Much has already been said about the way in which the shift from the hunter-gatherer way of life to a more agrarian approach provided the foundation for civilization and society. Unfortunately, it’s easy to overlook the fact that agriculture continues to help today’s nations thrive. While those who work in the agriculture and agrochemicals sector may be well aware of the impact that farms have on a country’s citizens, economy, and infrastructure, people outside the industry can easily overlook certain essential truths.
It’s important not to. Lawmakers - and the citizens who vote for them - must always remember the role that agriculture plays in a nation’s growth. Major points to consider include the following:
Agriculture and the Economy
Among developed nations, Russia has an unusually fast-growing agricultural sector. On the whole, this has had a positive effect on the country’s economy, largely due to the fact that an increased emphasis on farming boosts a nation’s exports. The more food a country can grow, the more food that country can sell to other nations. This general principle applies to any country where agriculture is prioritized.
Within a nation’s borders, farms also contribute to economic growth by providing citizens with employment opportunities. Although there are seemingly countless jobs within the agriculture and agrochemical industries, some of which can be outsourced, the actual work of farming can’t be outsourced to citizens of other countries. The people who manage or tend to a farm must be on the property.
Granted, it is true that technological innovations will almost certainly impact the role that human labor plays on farms. Some farmers already use aerial drones and unmanned agricultural equipment to monitor crops and perform basic tasks that once required a human being. However, that does not mean that farming is at any risk of becoming totally automated. It simply means that there will soon be a shift in the roles that humans play on a farm.
Many have already observed this shift, noting that more farmers are focusing on precision agriculture, a general term referring to the implementation of new techniques, technologies, and methods designed to maximize the growth potential of small sections of crops. Precision agriculture requires human workers to closely monitor crops. As automated equipment continues to take over certain basic tasks, the human labor of a farm won’t become redundant; people will merely take on a different set of responsibilities.
Additionally, people will still be involved in maintaining and repairing all this new equipment, ensuring that agriculture continues to offer jobs to citizens of a given nation.
Improving Infrastructure and Technology
There are several reasons why many farmers have been slow to adopt some of the innovations mentioned above. Poor infrastructure is a main one.
For example, unmanned aerial drones that relay information about the condition of a section of crops rely on mobile networks in order to send that information reliably. Many farms are located in rural areas, where data providers have yet to install sufficient antenna towers. Up until recently, this made sense; in regions with lower population levels, there’s been limited demand for that type of infrastructure.
As more farmers embrace the possibilities of these technological innovations, that will change. Data providers will take notice, installing more towers and boosting the country’s overall mobile telecommunications infrastructure as a result.
It’s also worth remembering that when a nation focuses on a goal requiring technological innovations, there’s often a positive ripple effect. When the United States committed itself to landing a human being on the moon that goal also provided American citizens with the motivation to pursue careers in STEM fields. The United States did eventually send astronauts to the moon, but the technologies developed to put them there had practical applications back on Earth as well.
Improving agricultural technology may not be the type of goal that inspires the same degree of awe and wonder that the space race did, but it does offer nations a way to encourage their brightest minds to develop useful solutions to a range of problems. Innovations developed to boost the efficiency of farms will likely benefit citizens of the country in other ways.
It’s no secret that agriculture is essential to a nation’s growth. If the citizens aren’t fed, the country can’t thrive. Those in power must keep this in mind, but they must also keep in mind that an emphasis on farming can lead to other opportunities for growth.
Regardless of whether or not you think politicians have exerted too much influence over the food served to children at public schools, there’s no denying that young people need proper nutrition. Our bodies develop very rapidly during childhood. Getting the right nutrients is essential to our health, especially early in life.
As such, it’s important that public schools offer nutritious options for lunch, with plenty of fruits and vegetables on the menu. Districts that strive to provide students with locally-grown meals need to be sure they can rely on farms to supply them (or the companies they hire) with abundant, high-quality crops.
Farmers and those who work in the agrochemical industry should keep this mind when developing methods of boosting crop yields. After all, for a school lunch program to benefit students, farms need to meet the following criteria:
Farms Must Make Food Affordable
School districts frequently struggle to find room in their budgets for classroom materials and facilities, let alone healthy meal options. If they’re going to consistently serve fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious items, they’ll need to find a vendor that offers these foods at an affordable price.
Farmers can help by taking steps to boost efficiency. Recent tech innovations indicate that professionals in the agriculture industry are seeking ways to automate some of the more basic farming tasks. By using aerial drones and unmanned farm equipment in their processes, farmers can streamline their approach to growing crops, thereby reducing financial waste. This may lower prices.
If farmers are interested in supplying school districts with crops, they should constantly be looking for ways to save money and improve crop yields. As eager as they may be to help schools provide healthy meal options, they need to keep in mind that districts rarely have disposable funds. When securing a food vendor, schools must actively look for companies and farms that offer the lowest prices for quality food. Farmers who can’t offer low-cost options won’t be able to make inroads into this market.
Farms Must Ensure That Crops Are Reliably Available
Most public school lunch menus remain standard throughout the year. Quite simply, cafeteria staff may not have the time, knowledge, or resources necessary to craft a new menu for each week. Instead, they need easy-to-prepare meals that can be mastered in a short period of time, then served on a regular basis.
Schools looking to expand their selection of healthy options can’t effectively work with farms or companies that deliver an inconsistent supply of fruits and vegetables. This brings us to the next essential quality farmers must develop: the ability to grow abundant crops reliably.
Anyone who works in agriculture knows that there are a great many factors that a farmer can’t control. These factors may include, but are not limited to, weather patterns, climate, and wildlife behavior. All of these have an undeniable effect on the amount of food a given farmer can grow.
However, there are many steps farmers can take to achieve a greater degree of control over crop yield. Along with implementing new technologies, these steps include making sure that the necessary agrochemicals have been appropriately applied to all crops. While growers can’t decide whether or not a drought will occur, farmers can protect their crops from pests, disease, and competing plants. By taking a proactive approach to this aspect of farming, growers will be much more likely to produce a consistent amount of food.
A common theme in this blog is the idea that people outside the agriculture and agrochemical industries don’t truly appreciate how important these fields are. There are variety of valid reasons this is the case.
First, the media rarely covers the industry in detail. Second, public schools don’t teach students much about agriculture outside of a historical perspective. Finally, popular culture often depicts farming as old-fashioned work. As a result, people who don’t directly participate in these industries either don’t think much about them at all, or they don’t realize the major role agriculture plays in the lives of everyone on the planet.
However, it would behoove people to consider the significance of agriculture. Farms benefit the population of a given area. Quite simply, farms provide a reliable source of food that profoundly affects society in a variety of ways. In fact, agriculture is the reason civilization was able to develop to begin with.
The Significance of the Transition to an Agrarian Society
Prior to the emergence of agrarian societies, human beings were primarily hunter-gatherers. That meant moving to an area, exhausting the supply of food, then moving on somewhere else. This way of living didn’t allow for a structured civilization to evolve. Moving from one place to another made it difficult to focus resources on arts, medicine, science, technology, etc. It also prevented civilizations from passing down the kinds of cultural traditions which allow for a society to form strong bonds.
Thanks to the development of organized farming, that changed. When humans began to grow food, it was easier for them to settle down in one place. This gave them the opportunity to work towards other important endeavors, laying the foundation for the human civilization we enjoy today.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that the food supplied by farmers doesn’t merely benefit those who live in the immediate area. In the early days of human societies, that may have been the case. However, now that we have efficient forms of transportation capable of moving large quantities of food, that food has global significance.
A Reliable Food Supply Promotes Political Stability
Many of the conflicts that have taken place throughout human history stem from, among a variety of other relevant factors, competition for resources. In the distant past, this took the form of rival societies fighting with one another for food and shelter.
Unfortunately, in more recent history, not much has changed. Conflicts still stem from an imbalance of resources. When people’s essential needs are taken care of, they are more secure and fulfilled. On the other hand, when nations and populations experience an insufficient or unreliable supply of food, the result can be social, economic, and political instability. It’s simply the principle of self-preservation in action.
This means that the agricultural industry is in the position to help promote world peace. The more food that farms can produce, the more food can be shared with the people of the world. As resources become more widely available to everyone on the planet, there will be less need for conflict.
True, farms can’t entirely rid the world of war - competition for resources plays a major role, but it isn’t the only cause of conflict. However, the agriculture industry can help to significantly decrease the amount of global violence that occurs in the long run.
The Role of Agrochemicals
That’s why it’s also necessary to understand the role agrochemicals play in ensuring political and social stability around the globe. Agrochemicals work to ensure that farmers can maximize their crop yield. They fertilize the soil for robust growth, prevent pests from destroying crops, and eliminate weeds that might otherwise deprive crops of their full nutrition.
The more effective agrochemicals are, and the more widely-used they are, the easier it is for farms to grow more food as well as ensure that the food grown is of high nutritional quality. As has been demonstrated in this blog entry, the more food farmers can grow, the more people they can feed. The more people have food security, the less global conflict there will be.
Again, none of this is to suggest that farms hold the key to world peace. That said, too many people undervalue the role of farms. Remember, they served as the first building blocks of human civilization. Even today, with our advanced technologies and medicines, society would crumble if farms suddenly disappeared. No matter how far a society advances, people still need food.
As has been shown in the past, when sufficient amounts of high-quality food are widely available, people are much more likely to be cooperative, devoting their energies to productive tasks instead of destructive ones. Make no mistake about it, agriculture and agrochemicals have global significance.
Although the agricultural and agrochemical industries are essential to human civilization, they don’t get a lot of press. Those interested in the topic may read trade journals, relevant news stories, and blogs like this one.
Unfortunately, however, the general public doesn’t seem consistently concerned with agricultural news and innovation. That’s worth changing.
When more people understand the significance of an industry, they’re more likely to see ways in which their talents can be useful. To attract the best minds, it’s necessary to appeal to as wide a range of people as possible.
One of the best ways to accomplish this is to be in the news. When people are reminded of the existence of an industry - and the work being done in that industry - they perceive it as worthy of their attention. Additionally, covering newsworthy topics through an original lens can increase a news outlet’s engaged readership or viewership.
With that in mind, the following are some simple recommendations for angles the news media might consider when covering agriculture and agrochemicals. Doing so could not only help generate greater interest in related careers, but also increase readership or improve ratings.
Although many people still think of farming as “old-fashioned” work, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, farmers tend to stay on top of the latest technological developments, applying them to their work in order to boost their overall crop yield.
For example, aerial drones have been a popular topic in tech publications in recent years. Primarily, reporters have focused on covering the military and consumer applications of these devices.
However, drones are also sure to play a key role in the future of agriculture. Farmers have demonstrated an interest in using drones to monitor crops, distribute agrochemicals, and save time. There’s also increased demand now for unmanned, Internet-capable farming equipment, like tractors.
Essentially, there is a robotic revolution set to begin in the agricultural and agrochemical industries. People who are interested in the newest advances in technology would be interested in learning more.
Agriculture serves as the foundation for societies. By providing a reliable supply of food, agriculture led to the end of the hunter-gatherer period in human history. It ushered in a time when people had greater opportunities to focus on science, art, mathematics, and the various other pursuits that allow civilizations to flourish.
To this day, agriculture still plays that role. Unfortunately, however, hunger has not been completely eradicated. Food is a key resource, and major geopolitical conflicts often stem from competition for resources. As such, agriculture has a significant effect on just about all major global issues.
To provide audiences with a full perspective on geopolitical issues, reporters should spend more time covering how food supplies impact events. Additionally, news outlets could also address how agriculture can affect their resolution.
As the popularity of health magazines, talk shows, and websites indicates, the general public is very interested in health-related topics. This seems like a perfect fit for reporters aiming to cover agriculture more frequently.
A key component of health is nutrition. Without an adequate food supply, getting proper nutrition is difficult - arguably impossible.
Audiences want to know where their food is coming from, what types of farming techniques allow for production of the healthiest food, and more. This information ties directly into one of their key interests.
Agriculture is still an industry, but it’s unique compared to many others. Today’s digital age means a rapidly-changing business landscape. A company that seems poised for global success one month can be rendered obsolete the next.
Another company may come along at any time with an offering that makes previous iterations of a product or service redundant. It can be difficult to predict which niche industries will stick around, and which will fizzle out over time.
That’s not the case with agriculture and agrochemicals. People will always need food, so they will always need farms. This makes agriculture an interesting topic for a business reporter to cover. So much business news these days focuses on niche offerings that might not be relevant six months down the line.
Farming, on the other hand, will always be relevant. This means reporters have a chance to explore how businesses operate - and innovate - when offering a service that they know will remain necessary in perpetuity. There are many interesting angles to consider, which would make it easy to attract readers.
One of the simplest ways to attract greater talent to an industry is to ensure that people understand their talents are applicable. If people get a chance to read more news stories about agriculture and agrochemicals, they’ll see how they can contribute, when they might not have before.
At first glance, agriculture (and, of course, agrochemicals) and politics may not seem to have a tremendous amount to do with one another. When people think about global affairs and political issues, they tend to focus on subjects like war, the economy, and the justice system, to name a few. However, agriculture has a direct connection to all of these concerns, and this has been true for the entirety of human civilization.
It’s important to understand and appreciate this relationship. Whenever someone discusses the agrochemical industry, whether this person is an entrepreneur, investor, educator, or everyday citizen, he or she shouldn’t do so through a limited perspective. Farming is a major political issue, and by treating it as such, societies and countries can make better decisions about how to use agriculture to further their goals and provide for their citizens.
Keeping the People Happy
At the most basic level, the function of a society is to provide for the survival and, ideally, overall health and contentment of its citizens. In humankind’s early days, communities often formed tribes to achieve these ends. Today, we’re more accustomed to national governments being the organizing force behind a society. While these two incarnations of the same idea may not greatly resemble one another, they still share the common purpose of keeping their members as satisfied as possible with their lifestyles.
It’s fairly obvious that ensuring people remain fed is essential to running a successful society. Without enough food, a population can’t survive. Because of this, farms have played a major role in human civilization for thousands of years. For most of human history, agriculture has been the means by which a group produces its food. While countries have come a long way from the primitive tribes of the distant past, they still need to ensure that their agricultural foundation is robust and healthy.
Farms enable a country to fulfill its main purpose of caring for its citizens. When the people of a country are unhappy with their government’s inability to provide for their basic needs, crime, civil unrest, and economic struggle are all potential consequences. With this in mind, voters should consider a politician’s stance on issues like agricultural and agrochemical use before lending their support to a candidate. While this topic may not be popular on political talk shows or in newspaper editorials, it is, in fact, highly significant.
Improving International Relations
Whether it involves two rival tribes fighting over territory or several nations engaged in lengthy combat, conflict between societies has plagued civilization for all of recorded history. Though wars are fought for a variety of reasons, from conflicting ideological beliefs to territorial disputes, one of the most common reasons two societies engage in combat is simple: the need for key resources.
Many of the earliest wars stemmed from a limited amount of food available in a given region. Seeing no way to share the food evenly between them, tribes fought over this essential resource. Thousands of years later, a lack of resources is still a primary factor in whether countries declare war on one another.
The more effectively farms can grow food, the more food there will be to share. If all societies can provide for their citizens’ basic needs, then they will be free to improve their relations with one another. True, there will always be other factors that result in disagreement—claiming that efficient farms will eliminate war entirely is naïve—but with decreased competition for resources, there will be one fewer reason for nations to resort to armed combat.
The farms of today are immensely more productive than those of the early human tribes. Thanks to innovations like fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, we can protect our crops from illness and substantially boost the amount of food an individual farm can yield.
Moreover, the agricultural industry hasn’t stopped innovating. Developments ranging from precision agriculture (an approach to farming that involves using data, tools, and special techniques to maximize a farm’s efficiency) to unmanned drones that can monitor crops and distribute agrochemicals are all worth paying attention to. Political leaders, especially, should take note. Whether they serve on the board of a small town or negotiate treaties with other nations, elected officials should keep in mind that the more productive farms are, the easier it is to reduce conflict.
Again, not many people immediately link agriculture and politics, and this is something that needs to change. Educators should focus more on this topic in schools, and journalists should approach political coverage from this perspective more often. Society will no doubt benefit as a result.