Man first started farming around 12000 BC and until then, he was more of a hunter and gatherer; and today, we have indeed come a long day since those days; today agriculture and farming to be more specific is an industry in itself. It continues to power economies all over the world and the rice bowl of Asia supplies rice to most of the nations across the world. We are an interconnected society, where we are able to communicate in real time but our reliance on agriculture has only grown tenfold over the last few decades.
The positive impact of agriculture:
Yield increase: Thanks to modern farming techniques, tools and implements, farmers are able to grow much more per acre and are thereby able to increase their yield. This is especially true when you consider the fact that these farmers often used pesticides and fertilizers to both protect and help it grow. Naturally, since the product is produced in large quantities, it has a direct beneficial effect on the consumers as they can purchase the same at a nominal rate rather than an exorbitant one.
Variety: Thanks to modern agriculture, it is now possible to grow a variety of crops, some of them even at unseasonal times. As a result, consumers can now pay less money for hard to obtain items like celery, red radish etc since they can now be farmed locally.
Famine: Farming, storage, preservation and food distribution is the effective way to prevent famine from breaking out. According to the UN, our current yield of production is not enough to meet the demands of the world as nearly 1/3 of the world population continues to suffer from the food deprivation, in one form or the other. It is obvious that if we are to eradicate hunger, then agriculture is the key here.
Pest control: Although pest control is but just an accessory to farming, it is thanks to efficient advances in the field of agriculture and pest control that farmers are able to grow larger yields for the same acre than before.
The negative impact of agriculture:
Destruction of natural habitats: As a result of accelerated farming methods, several woodland areas, containing natural habitats of several endangered species, had to be cleared up. With more of the natural forest being cleared up, the extinction rate for species (both flora and fauna) has shot up. It is widely expected that most of the species that depend on the forest cover for their very survival would have disappeared by the end of the century.
Fertilizers, pesticides: As a result of the abundant use of fertilizers by most farmers, including pesticides, everything from the produce to the topsoil is infected. Most of these pesticides are toxic for human consumption, never mind the fact that they poison our soil and rivers. In fact, several cases of human fatalities have been directly linked to pesticide exposure. Apart from this, fertilizers affect the environment as well and can cause various substances to undergo accelerated growth as was the case with algae bloom (Mexico)
Loss of fertility: As a result of over usage of fertilizers, soon the soil becomes barren as all the nutrients are leached out, thanks to the fertilizer. This is why it is important to use only the right amount of fertilizers and not more than its necessary.
Demand: With growing demand for more food as a result of increasing population figures, most companies have decided to go ahead by targeting key nations and supplying them with modified food grains. These grains have been modified to produce greater yields but in the process, this may cause more harm than good.
These are some of the positive and negative impacts of farming. Farming is not just important but it is actually crucial to our well being and survival of our species. This is why more care should be taken when farming; you must take all effective measure to prevent environmental degradation. It is vital that you ensure that you were protective clothing, including gloves when dousing your crop with the required fertilizers and pesticides. As you can see, agriculture is well poised to recover in the long run and will continue to reshape our world for a long time.