Agricultural mortgage loans have an important role in the development of mortgage loan financing. Before the onset of industrial revolution, people used to opt for rural mortgage loans on a regular basis. However, after the industrial revolution and the development of real estate properties, the mortgage companies shifted their stress from a rural mortgage loan to a residential property mortgage or home mortgage loan. The downfall in agricultural growth has further pushed the market farther away from the agricultural mortgage loans.This situation has led the governmental economic policies to take serious steps for reviving agricultural mortgage finance. The efforts from both the governmental and private financial sectors have built new structure of agricultural loans, keeping in mind the changing demands of the new age farmers.A mortgage loan is a kind of loan that can provide you with a considerable amount of money by taking any property as the security of that loan. An agricultural mortgage loan is one which uses the borrower’s agricultural property as the collateral for the loan. This means, if after taking an agricultural mortgage loan you fail to pay it off, then the agricultural property that has been given as the security for the loan, can be seized by the lender.The agricultural mortgage loans can help you in both purchasing a new property and developing the existing one. The lenders offer this loan to buy new lands for farming, or to buy new machineries to improve the production rate of the current business. Few rural mortgage loans offered by the rural mortgage lenders provide a lump sum to start agricultural business with lower interest rates. This is done mainly with an aim to encourage people to invest in agricultural business and thus to strengthen the national agricultural growth. There are specialized agricultural mortgage lenders for this particular proposition.The interest rates offered by a lender can be of varied interest rates and of different term periods. The principal amount is generally decided through a property evaluation of the rural land by the lender. In most of these cases, any location with good commute flexibility plays a more important role than the total production value of the land or property. The mortgage interest rates can be both of fixed rate and variable rate. The repayment options also can be of different types; for example you can choose interest only mortgage loans to pay only the interest amount for initial period. The tenure period can be stretched from one year to 30 years.A rural mortgage loan is highly flexible and comes up with loan refinancing option. As you refinance a loan you take a new loan to avail more suitable terms and conditions than the previous loan. This applies in case of tenure period or interest rate or other rules and regulations. For example, if your current mortgage loan has a high interest rate, you can refinance mortgage loan to avail a lower interest rate. With a refinance loan you can also stretch up or shorten the tenure period of your existing agricultural mortgage loan. However it is always advisable to do a thorough research and opt for a suitable lender before choosing the best of the agricultural mortgage loans.
As a very important role of world economy, China has made a tremendous achievement of utilizing foreign investment since the reform and opening up. China’s agriculture began to utilize foreign investment in the end of 70’s, when the reform and opening up just started. Agriculture is one of the earliest industries to utilize foreign investments. The new government has been paying unprecedented attention to agriculture due to its strategic position in the development of economy in China. Then Documents about agriculture has been issued again by the authorities in 2005. Solving the problems facing agriculture, rural areas and farmers has been the most important task for the government. Therefore, under the background that more and more attention has been paid to agriculture, it has both theoretical and practical significance to study how to expand, introduce and utilize foreign-investment effectively and efficiently to promote agricultural modernization, industrialization and internationalization.This article is composed of four parts to discuss the central topic “Utilization of Foreign Investments in Agriculture of China”.1. The background, purpose, significance, content and methodology of this study are introduced and an overview of the past and current studies and researches is presented. Besides, the basic theories of agriculture utilizing foreign investments are summarized.2. The characteristics of agriculture utilizing foreign investments in China are summarized according to its development, status quo and problems existing in the developing process. Moreover, the model of FDI’s contribution to agriculture economic growth is set up to analyze relations between agricultural GDP and FDI in agriculture. Also, we sets up a multivariate regression model of FDI and its influence factors such as the level of agriculture economic development, human capital, the extent of agricultural internationalization and investment climate, etc. The quantitative analysis can provide the data support for government policy.3. Through introducing the international experiences and lessons of agriculture utilizing investment in developed countries (America and Korea) and in developing countries (Thailand, India, Brazil and Indonesia), some inspirations have been drawn for investment utilization in our agriculture.4. Based on the theoretical and empirical analysis of the status quo, problems and the influence factors of agriculture utilizing foreign investments, learning its international experiences and lessons, we comes up with some concluding remarks and policy suggestions as follows: agriculture in China should further strengthen the development and exploit market potential; improve agricultural investment climate and upgrade the superiority of introducing foreign capital; intensify high-quality foreign investments introduction and increase the utilizing efficiency; enhance the supervision and control of both domestic and foreign markets as well as establish and consummate rules and regulations.
I want to clear some things up and challenge readers’ thinking on the concerns and comments about agriculture and raising livestock being nothing more than a money-making sector of the economy. I’ve noted several comments about this in a number of sites, not to mention articles that claim that “farmers just raise their animals/crops because they’re looking for a profit.” I never exactly questioned the why’s and wherefore’s of these comments until now.Why is it that people think and believe that farms and farming is merely a money-making venture, or that farmers (who I prefer to call producers) raise livestock like cattle just to make a profit off of them?? Also, why is there such negativity and bitterness surrounding the fact that producers growing crops and raising livestock do it to not feed themselves but to make money?? I don’t get it, coming from a farming background myself I just can’t get my head around the reason for people to carelessly throw that out there and expect everyone to take it as fact.Producers in North America are focused on making money, not food, but… The problem is that it’s really only partly fact. And what most don’t realize, especially those who are generations removed from the farm, is that in most if not all agricultural enterprises, very little to no true profit has been made. Yes, the very thing that we producers end up with at the end is money in the pocket, because the farms we run are done so as a business (except for the urbanites’ hobby farms), but this money we get is gross profit or income, NOT net profit or just plain profit. To say that people farm or raise livestock just to make a profit is really an outright lie. It’s also a show of ignorance and misunderstanding about finances because there is far more to it than what people might think.When a producer calculates profit, he cannot ever figure that he is making money simply by the check he gets from the barley grain or cattle he sold. This often-yearly cheque that he gets is what gross profit or income is all about. Net profit is determined when all of his expenses that he has incurred from the farm’s operations are subtracted to the income he received from what he sold. Income should never be confused with profit, because income is really the money that comes into a business after a product is sold, excluding expenses. Profit or Net Profit, however, is money that is left over after all expenses are deducted from gross profit. If no income is left over after all expenses are deducted, it is called Net Loss.Expenses for the average farm are primarily fertilizer, fuel and feed. Fuel and fertilizer are the biggest costs to a farm, such expenses often exceeding $5,000 per acre per year. Most farms in North America that are not hobby farms are over 100 acres in size. So, expenses in total would and could be well over $500,000 per year. It’s not common for income in farms to exceed this amount. If it does, it’s not by very much, just enough to break-even.Despite these figures the fire-storm in the media and non-agricultural people alike still continues about producers “doing it for the money.”Farming in North America is indeed a business and thus a “money-making” venture. It is definitely not subsistence agriculture because the people who grow crops and raise livestock are not raising them to feed themselves and their families, but to feed others who cannot or will not grow crops or raise livestock to feed themselves. Thus instead it is known as “commercial” agriculture and consequently, a business just like any small businesses that do not focus on grain, milk, meat, wool, eggs, fruits and vegetables as the end product. So why does it seem like people think that agriculture should not be treated like a business and a money-making venture just like any other business?And what other reasons are there that may be the cause for people to accuse those who farm to just “do it for the money”?Answer: Misunderstanding could be part of the problem.That has to be it. In Canada we have about 95% of the population who are so far removed from agriculture they have never seen a cow, horse, pig, chicken, goat, sheep, or donkey in real life before and have never had to experience the hard work that goes in to making a farm tick. It’s these people that are easily mislead by extremists and the media who put blame on the few people who abuse and mistreat their animals, and are lead to assume that it happens all across the country. This is no different south of the border where 98% of the population are urbanites and/or have no farm experience whatsoever.I have been taught by close family and friends that there are people out there to get you. And that doesn’t limit those suburbanites who constantly worry about criminals sneaking into their home and stealing their jewelery, it’s a big problem for farmers who have to deal with the constant bureaucratic, politically correct, Disney-ized BS that comes from the media, animal rights extremist groups, environmental extremist groups, and the general population who get suckered in to this vortex of brainwashing, hypocritical misinformation and half-truths. No wonder it gets so confusing and overwhelming for those trying to sort the false truths from the REAL truths!The thing many people don’t understand is that farming has never been nor will ever be a non-for-profit, must-rely-on-donations kind of thing. Farming doesn’t rely on having to warp and manipulate people by taking advantage of their emotions in order to open their pocket books like what PeTA and HSUS does in order for them to wreak more havoc on the very people who are relied on to make food for us. Farming relies on hard work, the weather, Mother Nature, and the fact that the sun will pop up on the horizon every morning or the clouds will dump enough rain to make the crops and pasture plants grow. It doesn’t rely on brainwashing the general public into believing the web of lies and half-truths spun by them to get more money out of gullible people. As a matter of fact farming has really minded its own business and kept help bringing food to the table to millions of families until these lobby groups showed up.(Not saying it’s a bad thing though, as I have to give credit to these lobby groups for pointing out the bad and helping improve the practices, management and care involved in producing crops and raising livestock!)But you know what? Despite giving some credit to PeTA, HSUS, Sierra and a few other extremist groups out there, I would really love to know what these groups do with all that money they get from people who want to “support the cause.” Where does it go? Does it just get pocketed, or does it get used up by operational expenses, or is it used up for something more sinister that these groups (or at least some of them) wish to never disclose? Hmmm…I know one thing though: I certainly know what farmers and producers do with the paycheck they get at the end of every year.Nothing is for FreeNow for those of you who are still chomping at the bit to challenge me further with this monetary issue, let me throw something out there for you to chew on, just to put things into perspective. If you had no outside job and could not rely on donations nor could set up a trust fund or donation package where you could rely on people to practically give you the money, how would you run a farm and take care of your animals? How would you be able to pay for veterinary bills, fuel for the tractor, fertilizer, supplemental feed in the form of loose mineral or salt blocks and/or feed grain for those animals that won’t gain much on hay, feed like hay, repair bills on machinery, building new buildings, fences or corrals? Or what about paying taxes, personal expenses, electricity, water and heating bills? The answer is you would not be able to farm nor take care of your animals at all. You’d have the SPCA knocking at your door with a request to surrender your animals over to them because you don’t have enough money to feed or water them and they’re getting thinner by the day.That money producers get after selling their crops, selling their cattle has to go back into the expenses that are generated by farm operations. Someone with half a brain can figure that out. Farmers cannot produce food for free because… ready for it? NOTHING IS FOR FREE. I mentioned above how much money that should be expected to come out of a producer’s pockets just to raise some grain; similar thing applies to those who raise animals, whether it’s on a ranch or in CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations). It’s pouring more salt in the wound when you get people assuming that their food, especially animal products like meat, milk and eggs, can be produced for free, or in other words the farmers and producers get nothing in return for producing and taking off and essentially selling the end product off their farms or ranches. I don’t get that. Why would anybody be stupid and foolish enough to think up something like that?? Can’t folks understand that anything that goes into a farming operation is NOT for free?? Feed, fuel, fertilizer, and a whole host of other expenses, really add up!! Those things are not for free, not in any way, shape or form! And yet people are so belligerent and hateful about the fact that a farmer makes a ton of money on their end product. It’s bad enough that people are so frickin’ negative about agriculture and farming, but to turn around and imply that food should be produced for free or for nothing in return just makes it worse.And you know what, I think farmers have the most thankless job in the world. You rarely get any random person stop by at a farm and thank them for keep their tummies full every day, if ever. Instead you’re more likely to get some nosy person tell you that your dairy cows are starving to death out on fresh green pasture or wanting to give you heck for leaving a “dead” horse or cow out on the “field” (which is actually just sleeping away in the sun.) Or even worse, some new cityslicker wannabe-country-bum neighbor threatening to sue you because of the smell and noise that’s coming from your farm and fields surrounding their little acreage. And you think that farming can survive without getting anything in return–even monetarily? Not a chance. Sometimes I like to tell people who get too carried away with their little rants about agriculture something to the effect of: “If you hate agriculture that much, why do you even eat? Why do you even bother putting food in your mouth if you’re going to be that spiteful to those people who worked so hard to put food on your plate?” or, “Why don’t you start producing your own food if you think you can do it better than the farmers that have done it for a millennium?” Really, it’s true: Farmers don’t get much thanks, if at all, so the only “thanks” they can really get is the yearly income they receive when they sell the grain, livestock, eggs or milk they’ve worked so hard to produce. And where does all that income go? Right back into the farm and its operations, of course!!You know it’s really funny how people can be so prejudiced, belligerent and convoluted about this very topic, and yet these same people that have jobs and make a lot of money never get to see their money getting put into things to help produce food. Instead they spend it on vehicles and RVs, huge houses, house parties, expensive decorations and furniture and many other things that don’t give a dime right back at the end of the year. Instead they put more of their money into things that take more of their money away. And then you get the other end of the spectrum where you get people who rely on welfare cheques from the government because they can’t move their lazy rears to work and earn money for themselves!! How hypocritical!! And these people, I find it amazing that they are able to sit there and bash farmers with their mouths full of the very food that those farmers busted their asses and saved every penny–never spending any of it on the expensive junk that this person with a high-paying office job was able to get, nor even relying on the monthly welfare cheque to sustain them–to produce the food that gets put on that person’s plate. What a shame. And these people expect farmers to produce food without making a “huge profit” at the end of every year?! Boy I would love to have one of these folks try to produce food or raise livestock (and raise them more humanely than what they see the average farm do) without spending a single penny!!Agriculture… it’s a Way of LifeHave you ever wondered why only 2% of the population in the US and 5% of the population in Canada are directly involved in agriculture? It’s because it’s something that can’t be made easily like it can in an air-conditioned office, and it’s something that most people don’t like: little profit and hard work, respectively. Most people choose to live in the cities and have an “easy-paying job” because they would rather have it easy than have to spend a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get something that accounts for 10% satisfaction in the end. Yes, my friends, agriculture and farming is hard work, it is the ultimate definition of hard work, just like any other primary-industry job is. On a farm, especially one with livestock, you are working 7 days a week 365 days a year, with no holiday pay, no benefits, and definitely no chance for a holiday-getaway.Is an office, white-collar job considered a way-of-life as a career? I know most of you would answer no; most who work as a white-collar worker do it for the money. I wouldn’t doubt that even most blue-collar workers who don’t take their job with a passion do it just to gain a bit of income and because they don’t like being stuck in an office all day. But of course you get those blue-collared workers who love their job and do it because they wouldn’t have it any other way, regardless of the pay. But are those blue-collared jobs considered a way of life in the same way that farming is? My biased and opinionated answer is no.Why, you may ask? Basically it’s this: no other career or job involves working with the land and the environment in such a way that agriculture does. Forestry involves mainly cutting down timber to be made into wood products. Mining and quarrying involve taking minerals, rocks and stones out of the earth. Silviculture is merely planting trees and watching them grow. Agriculture, however, is seeding, growing and harvesting grains, caring for and raising livestock in such a way that you help with bringing newborns into the world, making sure they are healthy as they grow and watching them grow into big, strong animals, and feeding them and treating them if they get ill. You quite literally get to work along side Mother Nature every day, helping do what she does best in the wild, doing it because you have a compassion for seeing things grow and watching the life cycle play itself out right before your very eyes. Now tell me: how can that not get into your blood?I know I may be romanticizing things a bit and I apologize for doing so, but my point in all of this is that agriculture is more than a sector of the economy, it’s a way of life for those few people who are lucky enough to experience it. You get a different perspective of the world when you’re sitting up high in a tractor or on a horse, and you get to be a part of what makes the natural, un-urbanized part of the world tick.So what really makes agriculture a way of life? It’s the passion, the 10% satisfaction in the end after having to go through the 90% hard work, the risks and rewards, the gamble and payoffs, the mistakes you make and how you learn the hard way from them. It’s Nature, the ability to own and raise animals that are otherwise illegal to have in most cities and towns, the pride you feel when you get to where you want to go, the hardships you experience that almost brings you to your knees, and the heartache you feel when you lose something you’ve worked so hard to gain. It’s a life less, really, that teaches you a lot about patience, stubbornness, humbleness, peace, death, hard work, how life’s never easy, how the animals we raise perceive us and see the world, if we’re lucky enough and wise enough to see it. I could go on, really, as the list is endless. It can be so hard to fully describe to the average person on the street who have never been directly involved in agriculture how it isn’t just about the money and how it’s a way of life. I guess that should be left up to us producers to explain that to folks to the best of our ability.Money is important for everyone, regardless of their career, background, ethnicity, religion, race or gender. So there’s really no reason why people must think that agriculture should not be any different. Producers have to spend money to make money; they’d don’t make money to spend it.A Final WordMost people in North America take buying things for granted so much that they often lose sight of how businesses like farms are run and why things must be “done for the money.” People can be so cruel and yet so gullible it’s sad and frustrating at the same time. It’s always due to misinformation, propaganda from extremist groups dictating how we should run our lives or what we should put in our mouths, half-truths, and the media displaying things–such as inhumane treatment of animals like dairy cows–in such a way that makes people think it’s a common thing when in most cases the opposite is true. These same people are able to spout out how farming is so cruel and inhumane and it should be this and should be that. And yet, when you put them in a real-life farming environment and get them to see how things are done and why they are done, they suddenly get their eyes opened up, hopefully enough that they wouldn’t dare shoot off their mouth about how bad farming is ever again.It’s so easy to lay blame on something we’ve created when it’s ourselves we need to be pointing at. We’ve created our own monster being civilization and urbanization that helps lose sight of what the real world is all about, where our food really comes from and how it gets to our plate. There is so much misunderstanding about the fact that farmers can’t produce food for free because nothing is for free. It’s time to put a halt to this misunderstanding and get people to wake up and really start to see what agriculture is really about. That can start by getting people, like you my readers, to make an effort to thank a farmer for producing the food your are able to eat, because without them, without those people that have the most selfless job in the world, we wouldn’t exist on such a grand scale as we do today.
The “Chinese economic miracle” seems to have captured the whole world’s attention, especially when it comes to production, manufacturing, sourcing, FDI inflow to China etc’. But do we know about the biggest sector in the Chinese labour market – the agricultural sector?The PRC inherited a ruined country, exhausted from both man made disasters such as warlords, civil wars, occupation, and natural disasters, droughts, famine, and floods.During the Mao era, the Chinese government carried out a wide ranging land reform in the rural areas. Farmers with little or no land were given land of their own, significantly arousing their enthusiasm for production. Overall in Mao’s period, China’s agriculture developed slowly, with some golden times such as 1953-57 when the yearly gross output increased by 4.5% on average.Under Mao, the conceptual role of agriculture was imperative. The Chinese farmer was basically the equivalent to the Soviet blue collar proletarian, thus the importance of the farmers in the class struggle was fundamental.After 1978 and under the reforms, China introduced the household contract responsibility system, linking remuneration to output, and started to dismantle the people’s commune system, eliminating the links between organizations of state power and economic organizations. Contracting land out to farmers altered the distribution form of land and mobilized the farmers’ enthusiasm for production. As a result, for six years following 1978, agricultural output grew more than twice as fast as the average growth rate over the previous twenty five years.The reforms made the market play a basic role in adjusting supply and demand situation for agricultural products and allocating resources, and aroused the farmers’ creativeness and enthusiasm for production.On the whole, the reformist thrust of China’s economic policy since 1978 has benefited agriculture, as it has benefited the economy in general. Nevertheless, after 30 years of reforms, the sector is still behind most of the other sectors in the Chinese economy.The economic and political role of agriculture in contemporary China -1. Food security. In an extremely large and populated country like China, the concept of food security is fundamentally important. The task of feeding its people has been perhaps the first priority of its rulers throughout history.2. Political and social stability. The farmers of China are known to have a “rebellious spirit”, which is well documented in the history books. When famine, war, or other extreme conditions took place, the farmers of China, whom use to be the majority of the population, and remain to be the largest group of China’s people, chose to strike. Thus, there is a consensus that there is no stability without the farmers / agriculture, and in order to avoid “da luan” – big chaos, the farmers must be kept quiet and content. At present still, the farmers of China are the largest, yet under-represented group, which holds the keys to stability in China.3. Employment tool. The concept of agriculture as an employment tool in China is a bit of a paradox. On the one hand there is a massive scale of labour surplus in the agricultural sector, resulting in underemployment or even unemployment. On the other hand, agriculture remains to be the biggest sector responsible for the employing feeding, and consequently keeping social and political order of around 60% of China’s population.4. GDP share. The reforms in the early 1980s initially increased the relatively share of the agricultural sector. The share of agricultural output in the total GDP rose from 30% in 1980 to 33% in 1983. Since then, however, the share of agriculture in the total GDP has fallen fairly steadily, and by 2003 it was only 14%. These figures indicate a relatively small share of the agricultural sector, nevertheless a noteworthy one in the overall performance of the Chinese economy.What are the main obstacles to the agricultural sector in China than?1. Natural resources and disasters. At the beginning of the 21st century, China has still to face and deal with a number of severe ecological / environmental problems, some are the consequences of human mistakes, and some are simply a result of “mother nature’s” course. The main problems are water supply, i.e. shortage, wastage and quality. In the agricultural context, irrigation is likely to be the most important factor.2. Education. Chinese policy documents state that national modernization depends on accelerating quantity-quality transition in the countryside, because a large “low quality” rural populace hinders progression from tradition, poverty and agrarianism to modernity and prosperity.3. Technology. The standard of a country’s agriculture is appraised, first and foremost, by the competence of its farmers. Poorly trained farmers are not capable of applying advanced methods and new technologies. Deng Xiaoping always stressed the prominent of science and technology in the development of agriculture. He said – “The development of agriculture depends first on policy, and second on science. There is no limit to developments in science and technology, nor to the role that they can play….in the end it may be that science will provide a solution to our agricultural problems”.Accordingly, China is seeking technology transfer in the agricultural sector, formed by joint ventures with international collaborators.4. Limited investment from government. Between the Second and Fifth five-year plan periods (1958-1962 and 1976-1980), agriculture’s share of capital construction and other relevant forms of investment made available by the state remained a little over 10%. In 1998 agriculture and irrigation accounted, respectively, for less thsn 2% and 3.5% of all state construction investment.5. Limited inflow of FDI – foreign direct investment. Most sectors in China enjoy an enormous inflow of FDI, which particularly helped in 2 dimensions – technology transfer and capital availability. The lack of an outside funding, accompanied with a reduced local funding contributed to the deterioration of the agricultural sector.In conclusion, the agricultural sector in China, unlike other sectors in the Chinese economy, is still rather under developed, and requires a substantial boost from both the local and the international community. It is my prediction than, that more and more foreign investors will discover its enormous potential and act accordingly.
If you are into agriculture and have farm land as well as livestock then there is a high probability that at some point in time you might need an agricultural loan. There are several different types of agricultural loans available including specific loans for farm land, live stock, and any other agriculture related requirement. But the question is how to obtain agricultural loans?If you require agricultural loans then there are certain aspects to consider before you can obtain the loan. The different aspects include:Business Plan: As an existing farmer or a new farmer applying for agricultural loans, the first step is to prepare a detailed business plan that will throw light on the cash flow forecasts for the near future. The projection of the cash flow in your business plan will help your lender to understand how much loan you require and how much you are capable of paying back. You can pick up a copy of Business Plans for Agricultural Producers from the Texas Cooperative Extension Service for $1.25 and read through it to understand how to make a well-projected and detailed business plan for the loans.Compare terms: There are several financial institutions that offer agricultural loans and each institution has its own rates and minimum loan amount. Before you apply for agricultural loans it is always a good idea to compare the various aspects of the loan like lending terms, minimum amount, scheduled payment period, marginal payment options and much more. You can compare the above information offered by banks, financial institutions, and Farm Credit Associations over the internet.State Agricultural Finance programs: Most US states offer several state agricultural finance programs while some of the states offer at least one loan program. State agricultural finance or loan programs include everything from farmer loans to short-term farm land loans, disaster recovery loans, livestock loans, agri-business loans, equipment loans, seasonal loans, and much more. One of the popular state agricultural finance programs is the Aggie Bond Beginning Farmer Loan Program. This program is currently available in 17 states and helps new farmers to obtain loans at reduced rates for livestock, buying land, etc. You can find details on agricultural loans and state agricultural finance programs at the National Council of State Agricultural Finance Programs.Commercial lenders: You can check the various offerings by commercial lenders like banks and financial institutions as well. There are several commercial lenders who specialize in different types of agricultural loans. There are approximately 2,500 farm banks all across US that offer agricultural loans at good interest rates. You can also check out with banks because they offer more farm loans than any Farm Credit System in the US.U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) or Federal Government: Several types of agricultural loans are offered by USDA or the Federal government. You can pay them a visit if you are unable to get commercial credit or if you are unable to get the loan amount that you require for a specific agricultural requirement. There are several loan and farm land finance programs offered by the USDA Farm Service Agency.
Civilization began with agriculture, our nomadic ancestors settled once they began to grow their own food. Agriculture refers to the production of goods through growing of plants, animals and other life forms on land. As of 2006, 45 percent of the world’s population is employed in agriculture. However, the relative significance of farming has dropped since the beginning of industrialization. Even though agriculture employs one-third of the world’s population, agricultural produce accounts for less than 5 percent of the gross world product.Agriculture is important for not only providing food but also for providing raw materials for other industries like textile, sugar, jute, vegetable oil and tobacco. Besides being an occupation for people, agriculture is also a way of living. Most of the world’s customs and culture revolve around agriculture. A number of festivals and holidays around the world are in conjunction with reaping or harvesting or any other aspect of farming. It increases the supply of food and tax revenue to the government. “Investable surplus” is generated which further can be expanded to other industries and provides foreign exchange.Due to the apparent abundance of food owing to technologies for growing, transporting and storage; modern day human has overlooked the fundamental dependence on agriculture. Agriculture provides nutrition which is a key determinant of health; it alleviates poverty and individual livelihood. Some other benefits are:
o Water – agricultural crops are the largest users of fresh water. Forests maintain the groundwater we draw from for our everyday uses. Husbandry affects the health of coastal waters.
o Energy – wood is a major source of fuel and energy. Modern biomass plants are fast growing in most countries. These provide clean energy and also aid economic growth.
o Health – agriculture provides nutrition to humans. We cannot live on meat, milk and poultry for more than 2 days without consuming grains or vegetables or fruits. Imagine what lack of agriculture could do to us.
o Biodiversity – ecological balances are maintained, changed or destroyed by agriculture alone. These are critical to sustaining development and health of our planet.
o Climatic changes – reduced agricultural growth adversely affects climate. Extreme events and ecological dysfunction will ultimately affect our planet and the human race.It is a vicious cycle where environmental degradation is affecting agricultural productivity and agricultural practices are affecting the environment. To conclude agriculture, agricultural science and technology aids in reducing hunger, improving livelihood and increasing economic growth.Indigenous and local agricultural practices need to be used along with scientific research and developments. There should be a co-ordination of international scientific programs for enhancing agriculture and agricultural produce. Policies and technologies that are conducive to sustainable use of natural resources must be shared internationally. It is imperative to alleviate hunger and look for the causes of nutritional insecurity and degraded natural resources. Productivity of crops, livestock and fisheries need to increased in a socially and environmentally sustainable manner which is acceptable to both the farmers as well as the consumers. Agriculture is an important aspect of every society for its social, economic and environmental growth.
The agriculture business delivers all types of foods such as meat and milk to everyone in society. Students can learn about crop and livestock farming by studying the industry through online agriculture schools and colleges. Online training can be pursued at several degree levels allowing students to enter their desired career.The industry has seen a significant growth in technology use in recent years, which makes completing an education extremely beneficial if not imperative for interested students. Online training incorporates many fields to prepare students for professional work. Biology and chemistry are focused on to prepare students to understand plant promotion and livestock manufacturing. Students are also taught how to integrate new concepts with existing ones to better maintain the business. Many career opportunities are available to students that earn a degree. Some possible career options include:
Students can enter these careers and more after completing the correct degree program. Online education options for career training in agriculture include an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree program.Students that complete an associate’s degree program will gain a foundation in agriculture. Most programs prepare students to become technicians in the field by teaching them how to correctly operate the equipment and machines used for farming. The business of agriculture and understanding soil composition is also highly focused on. Common courses taken at this level of education could include:
Students can expect to understand the hazards of the business and how to promote safety on the job. Livestock and heavy machinery are key areas that are studied in a safety course. Other areas explored may include pesticides, the nature of soils, and ecosystems.Bachelor’s degree programs give students the most career opportunities upon completion. Multiple concentration areas can be entered that focus on areas such as agricultural business management or industry marketing. Programs typically emphasize specific parts of the field like food production, soil science, and plant cultivation. Common coursework that can be found in all concentration areas may include:
Microeconomics for Agriculture
Courses help students understand the chemical and biological make up of soil, plant growth, and crop performance. This wide knowledge base allows students to pursue careers in management, technology, and business.Students that continue education by completing a master’s degree program have the opportunity to step into careers where they conduct research or teach others about agriculture. Students explore many areas, which include courses in biological engineering, organic agriculture, and agribusiness. Other online course topics that may be examined include:
Students are able to step into careers in areas that include government, science, management, and engineering. Soil composition specialists and agricultural policymakers are some career possibilities for students that complete training at the master’s degree level.Online education allows students to work from home and enter their desired career. Enrolling in an accredited online college that offers agriculture is the first step to entering a satisfying career. Full accreditation is awarded by agencies like the Distance Education and Training Council (http://www.detc.org/) to programs that offer a quality education.DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP.org.
Allan Savory and Bren Smith, who spoke in the 35th Annual E.F. Schumacher Lectures that was entitled Cattle & Kelp: Agriculture in a New Economy, suggested that a new approach should be taken towards agriculture.This was in view of the fact that the current approach is not sustainable in the long run due to the prevalent issues of declining soil fertility, soil erosion, drought and super pests.Many innovative companies have also been using agricultural technology to make agriculture sustainable, and have acknowledged the fact that this sector plays a crucial role in the new economy.Agriculture remains relevant today for several reasons. It is widely perceived as the key to feeding the estimated nine billion individuals in the world by 2050, and will also help to increase the number of jobs.1. Sustainable agriculture may be the solution to prevent a looming food crisis.Price volatility and high food prices will result in a food crisis, which places food production issues and agricultural growth back on the development agenda.Both Savory and Smith have developed agricultural models that are based on natural systems. Smith pioneered the development of restorative 3D ocean farming; this farming model was designed with the aim of mitigating climate change, restoring ocean ecosystems and creating jobs for fishermen while also ensuring that communities were supplied with healthy, local food.There are also several companies who are using agricultural technology to prevent a food crisis. According to The Economist, the products and services that these firms are developing will significantly contribute to increasing food yields and quality, which is needed to feed the nine billion individuals living on this planet by 2050.2. Sustainable agriculture will be able to create jobs in the new economyAccording to Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank, the agricultural sector has four times the power to create jobs and reduce poverty in Africa as compared to other sectors.Essentially, agriculture can help countries to diversify their economies, be less dependent on food imports, increase jobs, and revive rural areas.
In the United States, despite the fact that agricultural revenue and export opportunities have been high, rural areas have been losing their population. If this were to continue, these areas will lose their economic stability and many of its national assets.However, if the trend is reversed successfully, the economy as a whole can benefit from long-term growth. Rural areas will also prosper. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is therefore investing in the perceived areas of opportunity for agricultural growth; these include supporting new and beginning ranchers and farmers, local and regional food systems, as well as the economy.In conclusion, it is crucial that countries place greater importance on their agricultural sector. Africa, which is currently leading the Fourth Industrial Revolution, has more than 70 percent of its farmers utilising information and communications technology. Additionally, its agricultural and agribusiness industry is projected to hit a net worth of US$1 trillion by 2030.This highlights the need for other countries to improve their agricultural sector, as it can help to decrease food imports and increase job opportunities for their citizens, as well as improve the state of its economy overall.