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Agriculture - Lesson Summary

This process of transformation of a crop to a finished product can be divided into three types of economic activities i.e. Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Activities. The activities related to the extraction of natural resources, growing crops and rearing livestock, are called primary activities.

The activities related to the processing of natural resources, like grinding wheat to produce flour are called secondary activities. While the activities that support the primary and secondary activities through services, such as transportation and marketing, are known as tertiary activities.

Agriculture is derived from the Latin words ager, meaning field, and cultura, meaning cultivation. Agriculture hence refers to the process of producing food, feed and fibre through the cultivation of plants, and rearing livestock and is also known as farming.

About 50% of the world’s population is engaged in agriculture. In India, more than 2/3 rd of the population is dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. This is because, India has the land and climatic conditions favorable for carrying out agricultural activities. The land that can be used for cultivation is referred to as arable land.

Apart from soil conditions, different climatic factors that affect the cultivation of crops in an area are rainfall or precipitation, temperature, and light. Different crops require different climatic conditions for a healthy growth.

Other forms of cultivation are: Sericulture, Pisciculture, Viticulture and Horticulture.

Sericulture is the art and science of rearing silk worms to produce raw silk and involves the cultivation of food-plants to feed the silk worms, and the extraction of raw silk yarn from the cocoons of the silk worms for processing and weaving. Sericulture derives its name from the Latin words serikos, meaning silk, and cultura, meaning cultivation.

Pisciculture is the scientific method for breeding fish in specially designed ponds, tanks or lakes and is done purely for commercial purposes. Pisciculture also derives its name from the Latin words pisci, meaning fish, and cultura, meaning cultivation.

Viticulture derives its name from the Latin words vitis, meaning vine, and cultura, meaning cultivation and is the science, study and production of grapes.

Horticulture is the industry and science of cultivating fruits, vegetables, flowers or ornamental plants. It also derives its name from the Latin words horti, meaning garden, and cultura, meaning cultivation. It involves all the activities carried out to improve the crop yield, quality and nutritional value, and resistance to insects and diseases.


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