Agriculture, as everyone knows, involves the cultivation of crops and rearing of animals, both for consumption and for selling. Agriculture gave people the opportunity to form civilizations, fight against hunger and work towards combating challenges in population growth. Ireland’s Agri-food sector is one of the country’s most important local producing sectors, creating employment for a large number of its populace. Economic activity in the agriculture and food sector produces a bigger return than the total activity in other traded sectors of the economy. That is all because Agri-food related companies get a higher percentage of their raw materials from Irish suppliers.
Types of Farming
Here are some of the known types of farming that are practiced all around the world;
1. Arable: this involves the growing crops in fields, which have usually been ploughed before planting. Some of the crops cultivated include maize, wheat, barley, oat, etc.
2. Pastoral: this is a form of agriculture which is aimed at producing livestock such as cattle, goat sheep, etc. instead of producing crops.
3. Mixed: this is a form of farming that combined both the cultivation of crops and rearing of livestock.
4. Subsistence: a type of agriculture that is practiced only to provide food for a farmer and his family.
5. Commercial: agriculture of this form involves large cultivation or rearing of animals whereby the produce is being sold.
Farming Types in Ireland
The two most common types of farming practiced in Ireland are;
1. Livestock Farming: Beef, sheep, and dairy are the largest commodity sectors in Ireland. Because Ireland has lots of rainfall and the temperature is above 6 degrees Celsius for most of the year, grass can grow for longer periods than in other countries. The greater percentage of Irish land is made up of pasture land, this indicates that rearing of cattle for both beef and milk production is common in Ireland.
2. Arable Farming: owning to the first point made about the rainfall and temperature of Ireland, they engage in arable farming. Selected seeds are grown and harvested each year. Of this grown seeds, cereals such as wheat, oats, and barley are Ireland's main cereal crops.
3. Mixed Farming: Most of the Irish farms are mixed farms, in which the farmer combined the cultivation of crops and rearing of livestock together.
Benefits of Farming
The early farmers had helped to domesticate cereals, fruits, vegetables, and animals. This has, in turn, helped in the preservation of many beneficial species that are then picked for the high nutrients they confer. Agriculture provides many benefits of which some are;
1. Provision of food, to fight hunger and keep people from dying from hunger.
2. This first point has led to an increase in population around the world.
3. Farming provides opportunities to take people out of poverty in most of the developing countries.
4. Farming provides more jobs, starting from the farmers, to the manufacturers of farm equipment, processing plants for food, transportation, and infrastructure.
How Farming affects the Environment
The way we have benefits provided by Agriculture, so do we have negative impacts on the environment. Some of the impacts of Agriculture on the environment includes;
1. Soil degradation. This is the reduction in soil quality.
2. Deforestation. This involves the clearing of lands for cultivation of crops.
3. Climate change. Methane gas produced from cattle rearing also adds to the impacts on climate change.
4. Improper disposal of waste used by most farmers.
5. Pollution, especially from chemicals used in fertilizers, pesticides, etc.
Agriculture was the first occupation of man, and the evolution of technology and certain practices has helped in the improvement of agriculture so as to first against hunger and poverty.