Thursday, 7 July 2016

Science and Technology in the Development of Agriculture

Agriculture involves the following operations: the clearing of bush and the breaking up of surface soil, the sowing of seeds,  the removal of the weeds from the farm, the harvesting and storage of crops which are disposed of by marketing and the breeding and rearing of animals.
   All these operations can be done in a number of different ways which involves varying amounts of labour,time,expense and productivity.
  Efficiency, or getting the greatest result for the minimum of effort and expenses is largely dependent on the application of scientific knowlegde. For instance, early in history of man, acquired scientific knowlegde from observation of everydat occurences, by experimation
   Technology has enabled a good network of transportation to be established, so that food products can be carried to the markets and been sold at reasonable prices to the consumer, in spite of long distances from the urban markets.
   The use of artificial fertilizers has been one of the greatest contributions of industry to modern agriculture. By the use of artificial fertilizers it has become possible to add plant nutrients to the soil where there is defiency
    Weeds have been a problem on farms, especially among grain crops. The use of herbicides and the alternation of grain crops with root crops and green crops,  commonly known as crop rotation, has helped to keep weeds within reasonable bounds.
   This system is also a means of conserving soil fertility and diseases. Problems of soil moisture and aeration can be combatted through mulching, irrigation and drainage. The use of refrigeration has enabled the farm products to be stored for longer periods.
    Early farm machines and appliances were simple applications of the principle of lever age and friction. For instances, spades and mattocks were used to stir and pulverize the soil. Flint knives were used to harvest ripe corn or grasses. Corn was ground to flour between stones. Stone axes were used to fell trees to make clearings for farming operations. Gradually, new designs for machines, and the knowledge of materials to make them, have influenced science and technology in the production of farm machinery; and modern farm operations have come to depend more and more on man inventiveness and less on his muscles. For example the tilling of soil has brought about the invention of farm machines such as ploughs, harrowers and ridgers.
    In these ways, science and technology ensure adequate food supply and market distribution of food products, which are the main functions of agriculure in modern society.

Written by Yakubu Jimoh John.

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