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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

article : Agriculture Development Sector

Agriculture is the production of food, feed, fiber and other goods by the systematic growing/harvesting of plants, animals and other life forms. "Agriculture" may commonly refer to the study of the practice of agriculture (also, "agronomy" or "agricultural science").

Agriculture encompasses many subjects, including aquaculture, cultivation, animal husbandry, and horticulture. Each of these subjects can be further partitioned: for example, cultivation includes both organic farming and intensive farming, and animal husbandry includes ranching, herding, and intensive pig farming. Agricultural products include fodder, (starch, sugar, alcohols and resins), fibers (cotton, wool, hemp, silk and flax), fuels (methane from biomass, ethanol, biodiesel), cut flowers, ornamental and nursery plants, tropical fish and birds for the pet trade, and both legal and illegal drugs (biopharmaceuticals, tobacco, marijuana, opium, cocaine).

The history of agriculture is a central element of human history, as agricultural progress has been a crucial factor in worldwide socio-economic change. Wealth-building and militaristic specializations rarely seen in hunter-gatherer cultures are commonplace in agricultural and agro-industrial societies—when farmers became capable of producing food beyond the needs of their own families, others in the tribe/village/City-state/nation/empire were freed to devote themselves to projects other than food acquisition. Jared Diamond, among others, has argued that the development of civilization required agriculture.

As of 2006, an estimated 36 percent of the world's workers are employed in agriculture (down from 42% in 1996). However, the relative significance of farming has dropped steadily since the beginning of industrialization, and in 2006 – for the first time in history – the services sector overtook agriculture as the economic sector employing the most people worldwide.[1] Despite the fact that agriculture employs over one-third of the world's population, agricultural production accounts for less than five percent of the gross world product (an aggregate of all gross domestic products).[2]


The amount of workforce dedicated to agriculture tends to decrease
The amount of workforce dedicated to agriculture tends to decrease

Agriculture has played a key role in the development of human civilization—it is widely believed that the domestication of plants and animals allowed humans to settle and give up their previous hunter-gatherer lifestyle during the Neolithic Revolution. Until the Industrial Revolution, the vast majority of the human population labored in agriculture. Development of agricultural techniques has steadily increased agricultural productivity, and the widespread diffusion of these techniques during a time period is often called an agricultural revolution. A remarkable shift in agricultural practices has occurred over the past century in response to new technologies. In particular, the Haber-Bosch method for synthesizing ammonium nitrate made the traditional practice of recycling nutrients with crop rotation and animal manure less necessary. Synthetic nitrogen, along with mined rock phosphate, pesticides and mechanization, have greatly increased crop yields in the early 20th century. Increased supply of grains has led to cheaper livestock as well. Further, global yield increases were experienced later in the 20th century when high-yield varieties of common staple grains such as rice, wheat, and corn were introduced as a part of the Green Revolution. The Green Revolution exported the technologies (including pesticides and synthetic nitrogen) of the developed world out to the developing world. Thomas Malthus famously predicted that the Earth would not be able to support its growing population, but technologies such as the Green Revolution have allowed the world to produce a surplus of food.[3]

Agricultural output in 2005
Agricultural output in 2005

Many governments have subsidized agriculture to ensure an adequate food supply. These agricultural subsidies are often linked to the production of certain commodities such as wheat, corn, rice, soybeans, and milk. These subsidies, especially when done by developed countries have been noted as protectionist, inefficient, and environmentally damaging.[4] In the past century agriculture has been characterized by enhanced productivity, the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, selective breeding, mechanization, water contamination, and farm subsidies. Proponents of organic farming such as Sir Albert Howard argued in the early 1900s that the overuse of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers damages the long-term fertility of the soil. While this feeling lay dormant for decades, as environmental awareness has increased recently there has been a movement towards sustainable agriculture by some farmers, consumers, and policymakers. In recent years there has been a backlash against perceived external environmental effects of mainstream agriculture, particularly regarding water pollution[5], resulting in the organic movement. One of the major forces behind this movement has been the European Union, which first certified organic food in 1991 and began reform of its Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in 2005 to phase out commodity-linked farm subsidies[6], also known as decoupling. The growth of organic farming has renewed research in alternative technologies such as integrated pest management and selective breeding. Recent mainstream technological developments include genetically modified food.

As of late 2007, increased farming for use in biofuels, along with world oil prices at nearly $100 a barrel,[7] has pushed up the price of grain used to feed poultry and dairy cows and other cattle, causing higher prices of wheat (up 58%), soybean (up 32%), and maize (up 11%) over the year.[8][9] Food riots have recently taken place in many countries across the world.[10][11][12] An epidemic of stem rust on wheat caused by race UG99 is currently spreading across Africa and into Asia and is causing major concern.[13][14][15] Approximately 40% of the world's agricultural land is seriously degraded.[16] In Africa, if current trends of soil degradation continue, the continent might be able to feed just 25% of its population by 2025, according to UNU's Ghana-based Institute for Natural Resources in Africa.


Agricultural practices lie on a spectrum dependent upon the intensity and technology of the methods. At the one end lies the subsistence farmer who farms a small area with limited inputs and produces only enough food to meet the needs of his or her family. At the other end lies intensive agriculture which includes traditional labor intensive farming (e.g. South-East Asia rice paddies), and modern agriculture which includes industrial agriculture, organic farming and sustainable farming. Industrial agriculture involves large fields and/or numbers of animals, high resource inputs (pesticides, fertilizers, etc.), and a high level of mechanization. These operations achieve economies of scale and require large amounts of capital in the form of land and machinery.

The twentieth century saw changes in agricultural practice, particularly in agricultural chemistry and in mechanization. Agricultural chemistry includes the application of chemical fertilizer, chemical insecticides (see pest control), and chemical fungicides, analysis of soil makeup and nutritional needs of farm animals.

Mechanization has increased farm efficiency and productivity in most regions of the world, due especially to the tractor and various "gins" (short for "engine") such as the cotton gin, semi-automatic balers and threshers and, above all, the combine (see agricultural machinery). According to the National Academy of Engineering in the United States, agricultural mechanization is one of the 20 greatest engineering achievements of the 20th century. Early in the century, it took one American farmer to produce food for 2.5 people. By 1999, due to advances in agricultural technology, a single farmer could feed over 130 people.[18]

Other recent changes in agriculture include hydroponics, plant breeding, hybridization, gene manipulation, better management of soil nutrients, and improved weed control. Genetic engineering has yielded crops which have capabilities beyond those of naturally occurring plants, such as higher yields and disease resistance. Modified seeds germinate faster, and thus can be grown on an accelerated schedule. Genetic engineering of plants has proven controversial, particularly in the case of herbicide-resistant plants.

Genetic engineers at companies such as Monsanto are working to develop plants for irrigation, drainage, conservation and sanitary engineering, particularly important in normally arid areas which rely upon constant irrigation, and on large scale farms.

The processing, packing and marketing of agricultural products are closely related activities also influenced by science. Methods of quick-freezing and dehydration have increased the markets for many farm products (see food preservation and meat packing industry).

Animals, including horses, mules, oxen, camels, llamas, alpacas, and dogs, are often used to help cultivate fields, harvest crops, wrangle other animals, and transport farm products to buyers. Animal husbandry not only refers to the breeding and raising of animals for meat or to harvest animal products (like milk, eggs, or wool) on a continual basis, but also to the breeding and care of species for work and companionship.

Airplanes, helicopters, trucks, tractors, and combines are used in Western (and, increasingly, Eastern) agriculture for seeding, spraying operations for insect and disease control, harvesting, aerial topdressing and transporting perishable products. Radio and television disseminate vital weather reports and other information such as market reports that concern farmers. Computers have become an essential tool for farm management.

Ploughing rice paddies with water buffalo, in Indonesia.
Ploughing rice paddies with water buffalo, in Indonesia.

In recent years, some aspects of intensive industrial agriculture have been the subject of increasing debate. The widening sphere of influence held by large seed and chemical companies, meat packers and food processors has been a source of concern both within the farming community and for the general public. Another issue is the type of feed given to some animals that can cause bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle. There has also been concern over the effect of intensive agriculture on the environment.

A field of ripening barley
A field of ripening barley

The patent protection given to companies that develop new types of seed using genetic engineering has allowed seed to be licensed to farmers in much the same way that computer software is licensed to users. This has changed the balance of power in favor of the seed companies, allowing them to dictate terms and conditions previously unheard of. The Indian activist and scientist Vandana Shiva argues that these companies are guilty of biopiracy.

Soil conservation and nutrient management have been important concerns since the 1950s, with the most advanced farmers taking a stewardship role with the land they use. However, increasing contamination of waterways and wetlands by nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus are concerns that can only be addressed by "enlightenment" of farmers and/or far stricter law enforcement in many countries.

Increasing consumer awareness of agricultural issues has led to the rise of community-supported agriculture, local food movement, "Slow Food", and commercial organic farming.


The word agriculture is the English adaptation of Latin agricultūra, from ager, "a field", and cultūra, "cultivation" in the strict sense of "tillage of the soil". Thus, a literal reading of the word yields "tillage of a field / of fields".


Sumerian Harvester's sickle, 3000 BCE. Baked clay. Field Museum.
Sumerian Harvester's sickle, 3000 BCE. Baked clay. Field Museum.

Agriculture was developed at least 10,000 years ago, and it has undergone significant developments since the time of the earliest cultivation. Evidence points to the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East as the site of the earliest planned sowing and harvesting of plants that had previously been gathered in the wild. Independent development of agriculture occurred in northern and southern China, Africa's Sahel, New Guinea and several regions of the Americas. Agricultural practices such as irrigation, crop rotation, fertilizers, and pesticides were developed long ago but have made great strides in the past century. The Haber-Bosch method for synthesizing ammonium nitrate represented a major breakthrough and allowed crop yields to overcome previous constraints. In the past century agriculture has been characterized by enhanced productivity, the substitution of labor for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, selective breeding, mechanization, water pollution, and farm subsidies. In recent years there has been a backlash against the external environmental effects of conventional agriculture, resulting in the organic movement.

Ancient origins

Further information: Neolithic Revolution
Ancient Egyptian farmer, copied from archaeologically preserved specimen by a modern artist guessing at original colors.Source:
Ancient Egyptian farmer, copied from archaeologically preserved specimen by a modern artist guessing at original colors.

Developed independently by geographically distant populations, systematic agriculture first appeared in Southwest Asia in the Fertile Crescent, particularly in modern-day Iraq and Syria/Israel. Around 9500 BCE, proto-farmers began to select and cultivate food plants with desired characteristics. Though there is evidence of earlier sporadic use of wild cereals, it was not until after 9500 BCE that the eight so-called founder crops of agriculture appear: first emmer and einkorn wheat, then hulled barley, peas, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas and flax.

By 7000 BCE, small-scale agriculture reached Egypt. From at least 7000 BCE the Indian subcontinent saw farming of wheat and barley, as attested by archaeological excavation at Mehrgarh in Balochistan. By 6000 BCE, mid-scale farming was entrenched on the banks of the Nile. About this time, agriculture was developed independently in the Far East, with rice, rather than wheat, as the primary crop. Chinese and Indonesian farmers went on to domesticate mung, soy, azuki and taro. To complement these new sources of carbohydrates, highly organized net fishing of rivers, lakes and ocean shores in these areas brought in great volumes of essential protein. Collectively, these new methods of farming and fishing inaugurated a human population boom dwarfing all previous expansions, and is one that continues today.

By 5000 BCE, the Sumerians had developed core agricultural techniques including large scale intensive cultivation of land, mono-cropping, organized irrigation, and use of a specialized labour force, particularly along the waterway now known as the Shatt al-Arab, from its Persian Gulf delta to the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates. Domestication of wild aurochs and mouflon into cattle and sheep, respectively, ushered in the large-scale use of animals for food/fiber and as beasts of burden. The shepherd joined the farmer as an essential provider for sedentary and semi-nomadic societies.

Maize, manioc, and arrowroot were first domesticated in the Americas as far back as 5200 BCE. [3] The potato, tomato, pepper, squash, several varieties of bean, Canna, tobacco and several other plants were also developed in the New World, as was extensive terracing of steep hillsides in much of Andean South America.

In later years, the Greeks and Romans built on techniques pioneered by the Sumerians but made few fundamentally new advances. The Greeks and Macedonians struggled with very poor soils, yet managed to become dominant societies for years. The Romans were noted for an emphasis on the cultivation of crops for trade.

A valve-operated reciprocating suction piston pump water-raising machine with a crankshaft-connecting rod mechanism invented by al-Jazari.
A valve-operated reciprocating suction piston pump water-raising machine with a crankshaft-connecting rod mechanism invented by al-Jazari.

Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, Muslim farmers in North Africa and the Near East developed and disseminated agricultural technologies including irrigation systems based on hydraulic and hydrostatic principles, the use of machines such as norias, and the use of water raising machines, dams, and reservoirs. They also wrote location-specific farming manuals, and were instrumental in the wider adoption of crops including sugar cane, rice, citrus fruit, apricots, cotton, artichokes, aubergines, and saffron. Muslims also brought lemons, oranges, cotton, almonds, figs and sub-tropical crops such as bananas to Spain.

The invention of a three field system of crop rotation during the Middle Ages, and the importation of the Chinese-invented moldboard plow, vastly improved agricultural efficiency.

Modern era

Further information: British Agricultural Revolution and Green Revolution
A tractor ploughing an alfalfa field
A tractor ploughing an alfalfa field

After 1492, a global exchange of previously local crops and livestock breeds occurred. Key crops involved in this exchange included the tomato, maize, potato, cocoa and tobacco going from the New World to the Old, and several varieties of wheat, spices, coffee, and sugar cane going from the Old World to the New. The most important animal exportations from the Old World to the New were those of the horse and dog (dogs were already present in the pre-Columbian Americas but not in the numbers and breeds suited to farm work). Although not usually food animals, the horse (including donkeys and ponies) and dog quickly filled essential production roles on western hemisphere farms.

By the early 1800s, agricultural techniques, implements, seed stocks and cultivars had so improved that yield per land unit was many times that seen in the Middle Ages. With the rapid rise of mechanization in the late 19th and 20th centuries, particularly in the form of the tractor, farming tasks could be done with a speed and on a scale previously impossible. These advances have led to efficiencies enabling certain modern farms in the United States, Argentina, Israel, Germany, and a few other nations to output volumes of high quality produce per land unit at what may be the practical limit.

In 2005, the agricultural output of China was the largest in the world, accounting for almost one-sixth world share followed by the EU, India and the USA, according to the International Monetary Fund.


Crop statistics

Specific crops are cultivated in distinct growing regions throughout the world. In millions of metric tons, based on FAO estimates.

Top agricultural products, by crop types
(million metric tons) 2004 data
Cereals 2,263
Vegetables and melons 866
Roots and Tubers 715
Milk 619
Fruit 503
Meat 259
Oilcrops 133
Fish (2001 estimate) 130
Eggs 63
Pulses 60
Vegetable Fiber 30
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Top agricultural products, by individual crops
(million metric tons) 2004 data
Sugar Cane 1,324
Maize 721
Wheat 627
Rice 605
Potatoes 328
Sugar Beet 249
Soybean 204
Oil Palm Fruit 162
Barley 154
Tomato 120
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Crop alteration

Main article: Plant breeding
An agricultural scientist records corn growth
An agricultural scientist records corn growth
Netting protecting wine grapes from birds
Netting protecting wine grapes from birds

Domestication of plants has, over the centuries increased yield, improved disease resistance and drought tolerance, eased harvest and improved the taste and nutritional value of crop plants. Careful selection and breeding have had enormous effects on the characteristics of crop plants. Plant breeders use greenhouses (known as glasshouses or hothouses in some areas) and other techniques to get as many as three generations of plants per year towards the continued effort of improvement. Plant selection and breeding in the 1920s and 1930s improved pasture (grasses and clover) in New Zealand. Extensive X-ray an ultraviolet induced mutagenesis efforts (i.e. primitive genetic engineering) during the 1950s produced the modern commercial varieties of grains such as wheat, corn and barley.[20][21]

For example, average yields of corn (maize) in the USA have increased from around 2.5 tons per hectare (t/ha) (40 bushels per acre) in 1900 to about 9.4 t/ha (150 bushels per acre) in 2001. Similarly, worldwide average wheat yields have increased from less than 1 t/ha in 1900 to more than 2.5 t/ha in 1990. South American average wheat yields are around 2 t/ha, African under 1 t/ha, Egypt and Arabia up to 3.5 to 4 t/ha with irrigation. In contrast, the average wheat yield in countries such as France is over 8 t/ha. Variation in yields are due mainly to variation in climate, genetics, and the level of intensive farming techniques (use of fertilizers, chemical pest control, growth control to avoid lodging).[22][23][24]

After mechanical tomato-harvesters were developed in the early 1960s, agricultural scientists bred tomatoes that were more resistant to mechanical handling. These varieties have been criticized as being harder and having poor texture[citation needed]. More recently, genetic engineering has begun to be employed in large parts of the world to speed up the selection and breeding process. One widely used modification is a herbicide resistance gene that allows plants to tolerate exposure to glyphosate, a non-systemic (i.e kills all plants) chemical used to control weeds in a crop such as oilseed rape. Normally, expensive systemic herbicides would have to be applied to kill the weeds without harming the crop. Relatively cheap and safe glyphosate may be applied to the modified crops, efficiently killing weeds without harming the resistant crop. Another modification causes the plant to produce a toxin to reduce damage from insects (c.f. Starlink). This, in contrast, requires fewer insecticides to be applied to the crop.

Aquaculture, the farming of fish, shrimp, and algae, is closely associated with agriculture.

Apiculture, the culture of bees, traditionally for honey—increasingly for crop pollination.

See also : botany, List of domesticated plants, List of vegetables, List of herbs, List of fruit


Main article: Livestock

The farming practices of livestock vary dramatically world-wide and between different types of animals. Livestock are generally kept in an enclosure, are fed by human-provided food and are intentionally bred, but some livestock are not enclosed, or are fed by access to natural foods, or are allowed to breed freely, or all three. Approximately 68% of all agricultural land is used in the production of livestock as permanent pastures.[25]

Environmental impact

Severe soil erosion in a wheat field near Washington State University, US (c.2005)
Severe soil erosion in a wheat field near Washington State University, US (c.2005)

Agriculture may often cause environmental problems because it changes natural environments and produces harmful by-products. Some of the negative effects are:

According to the United Nations, the livestock sector (primarily cows, chickens, and pigs) emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to our most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global. Livestock production occupies 70% of all land used for agriculture, or 30% of the land surface of the planet.[26]It is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases—responsible for 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalents. By comparison, all transportation emits 13.5% of the CO2. It produces 65% of human-related nitrous oxide (which has 296 times the global warming potential of CO2) and 37% of all human-induced methane (which is 23 times as warming as CO2). It also generates 64% of the ammonia, which contributes to acid rain and acidification of ecosystems.[27]


See also: Genetic erosion and Agricultural biodiversity

Genetic erosion in crops and livestock biodiversity is propelled by several major factors such as variety replacement, land clearing, overexploitation of species, population pressure, environmental degradation, overgrazing, policy and changing agricultural systems.[citation needed]

The main factor, however, is the replacement of local varieties of domestic plants and animals by high yielding or exotic varieties or species. A large number of varieties can also often be dramatically reduced when commercial varieties (including GMOs) are introduced into traditional farming systems. Many researchers believe that the main problem related to agro-ecosystem management is the general tendency towards genetic and ecological uniformity imposed by the development of modern agriculture.[attribution needed]

In agriculture and animal husbandry, the green revolution popularized the use of conventional hybridization to increase yield many folds by creating "high-yielding varieties". Often the handful of breeds of plants and animals hybridized originated in developed countries and were further hybridized with local varieties in the rest of the developing world to create high yield strains resistant to local climate and diseases. Hybridization of local breeds to improve performance may lead to the loss of the local breed over time and consequently the loss of the genetic material that adapted that breed specifically to the local conditions. When viewed across the world as a whole, the consequent loss in genetic diversity and biodiversity could be placing the food supply in jeopardy, as a highly specialized breed may not contain sufficient genetic material to adapt to new diseases or environments even with an intensive breeding program.[28]

A Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using the genetic engineering techniques generally known as recombinant DNA technology. Genetic Engineering today has become another serious and alarming cause of genetic pollution because artificially created and genetically engineered plants and animals in laboratories, which could never have evolved in nature even with conventional hybridization, can live and breed on their own and what is even more alarming interbreed with naturally evolved wild varieties. Genetically Modified (GM) crops today have become a common source for genetic pollution, not only of wild varieties but also of other domesticated varieties derived from relatively natural hybridization.[29][30][31][32][33]


Main article: Agricultural policy

Agricultural policy focuses on the goals and methods of agricultural production. At the policy level, common goals of agriculture include:

  • Food safety: Ensuring that the food supply is free of contamination.
  • Food security: Ensuring that the food supply meets the population's needs.[34][35]
  • Food quality: Ensuring that the food supply is of a consistent and known quality.
  • Poverty Reduction
  • Conservation
  • Environmental impact
  • Economic stability

Agriculture and petroleum

Further information: Peak oil, agriculture and population; Effect of biofuels on food prices

Since the 1940s, agriculture has dramatically increased its productivity, due largely to the use of petrochemical derived pesticides, fertilizers, and increased mechanization. This has allowed world population to grow more than double over the last 50 years. Every energy unit delivered in food grown using modern techniques requires over ten energy units to produce and deliver. The vast majority of this energy input comes from fossil fuel sources. Because of modern agriculture's current heavy reliance on petrochemicals and mechanization, there are warnings that the ever decreasing supply of oil (the dramatic nature of which is known as peak oil[36][37][38][39][40]) will inflict major damage on the modern industrial agriculture system, and could cause large food shortages.[41]

Oil shortages are one of several factors making organic agriculture and other sustainable farming methods necessary. This conversion is now occurring[citation needed], but the reconditioning of soil to restore nutrients lost during the use of monoculture agriculture techniques made possible by petroleum-based technology will take time. Some farmers using modern organic-farming methods have reported yields as high as those available from conventional farming (but without the use of fossil-fuel-intensive artificial fertilizers or pesticides).[42][43][44][45]

Farmers have also begun raising crops such as corn for non-food use in an effort to help mitigate peak oil. This has led to a 60% rise in wheat prices recently, and has been indicated as a possible precursor to "serious social unrest in developing countries."[46] Such situations would be exacerbated in the event of future rises in food and fuel costs, factors which have already impacted the ability of charitable donors to send food aid to starving populations.[47]

Agriculture safety and health

Satellite image of circular crop fields characteristic of center pivot irrigation in Haskell County, Kansas in late June 2001. Healthy, growing crops are green. Corn is growing leafy stalks, but Sorghum, which resembles corn, grows more slowly and is much smaller and therefore paler. Wheat is a brilliant gold as harvest occurs in June. Brown fields have been recently harvested and plowed under or lie fallow for the year.
Satellite image of circular crop fields characteristic of center pivot irrigation in Haskell County, Kansas in late June 2001. Healthy, growing crops are green. Corn is growing leafy stalks, but Sorghum, which resembles corn, grows more slowly and is much smaller and therefore paler. Wheat is a brilliant gold as harvest occurs in June. Brown fields have been recently harvested and plowed under or lie fallow for the year.

United States

Agriculture ranks among the most hazardous industries. [48] Farmers are at high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries, work-related lung diseases, noise-induced hearing loss, skin diseases, and certain cancers associated with chemical use and prolonged sun exposure. Farming is one of the few industries in which the families (who often share the work and live on the premises) are also at risk for injuries, illness, and death.

  • In an average year, 516 workers die doing farm work in the U.S. (1992-2005). Of these deaths, 101 are caused by tractor overturns.
  • Every day, about 243 agricultural workers suffer lost-work-time injuries, and about 5% of these result in permanent impairment.[49]

Young Workers

Agriculture is the most dangerous industry for young workers, accounting for 42% of all work-related fatalities of young workers in the U.S. between 1992 and 2000. Unlike other industries, half the young victims in agriculture were under age 15. [50]

For young agricultural workers aged 15–17, the risk of fatal injury is four times the risk for young workers in other workplaces [51] Agricultural work exposes young workers to safety hazards such as machinery, confined spaces, work at elevations, and work around livestock.

  • An estimated 1.26 million children and adolescents under 20 years of age resided on farms in 2004, with about 699,000 of these youth performing work on the farms. In addition to the youth who live on farms, an additional 337,000 children and adolescents were hired to work on U.S. farms in 2004.
  • On average, 103 children are killed annually on farms (1990-1996). Approximately 40 percent of these deaths were work-related.
  • In 2004, an estimated 27,600 children and adolescents were injured on farms; 8,100 of these injuries were due to farm work.[49]

See also

Main lists: List of basic agriculture topics and List of agriculture topics


  1. ^ International Labour Organization Key Indicators of the Labour Market 2007, chapter 4 p. 6
  2. ^
  3. ^ New York Times (2005) Sometimes a Bumper Crop is Too Much Of a Good Thing
  4. ^ New York Times (1986) Science Academy Recommends Resumption of Natural Farming
  5. ^ The World Bank (1995) Overcoming Agricultural Water Pollution in the European Union
  6. ^ European Commission (2003) CAP Reform
  7. ^ The Global Grain Bubble
  8. ^ New York Times (2007 September) At Tyson and Kraft, Grain Costs Limit Profit
  9. ^ Forget oil, the new global crisis is food
  10. ^ Riots and hunger feared as demand for grain sends food costs soaring
  11. ^ Already we have riots, hoarding, panic: the sign of things to come?
  12. ^ Feed the world? We are fighting a losing battle, UN admits
  13. ^ Millions face famine as crop disease rages
  14. ^ (2007-04-03) "Billions at risk from wheat super-blight". New Scientist Magazine (issue 2598). Retrieved on 2007-04-19.
  15. ^ Leonard, K.J. Black stem rust biology and threat to wheat growers, USDA ARS
  16. ^ Global food crisis looms as climate change and population growth strip fertile land
  17. ^ Africa may be able to feed only 25% of its population by 2025
  18. ^
  20. ^ Stadler, L. J.; G. F. Sprague (1936-10-15). "Genetic Effects of Ultra-Violet Radiation in Maize. I. Unfiltered Radiation". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 22 (10): 572-578. US Department of Agriculture and Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved on 2007-10-11.
  21. ^ Berg, Paul; Maxine Singer (2003-08-15). George Beadle: An Uncommon Farmer. The Emergence of Genetics in the 20th Century. Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory Press. ISBN 0-87969-688-5.
  22. ^ Ruttan, Vernon W. (Winter 1999). "Biotechnology and Agriculture: A Skeptical Perspective". AgBioForum 2 (1): 54-60. Retrieved on 2007-10-11.
  23. ^ Cassman, K. (1998-12-05). "Ecological intensification of cereal production systems: The Challenge of increasing crop yield potential and precision agriculture". Proceedings of a National Academy of Sciences Colloquium, Irvine, California. University of Nebraska. Retrieved on 2007-10-11.
  24. ^ Conversion note: 1 bushel of wheat = 60 pounds (lb) ≈ 27.215 kg. 1 bushel of corn = 56 pounds ≈ 25.401 kg
  25. ^ FAO Database, 2003
  26. ^ Food and Agricultural Organization of the U.N. retrieved 27 jun 2007
  27. ^ Livestock’s long shadow: Environmental issues and options
  28. ^ “Genetic Pollution: The Great Genetic Scandal”; Devinder Sharma can be contacted at: 7 Triveni Apartments, A-6 Paschim Vihar, New Delhi-110 063, India. Email: CENTRE FOR ALTERNATIVE AGRICULTURAL MEDIA (CAAM)., [1]
  29. ^ THE YEAR IN IDEAS: A TO Z.; Genetic Pollution By MICHAEL POLLAN, The New York Times, December 9, 2001
  30. ^ Dangerous Liaisons? When Cultivated Plants Mate with Their Wild Relatives by Norman C. Ellstrand; The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003; 268 pp. hardcover , $ 65; ISBN 0-8018-7405-X. Book Reviewed in: Hybrids abounding; Nature Biotechnology 22, 29 - 30 (2004) doi:10.1038/nbt0104-29; Reviewed by: Steven H Strauss & Stephen P DiFazio.
  31. ^ “Genetic pollution: Uncontrolled spread of genetic information (frequently referring to transgenes) into the genomes of organisms in which such genes are not present in nature.” Zaid, A. et al. 1999. Glossary of biotechnology and genetic engineering. FAO Research and Technology Paper No. 7. ISBN 92-5-104369-8
  32. ^ “Genetic pollution: Uncontrolled escape of genetic information (frequently referring to products of genetic engineering) into the genomes of organisms in the environment where those genes never existed before.” Searchable Biotechnology Dictionary. University of Minnesota. [2]
  33. ^ “Genetic pollution: Living organisms can also be defined as pollutants, when a non-indigenous species (plant or animal) enters a habitat and modifies the existing equilibrium among the organisms of the affected ecosystem (sea, lake, river). Non-indigenous, including transgenic species (GMOs), may bring about a particular version of pollution in the vegetal kingdom: so-called genetic pollution. This term refers to the uncontrolled diffusion of genes (or transgenes) into genomes of plants of the same type or even unrelated species where such genes are not present in nature. For example, a grass modified to resist herbicides could pollinate conventional grass many miles away, creating weeds immune to the most widely used weed-killer, with obvious consequences for crops. Genetic pollution is at the basis of the debate on the use of GMOs in agriculture.” The many facets of pollution; Bologna University web site for Science Communication. The Webweavers: Last modified Tue, 20 Jul 2005
  34. ^ Rising food prices curb aid to global poor
  35. ^ Record rise in wheat price prompts UN official to warn that surge in food prices may trigger social unrest in developing countries
  36. ^ Kenneth S. Deffeyes (2007-01-19). Current Events - Join us as we watch the crisis unfolding (English). Princeton University: Beyond Oil.
  37. ^ Ryan McGreal (2007-10-22). Yes, We're in Peak Oil Today (English). Raise the Hammer.
  38. ^ Dr. Werner Zittel, Jorg Schindler (2007-10). Crude Oil: The Supply Outlook (English). Energy Watch Group.
  39. ^ Dave Cohen (October 31, 2007). The Perfect Storm (English). ASPO-USA.
  40. ^ Rembrandt H.E.M. Koppelaar (2006-09). World Production and Peaking Outlook (PDF) (English). Peak Oil Netherlands.
  41. ^ (a list of over 20 published articles and books supporting this thesis can be found here in the section: "Food, Land, Water, and Population")
  42. ^ Realities of organic farming
  43. ^
  44. ^ Organic Farming can Feed The World!
  45. ^ Organic Farms Use Less Energy And Water
  46. ^ Record rise in wheat price prompts UN official to warn that surge in food prices may trigger social unrest in developing countries
  47. ^ Rising food prices curb aid to global poor
  48. ^ NIOSH- Agriculture. United States National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Retrieved on 2007-10-10.
  49. ^ a b NIOSH- Agriculture Injury. United States National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Retrieved on 2007-10-10.
  50. ^ NIOSH [2003]. Unpublished analyses of the 1992–2000 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Special Research Files provided to NIOSH by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (includes more detailed data than the research file, but excludes data from New York City). Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Safety Research, Surveillance and Field Investigations Branch, Special Studies Section. Unpublished database.
  51. ^ BLS [2000]. Report on the youth labor force. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, pp. 58–67.
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Coffee Plantation in São João do Manhuaçu City - Minas Gerais State - Brazil.
Coffee Plantation in São João do Manhuaçu City - Minas Gerais State - Brazil.

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