Agriculture is the process of growing plants and animals in order to supply foods for human consumption. Agriculture was perhaps the most important development in the evolution of sedentary human society, in which agriculture of domestic animals made food surpluses that allowed humans to survive in cities. The history of agriculture actually began thousands of years in the past. Agriculture started off as hunting and gathering of wild animal and plant foods. Later, with agriculture developed better methods of farming such as plowing, harvesting, and seed planting. Agriculture then became an essential service to humankind.
Agriculture degrades soil fertility, increases pesticide use, and pollutes the environment. The production of food depends on the inputs and the method of cultivation. Some crops, like tobacco and other crops that yield natural fibers, are cultivated using techniques that involve little or no application of pesticides. On the other hand, some crops, like coffee, tobacco, orange juice, potatoes, and tomatoes, are grown using pesticides and other artificial means that increase crop yields but deplete the soil. Pesticides are employed as a method of increasing food production by killing pests or as a way of making food more attractive to consumers.
With the advent of agriculture, crop production has also increased significantly. However, the negative effects of crop production on soil fertility are the cause of many problems in agriculture. One of the biggest disadvantages of agriculture is soil erosion. Erosion occurs when soil is moved from its original position due to crop production. This results in soil becoming unfit for various types of life and eventually affecting plant growth and the food supply.
Another major problem in agriculture is food waste. Since agriculture mainly involves the use of fertilizers, pesticides, and harmful chemicals, there is a high percentage of crop wastes that are not properly handled and disposed of. These wastes pose a number of threats to the environment and to human health because they contain harmful elements that are harmful to the ecosystem. For example, agriculture contributes to global warming by the way it consumes fossil fuels for energy production, which contributes to climate change.
Furthermore, agriculture is vulnerable to pests and diseases. Pests and pathogens, such as transmittable diseases, enter the crops through bugs, animals, and humans. Some of these harmful elements are so minute that they do not appear hazardous to humans until they are already present in the crop. Another factor agriculture is vulnerable to is water pollution, which occurs when agricultural products are disposed of in water sources such as rivers or aquifers. Intensive farming methods involve using water sources in excessive amounts, which increases the risk of water pollution.
Furthermore, agriculture is vulnerable to climatic changes. Extreme weather conditions, such as heat waves and droughts, affect the productivity of the crops. Moreover, farmers can be affected by these climatic changes because the crops themselves may not be able to tolerate extreme temperatures and moisture levels. The combination of all these factors makes agriculture vulnerable to environmental degradation.