The Importance of the Agriculture Industry
The Importance of the Agriculture Industry
Agriculture has been essential for human survival throughout history, and it remains the backbone of many nations’ economies. As the world has evolved and developed, the necessity of agriculture has also expanded far beyond the importance of farming to include key sub-sectors like forestry, beekeeping and more.
Reasons Why Agriculture Is Important
While most commonly associated with farming, the agriculture industry extends into food and related industries like forestry, fishing and hunting. This means the term “agricultural industry” can include any enterprise involved in growing crops, raising animals, logging wood or harvesting fish, such as dairy farms, ranches, hatcheries, orchards, greenhouses and more. As the main source of food supply, raw material and livelihood for so many, agriculture is an essential industry.
Although many people in developed countries do not directly engage with the agriculture industry as much, agriculture still serves as the main source of raw materials for other key industries, such as:
- Edible and non-edible oils
Many other food industries depend on agriculture as well. Specifically, industries involved in rice husking and the processing of vegetables and fruits look to agriculture for their raw material.
As the world continues to change and advance technologically, agricultural practices are being used in even more industries and areas of study like food science, packaging and agricultural engineering. For example, knowledge of how soil responds to its environment can be used to improve the quality of sports fields. Additionally, agriculture has become especially important within the realm of sustainability and climate regulation, which will be discussed further in later sections.
Agriculture’s Everyday Value
Whether you notice it or not, agriculture is a crucial part of everyday life. The most important aspect of the agriculture industry may be that it is the source of the world’s food supply. Considering that agriculture is responsible for everything from harvesting crops to raising livestock, the agriculture industry meets the daily food needs of vegetarians and carnivores alike. Whether your milk came from a dairy farm or your salmon came from a hatchery, everything you consume can be traced back to agriculture in some way.
Because agriculture has such a profound impact on food security, a nation with a stable agricultural sector has a reliable food supply and generally better health. Food security is essential because it guards against malnourishment, which is one of the biggest issues facing developing countries. Countries struggling with food insecurity and severe malnourishment typically have weaker agriculture sectors. When a nation’s agriculture sector is thriving, however, fewer of its citizens go hungry.
Most countries also depend on agricultural products and agriculture’s associated industries as their main source of income. Agriculture is also a major provider for many individuals’ sources of livelihood. Along with providing food and proper nourishment, agriculture grants about 1 billion people worldwide employment each year. Specifically, more than 22 million Americans are employed in the agriculture industry, which means one in 12 American jobs is rooted in agriculture.
With about 28% of the world’s population working in agriculture, the industry is vital for keeping the international economy operating smoothly each day. As a reliable source of life and an honest source of income, the importance of agriculture in everyday life can hardly be overstated.
As agriculture is deeply connected with natural resources, the agriculture industry has the power to heal the environment when operating responsibly. One of the primary ways farmers and other agriculture industry workers can protect the environment is through practicing agricultural biodiversity.
Agricultural biodiversity refers to the variety and variability of animals, plants and other organisms in regard to genetics, ecosystem and species. Because agriculture biodiversity involves managing biological resources wisely, it benefits both farmers and the Earth.
Greater biodiversity supports the natural cycle of life and leads to healthier soil, better water conservation, less erosion and healthier pollinators. Along with these advantages, genetic diversity through agricultural biodiversity increases organisms’ tolerance to high temperatures, drought, frost and water-logging, which is key to equipping organisms with the ability to evolve and adapt to shifting environments. In fact, research has shown that farms with more crop diversity are more resilient to climate change than single-crop farms.
By providing agricultural workers with more stable, adaptable and resilient soil, agricultural biodiversity can support sustainability and bolster food security. If farmers prioritize agriculture biodiversity, they can protect the ecosystem and their growing environment to maximize soil fertility and produce a greater harvest. For instance, planting crops that require different nutrients at different times allows the land to organically replenish itself between seasons.
Overall, maintaining agricultural biodiversity is critical for the sustainable production of agricultural goods and maintaining natural resources, food security and livelihoods. Taking care of the environment ensures the availability of resources and healthy ecosystems for future farming and agricultural practices. In this sense, our existence relies on environmentally conscious agricultural biodiversity.
Economic Benefits of Agriculture Industry
The agriculture industry offers an expansive range of economic benefits, both domestically and internationally. By playing a major role in a nation’s revenue and international trade prospects, raw materials from agriculture generate a significant portion of the national income for any country. For example, agriculture and related industries contributed over $1 trillion to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States in 2017.
A thriving agricultural sector leads to marketable surplus and a reliable source of food for those engaged in non-agricultural industries that advance the nation’s development. Those not in the agriculture industry can get their food supply from the nation’s marketable surplus, which will increase as the agricultural sector continues to develop. As the marketable surplus expands even further, the agricultural goods will be able to be exported to other countries.
While developed countries don’t rely on agriculture quite as much as they have in the past, developing countries still bring in the majority of their national income from agricultural exports. By providing desirable agricultural products for international trade, developing countries can increase foreign exchange and gain imports like machinery and other materials to help them further develop. Agricultural products such as tea, coffee, spices and sugar are some of the main exports from countries that depend on agriculture.
A growing agricultural sector also offers a greater amount of solid employment opportunities to improve a country’s job market. The many types of activities required to keep the agriculture industry up and running, such as constructing irrigation schemes, put more jobs on the market that help decrease the unemployment rate. An abundance of job opportunities is especially beneficial for developing countries with a fast-growing population — a stable job market can increase the national income level and elevate people’s standard of living. In this sense, a nation’s economic development depends on its agricultural sector’s growth rate.
Become a Member of AED to Learn More About the Agriculture Industry
If you deal with the agriculture industry, take a step toward being a leader in your field by becoming a member of Associated Equipment Distributors (AED). Because agriculture equipment manufacturers play a significant role in shaping the agriculture industry, it’s important for equipment manufacturers to stay current on industry developments. AED members receive a wide variety of services and business development opportunities at a reduced rate.
As an AED member, you can experience enhanced profitability and success thanks to the high-quality products AED provides — such as industry education and training, career development and public policy advocacy. One of the most valuable resources AED offers is Construction Equipment Distribution (CED) Magazine, the best industry magazine for learning what is going on with your industry peers. By helping individual businesses succeed, AED creates a strong community of equipment manufacturers to make a positive and lasting impact on the industry.