Agriculture is an important source of livelihood in most parts of the world.
It involves tough work but it contributes to food security and health of the nation.
Before the industrial revolution, agriculture was the primary source of economy.
In spite of many commercial options coming up, 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 sources of incomes. Many people from developing nations rely on agriculture for livelihood.
Some people involved in other business or jobs still have agriculture as a side business.
These are also dependent on agriculture cultivation in some or other way. Farming becomes more profitable when combined with these alternative methods.
Why is Agriculture important to humans?
Agriculture supplies food, clothing, medicine and employment all over the world. It provides food security to the human population.
Importance of agriculture in the Food supply
Agriculture is the primary source of food products all over the world. All the major food substances viz. carbohydrates, proteins and oils are produced by agriculture.
The Carbohydrates supply energy to all living beings. These are obtained in the form of grains like rice, wheat and also potatoes growing in farms.
Proteins are useful to build our body. They are supplied as grams and other leguminous products obtained through agriculture. These products include beans, pulses like black gram, Bengal gram, green gram, etc.
Other sources of protein like meat, fish and diary also rely on agriculture. Protein from vegetarian sources are 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. These can be obtained in from agriculture through the cultivation of sunflower, groundnut, mustard, sesame, etc.
Fruits: Fruits provide natural and intact food material as they do not need cooking. They are digestible by kids, old age and sick people. Grapefruits are also used for producing wine.
Flowers are used for decoration, ceremony purposes. Also, they are a rich source of the scent, dye material.
Importance of agriculture for medicine
Many medicinal drugs are obtained from agriculture. They are a regular source of some important drugs like
Enzymes: Enzyme papain is obtained from the papaya fruits. This Papain is used as a natural enzyme. It is used as a substitute for one of the digestive enzymes for indigestion. Especially useful for old aged people and diseased. This papain is obtained in large scale by papaya cultivation.
Alkaloids: Many alkaloids are used as medicine. Opium alkaloids like morphine relieve severe pains, cough and also lose motions. They are obtained by growing opium poppy plants in farms.
Similarly, alkaloids like hyoscine, ephedrine, physostigmine are obtained by agriculture.
Laxatives: Isapghol used for mild constipation treatment is obtained by cultivation
Glycosides: These constitute some important medicinal principles. Examples include cardiac glycosides like digitalis for heart failure. Senna is a glycoside used for the treatment of constipation. heart, Steroidal glycosides to produce steroid drugs.
Importance of agriculture for clothing:
Agriculture is the largest source of cloth material. This clothing material is obtained from cotton. This cotton is also used for making jeans, bedding material, etc.
Further, jute and other fibers are used to make gunny bags.
Though chemical polymer materials are used to make clothes. Fiber from agriculture meets the large demand for clothing. Further, they are safe for use and disposal is nature-friendly.
Besides farm animals like sheep and cattle are beneficial. Sheep’s hair is wool which is used to produce sweaters 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 wherein silkworm or insects are grown to collect silk. This silk yields very fine cloth and is expensive.
Importance of agriculture in employment:
In rural areas, agriculture is one of the biggest sources of employment. The employment can be
Direct: Agriculture provides direct employment for farmers, daily wage workers. Further, as a technician for farm machines like tractors, harvester, farm cutting machines, etc.
Indirect: Even there is scope for indirect employment. As scientists in seed production, farm machine manufacture, pesticide and fertilizer manufacture (nitrogen). There is also scope in academics for teaching and scientist jobs.
It is not only the scope of a job for men but also for women. As per 2012 data, 1 million women work for agriculture in the united states. This contributes to $12.9 billion in agricultural sales as per USDA.
Check out List of Agriculture Jobs
Importance of agriculture for govt. revenue
Agriculture is the biggest source of national income for governments in most countries. Until the recent past, many countries relied on agricultural exports to keep up economic growth.
If there are no rains, it would affect their economy a lot due to low agriculture yield. This indicates the extent of revenue contribution by agriculture.
Many nations do not levy taxes on farmers income. But, the governments derive enough revenue in the form of taxes. These are in the form of land taxes, import & export duties. Further, income tax on middlemen involved in the sale of farm products derives much revenue. When surplus, the governments also store the agricultural products. These are exported for high prices when there is demand in the international market. Hence, governments invest in economic agriculture plans. The aim is to cut input costs by natural farming methods and derive more profits.
Importance of agriculture in Business:
There are many businesses dependent on the agriculture sector
a) Biotechnology: To produce high yield, disease-resistant crops.
b) Insurance companies, banks: To enhance investment and safeguard loss.
c) Farm equipment: Industries also manufacture farm equipment by use of iron and other metals
d) Chemical industries: These manufacture fertilizers and also pesticides.
From above we can understand the importance of agriculture in daily life and also economic development.