Farming is an economic sector, aimed at providing the population with food and getting raw materials for a number of industries. The sector is one of the most important and represented in almost all countries. Globally, farming employs about 1 billion of the economically active population (EAP).
The problems of farming are, directly or indirectly, related to such sciences as agronomy, animal husbandry, land reclamation, crop production, forestry, and many others.
The emergence of farming in the means of production is related to so-called “Neolithic revolution,” which began about 12,000 years ago and led to the emergence of the productive economy and the subsequent development of civilization.
The role of farming in the economy of a country or region reveals its structure and the level of its development. As an indicator of the role of farming in the economy of a state, the share of employment of economically active population in farming is used. These figures are quite high in most developing countries, where farming employs more than half of EAP. In these countries, farming is on the stage of the extensive development, which implies the increase in production achieved by the expansion of acreage, cattle herds, and the number of persons employed in the sector. Usually, the countries with agricultural economies have low rates of mechanization, chemicals, irrigation and so on.
The developed countries of Europe and North America, entered the post-industrial stage, show the highest level of farming efficiency. The part of EAP engaged in farming is only 2-6%. In these countries the “green revolution” took place in the middle of the twentieth century. Farming in this group of countries is characterized by scientifically based organization, increased productivity, the use of new technologies, systems, agricultural machinery, pesticides and fertilizers, the use of genetic engineering and biotechnology, robotics and electronics, that develops in an intensive way.
Farming has a greater impact on the environment than any other sector of the economy. The reason for this is that farming requires huge space. As a result, farming changed the landscapes of whole continents, such as a completely changed Great China Plain, where once grew subtropical forest, transforming into the Ussuri taiga in the north, and into the jungles of Indochina in the south.
This practice proved unstable, leading to a number of local and regional environmental disasters.
Thus, incorrect reclamation has caused salinization and loss of most of the arable land in Mesopotamia, wide plowing caused dust storms in Kazakhstan and the United States, grazing and agriculture has led to desertification in the Sahel zone of Africa.
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