Sustainable agriculture: market forces
Agriculture is among the key sectors of our economy that provides the basic needs, including food. Majority of people mainly depend on this sector for their livelihood. When it comes to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), this sector contributes the highest percentage. The study of agricultural education is therefore of highest importance in the growth and development of the country’s economy. For many years, it has been used to produce essential food crops. Today, it’s beyond just farming and it includes fruit cultivation, arbitrary, dairy, forestry, poultry, mushroom, bee keeping and much more. In addition to providing raw material and food, it also creates employment opportunities for many people. In regards to that, the importance of agricultural education can’t be ignored, and here are some of the benefits of studying agriculture.
1. Contributes to Economic Development
Since agriculture employs a large population, it contributes to the country’s economic development, hence improving the national income level and standard of living. The fast development rate in this sector provides progressive outlook and increased motivation for growth and development. It therefore helps to create better atmosphere for the country’s overall economic development. This means economic development mainly depends on agricultural growth rate.
2. Offers Great Employment Opportunities
Construction of drainage systems, irrigation schemes, and other agricultural activities is very important as it offers more employment opportunities to many people. For instance, in developing countries, this sector provides more opportunities to a huge labor force, hence reducing the high rate of unemployment caused by the fast-growing population.
3. Source of Livelihood
Agriculture is actually the main source livelihood for many people. About 70-percent of people directly depend on it as a mean of living. The higher percentage is because of lack proper development on other areas to absorb the fast-growing population across the world. In developed countries, however, don’t engage in agricultural activities.
4. Main Source of Raw Materials
Agriculture is also the main source of most raw materials used in various major industries, such as sugar, jute fabric and cotton, edible and non-edible oils. Additionally, many industries that process farm produce such as rice, vegetables and fruits get their raw materials from this sector.
5. Foreign Exchange Resources
The export trade of a country relies greatly on agricultural sector. For instance, agricultural commodities, such as raw cotton, oil-seeds, oil, coffee, spices, and tobacco just to mention a few accounts for approx. 18% of the country’s entire exports value. This shows that most products that come from agriculture can be a good source of earning foreign exchange for a country. It’s also the primary source of national income, especially for developing countries. For developed countries though, agriculture can contribute a small percentage to their national income.
6. Ensures Food Security
Since agriculture plays a role in the country’s economy, it can ensure food security for a nation if it’s stable. Food security comes with many benefits, including preventing malnutrition, which has been believed a major problem facing developing countries across the world. Many countries depend on agricultural products and associated industries as their main source of revenue.
With all these benefits, it’s now clear that the importance of agricultural education in the schools can’t be ignored. Studying agriculture in school doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to become a farmer. This sector typically comes with a lot of opportunities.
Most people just know coffee as the final product that is usually to brew the refreshing drink that is loved by many people especially in the morning. If you are a coffee lover and looking for professional quality automatic machine like Jura Impressa then you can check out the page www.coffeeonfleek.com/best-super-automatic-espresso-machines-reviews. But for that final product to be available there is a long process which involves harvesting and preparing the coffee. The coffee cherries come from a plant which is relatively short and grows in areas which are relatively wet. To grow this plant until it becomes a tree that is producing cherries is a process which needs great attention. Here is how to grow a coffee plant agriculture way.
The coffee plant comes from the coffee cherries which are kept on a seed bed until the seedlings come out. These cherries need to be dry before they are planted in the seed beds. The seed bed where the cherries are planted requires to be watered regularly so that germination can take place effectively. The watering should be determined by the type of soil and the type of coffee cherries. This is because there are different types of cherries and some of them do well in certain types of soil. The fresh beans take just two months to germinate but relatively older cherries can take even six months. The seed bed can even be in green houses where artificial light is provided to make the germination more effective. After the germination one should remove the seedlings which seem week. This is meant to give the ones that seem strong a chance to grow while getting all the necessary nutrients. The seedlings that remain on the seed bed should be taken care of for two to four months until they are strong enough to be transferred to a different location.
While transferring the newly germinated coffee plant from the seed bed to another location one should also take a certain quantity of soil from the seed bed. This means that the new plant should not be uprooted without caution. The importance of this is that the plant will need a bit of the soil from the seed bed to help it grow effectively. The soil at the new location might have certain qualities and therefore ax bit of the soil from the older location is needed to help the new plant get used to the new soil.
Besides planting the coffee cherries, one can also get a coffee plant through buying from people who usually sell these plants. Such people usually grow the plants with the intentions of selling them to interested farmers. Such people have more knowledge about the different types of coffee. They also know the most suitable types of soils that are suitable for different types of soils. Furthermore, they keep the seedlings in conditions that help the new plants grow more efficiently.
There are a number of things that one needs to do while taking care of a young coffee plant. One of these things includes watering the plant regularly. This is because the young plant needs a lot of water so that it can grow strong. It is also important to use the right fertilizers on the plant. The fertilizers provide the young plant with all the nutrients it needs. Chemicals to prevent the plant from infections and to keep away insects should also be used. After the plant has grown strong it is helpful to remove the unwanted branches which do not add value to the plant. Within three to four years the plant will grow strong and start producing cherries. Therefore, understanding how to grow a coffee plant agriculture way is important and can help one grow the plant effectively.
One of the areas that still holds a lot of potential for entrepreneurship yet does not lure a lot of the youth is agriculture. While most people are lured to tech entrepreneurship, agriculture business ideas are something that they miss out on. Not only that, with the fast paced world moving back to the importance of eating right, agriculture also makes for a glamorous area to be in. The competition is not always tough and the investment needed is relatively low. All of this holds even while the revenues and profits are great.
With the advent of organic farming and its growing popularity, the opportunities have increased manifold. Also, starting an agricultural business does not necessarily mean you have to fold up your sleeves get down to day-to-day actual farming. A lot of ideas can be implemented indoors. Here are the top 10 business ideas that can help you get started:
1. Livestock Feed
Farms are an important part of the agricultural sector and every farm has livestock to feed. As more farms are built, to cater to rising demand, the demand for livestock feed will also increase. This makes it a smart market to tap.
2. Production of Spices
These are the expensive components of a plate of food. Spices thus provide good margins. Also, organic and homemade spices are in high demand as people’s trust dies down on adulterated packaged spices that are widely available.
3. Soya Beans Processing
Soya bean makes for a great source of protein in the form of soy products and soya milk which is a great low-fat drink. It is easy to grow and sell and is thus a great product to start with.
If you are serious about the venture, you could look at packaging and export of agricultural produce. International demand for foreign agricultural products is rising as people are more connected than ever and looking for varied experiences.
5. Sun-Drying of Fruits
Sun-Drying may sound like an offbeat venture, but it is profitable nonetheless. Sun drying preserves the nutrients in fruits and vegetables and has demand in various types of industries from packaged soups and stews to bakeries and even snacks.
6. Mushroom Cultivation
Mushroom farming can be the most profitable business among agricultural businesses. They grow fast, in three weeks and have demand as they are used in a variety of cuisines.
7. Flowers & Herbs
Herbs have a great market and relatively low competition. Their uses are widely varied and their farming is not very complicated. It does not need expertise in farming methods. You can grow mushrooms as a part of your gardening.
8. Flour Milling
If you have a little to invest you can go in for building a flour mill at your home. You could easily start milling of grains wheat and corn into flour. A lot of local bakeries and food joints may be interested in the service.
9. Cashew Nut Processing
Cashew nuts are high cost yet in high demand and can yield good profits with simple processing as well as packaging.
10. Juices & Jams
Homemade juices & jams are fast growing in popularity and provide a great opportunity at branding. Your distinct flavors and blends can earn you good money.