Pakistan is an agricultural country. A major part of population is directly or indirectly involved with agriculture and modern farming business. The economy of Pakistan is greatly dependent on this sector.
Therefore development of agricultural sector is very important .One of the major constraints to increased productivity and profitability stems from limited use of modern farming technology and inputs. To feed the ever increasing population and to meet other necessities of their lives it is very important to develop agricultural industry through modern technology.
Technology has played a great role in development of this sector through use of modern equipment’s , chemicals and fertilizers. Total agriculture process has been changed by modern agriculture. Therefore, modern agriculture revolution is must.
Modern agriculture is a term used to describe wide type of production practices that makes use of hybrid seeds of selected variety of a single crop,technologically advanced equipment’s ,and lot of energy subsidies in form of irrigation water, fertilizers and pesticides to maximize production.
Modern ideas and technologies that ensures maximum use of natural resources may be poultry , livestock ,fisheries and other non-conventional farming business. In modern agriculture success of process depends on use of technology ,access to market ,resources , skillful management, investment,and support at government level.
Different techniques of modern agriculture are: High performance seeds having their own characteristics that enables them to take better advantage of irrigation and applied fertilizers. Irrigation practices must be sufficient to maintain soil fertility. An important feature of modern farming is plant protection.
In modern agriculture , to control pests farmers are using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach as a sustainable alternative to use of pesticides to avoid contamination of natural environment by chemicals. An example of this practice is planting pest resistant crops, biological control of insects and destroying the areas where they are nesting.
To recover the nutrients that were removed by previous crop , crop rotation is done ,because it avoids consequences of same type of cultivation in field. To enhance soil fertility , crop rotation of legumes with cereals is the best option. By using machines on farms, the process of planting and harvesting is very easy and less costly.
Modern agricultural technology allows a small number of people to grow vast quantities of food and fibre in shortest period of time. Modern transportation facilitates the easy supply of fertilizers and other inputs to farmers without any delay and also speed up the transportation of agricultural products to markets for consumers.
Cooling facilities are used by farmers to deliver tomatoes and other perishable products to keep them fresh as they transport them to market. Genetically produced plants can resist pests and disease attack, rewards the farmer with high yield because less money is used on plant protection measures.
The main benefit is that it allows us to produce much more food using far less manpower. Modern storage and transportation has reduced waste. Use of scientific data and technology has helped better outputs. The technology has changed the way the machines work,the use of computer system and automated management programmes reduce fuel consumption,loss of seeds and fertilizers.
Water use efficiency continues to increase , conservation tillage systems provide a valuable mulch to reduce evaporation. Advanced irrigation technologies such as drip irrigation provide for increased water efficiency and precision application.
Tillage passes are being reduced by planting equipment’s that can plant in much more crop residues than past, reduced tillage means less soil erosion ,conservation of water and less carbon emission.
Yield of primary crops such as rice and wheat has increased dramatically, the price of food declined, the rate of increase in crop yield generally kept pace with population growth and number of people who consistently go hungry was slightly reduced.
Due to lack of practice knowledge ,farmers cannot handle machines properly. Overuse of machines lead to environmental damage. Modern farming is capital extensive that is it requires a lot of money and so is possible to be practiced only by rich farmers. Cost of maintenance is very high. Due to excessive use of chemical fertilizers soil fertility is declined.
Animal welfare is significantly decreased compared to organic, animals are kept in tight living conditions , over-fed and have a short life span before being slaughtered. It kills or malnourishes the fungi and bacteria that holds the soil together, resulting in loss of topsoil eventually destroys productive capacity of land.
In modern agriculture ,heavy machines and tillage equipment’s cause soil disturbance and many other problems. This degrades quality of surrounding farmland.
Modern farming – A road to sustainable agriculture
In modern farming farmers are able to plan their tasks with sustainability of their practice in their mind. This framework conserves and protects natural resources, provide food and fuel to growing population ,all in a financially viable way both for producers and consumers.
Nevertheless , everything depends on good management that is made of each one of elements of integrated system of modern agriculture. It will not be able to produce desired results and productivity ,if any one of those elements fail and as a result will reduce the quality and quantity of food.
To be successful in this work, investment in agricultural research, development and extension as well as implementation of better goods and services is necessary. We need proper and correct and experimental information based on modern technology for successful agriculture and farming business ,which can make our dream true fast.
I am doing MSC (hons) in Agronomy from University of Agriculture Faisalabad.