Agriculture is an important source of livelihood in all parts of the world.
Before industrial revolution, agriculture was the primary source of economy for most countries.
Though there are many commercial options coming up, still many rely on agriculture for their income.
Agriculture is a nature friendly and most peaceful method of livelihood.
It is a very reliable source of livelihood for mankind and also one of the honest source of incomes. Many people from developing nations rely on agriculture for livelihood.
Some people involved in other business or jobs still have agriculture as side business.
Agriculture besides cultivation and farming extends to dairy, poultry, fisheries, sericulutre, bee keeping (honey insects) etc.
These are also dependent on agriculture cultivation in some or other way. Farming become more profitable when combined with these alternative methods.
Why is Agriculture important to humans?
Agriculture is important because it is the source of supply of food, clothing, medicine and employment all over the world. So lets see its importance one by one
Importance of agriculture in Food supply
Agriculture is the primary source of food food products all over the world. All the major ingredients like carbohydrates, proteins and oils can be obtained through agriculture in large scale.
Carbohydrates supply energy to all the living beings and this is obtained by growing cereals and grains like rice, wheat, bazra, jowar etc. in agriculture fields.
Proteins are meant for body building and supplied by grams and other leguminous products obtained through agriculture. The examples include beans, pulses like black gram, Bengal gram, green gram etc.
Other sources of food like fish, diary, poultry and meat also rely on agriculture in some or other way. Though we can obtain protein from non-veg foods, protein from vegetarian sources are easily digestible, cheap and also healthy without chances of infections. So people rely on agriculture protein for their daily needs.
Fats & oils are important to provide energy, body structure and also heat. Oils can be obtained in large scale from agriculture through cultivation of sunflower, ground nut, mustard, sesame etc.
Fruits: Fruits provide natural and intact food material as they do not need cooking. They are easily digestible by kids, old age and sick people. Grape fruits are also used for producing wine.
Flowers: Flowers are used for decoration, ceremony purposes. Also they are rich source of scent, dye material.
Importance of agriculture for medicine
Many medicinal drugs are obtained from agriculture. They are regular source of some important drugs like
Enzymes: Enzymes are used for important clinical uses. Enzyme Papain used as digestive aid is obtained from papaya cultivation.
Alkaloids: Opium alkaloids like morphine for deep pains, for cough and derivatives for control of loose motions are obtained by growing opium poppy plants in farms.
Laxatives: Isapghol used for mild constipation treatment is obtained by cultivation.
Glycosides: These constitute some important medicinal principles. For examples cardiac glycosdies like digitalis is used for treating weak heart, steroidal glycosides are used to produce steroid drugs. Senna is a glycoside used for treatment of constipation.
Importance of agriculture for clothing:
Agriculture is the largest source of cloth material. This cloth material is obtained as cotton (for jeans, bedding material etc.), jute (bags), fiber to make gunny bags.
Though there are other polymer materials to make cloth, fiber from agriculture meets the large demand of clothes. Further they are safe for use and disposal is easy and nature friendly.
Besides farm animals like sheep and cattle are beneficial. Sheep’s hair is a wool which is used to produce sweater and warm clothing. While cattle skin is used to produce leather which is used to produce belts, wallets etc.
Silk is another type of industry where in silk worm or insects are grown to collect silk. This silk yields very fine cloth and is expensive.
While Importance of agriculture in employment:
Agriculture market is one of the biggest source of employment. The employment can be
Direct: This includes employment as farmers, daily wage workers, farm machine technicians like drivers for tractors, harvester, farm cutting machines etc.
Indirect: Though the employment is not in the farm, the source is linked to agriculture as scientists in industries related seed production company, farm machine manufacture, pesticide and fertilizer manufacture (nitrogen). There is also scope in academics for teaching and scientist jobs. (See agriculture jobs).
Importance of agriculture for govt. revenue
Agriculture is biggest source of national revenue for governments in most countries. Until recent past many countries relied on agricultural exports as to keep up economic growth. If there are no rains and sufficient agricultural yield, it would affect economy a lot. Though many countries do not levy taxes on farmers income, yet governments derive much revenue in the form of land taxes, import & export duties, income tax on brokers and middle men involved in sale of farm products. The governments also exports agricultural products based on demand for international market at high prices. Also governments invest in economic agriculture plans which are aimed at minimizing input costs by natural farming methods and derive more profits.
Importance of agriculture in Business:
There are many businesses dependent on agriculture like biotechnology, insurance companies, banks, industries manufacturing farm equipment by use of iron and other metals, fertilizers, pesticides etc.