is a type of farming in which organic manure and natural pesticides are used instead of chemicals. No genetic modification is done to increase the yield of the crop.
- Shifting cultivation is known by different names indifferent types of the world. For e.g. Jhumming in North-East India, Milpa in Mexico and Ladang in Malaysia.
- Maize is also known as corn. Various colourful varieties of maize are found across the world.
- There are different versions about the discovery of coffee. In aboutAD 850. Kaldi, an Arab goat-herder, who was puzzled by the queer antics of his flock, tasted the berries of the evergreen bush on which the goats were feeding. On experiencing a sense of exhilaration, he proclaimed his discovery to the world.
- Food security exists when all people, at all times, have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.
- The farmer in USA works like a businessman and not like a peasant farmer.