Agriculture is the process of cultivating various livestock and plants together. Agriculture was perhaps the primary development in the evolution of sedentary human society, in which farming of domestic species made possible the production of food surpluses which allowed humans to survive in cities. The history of agriculture started thousands of years ago. During the early centuries of the Common Era, agriculture reached its zenith. With the development of civilizations like those of ancient China, agriculture reached its greatest height.
Agriculture is related to economic development. Agriculture is characterized by the cultivation of crops for consumption, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and other tree fruits, cattle, sheep, poultry, etc., with some wild grains such as oats and barley. The animal husbandry that goes with agriculture includes the use of animals to help in the production of crops; animals for milk, meat, eggs, and other dairy products; vehicles for transportation of agricultural products; and waste materials for fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides. The process of agriculture makes use of all the tools and technologies that are readily available to man nowadays. Agriculture also has an impact on the environment, making agriculture and animal husbandry products that cause pollution.
Agriculture is a practice that is defined by different practices used in order to grow different kinds of food. Agriculture is not a single action but encompasses a vast area of activities and involves many processes. Within a community, there may be agriculture in the form of small-scale farming usually of local produce such as fruit orchards or in arable land with small livestock such as buffalos or yaks. There may also be the agriculture of plant life, which is typified by large-scale cultivation of ornamental crops such as roses or tomatoes or grasses for use as alfalfa or clover for the production of animal feeds.
Agriculture is a vast field of activities. There are different types of crops depending on their location, productivity, and age. These crops are classified under four main groups: livestock, fruits and vegetables, grains, and legumes. Cattle and dairy farmers raise cattle for milk, poultry for poultry, swine for meat, and oilseeds for fertilizer and feed.
Agriculture is not just about growing plants, but it also involves the management of natural resources. Farmers have to take care of the soil’s fertility and the health of the plants themselves. They have to ensure that the soil is free from chemicals and that there are no harmful insects that may affect the plants’ growth. Agriculture not only provides food for the people who grow it, but also produces and sells surplus products for markets, such as fertilizers, seeds, pharmaceutical drugs, machinery and other agricultural equipment, machinery parts, farm equipment, and farm implements.
Agriculture plays a key role in the economy. Agriculture supports small-scale production and distribution thereby contributing to the economic growth of the nation. Agriculture produces important nutrients that are essential for human health like nitrogen, potable water, phosphorus, iron, iodine, and potassium. Dairy cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, and other farm animals to provide meat, milk, and eggs. Agriculture helps improve rural living by providing jobs, creating livelihoods for the rural population, produces cash crops, and promotes international food export activities.