Everything we eat is sourced from nature. The plant kingdom has been generously providing us with nutritious and healthy foods to make a plethora of dishes. Earlier, historic people used to hunt animals or gather fruits and vegetables readily available in their living surroundings. These nomadic people moved places according to the availability of basic necessities. As humans started evolving, they realized that they could grow their own food by farming. Hence, people began staying static in settlements and farmed their own land. Agriculture later developed and advanced equipment were used for various farming processes. With time, these techniques were modified or replaced with newer ones which demanded lesser effort and yielded better output of production in return. This started revolutionizing traditional farming methods with more yield centric ones. Soon, farming as a livelihood turned into a booming production industry for an ever hungry world with rapidly growing population. Since almost all plant-based food was commercialized due to it being the starting material for many modern food industries, the agricultural sector came under a lot of pressure and focus for more and more food production to satisfy their needs. The quality of crops and fertility of land have reduced drastically with time, owing to continuous cultivation on the same land for numerous centuries and no opportunity for land replenishment. Extensive research was done to innovate and revamp agriculture into a mechanized and efficient process.
Today, farming practices have become highly advanced with a lot of machinery and equipment to lessen human efforts and errors. These methods check the box for sustainability too, doing lesser damage to crops as well as the environment. As a result of modern agricultural practices, the quality of produce has also improved. With the use of advanced technology, it has become possible to introduce certain desirable characteristics in a crop variety, and reduce or completely eliminate the shortcomings. This has been done with genetic manipulation/modification. To improve the aeration and air circulation of farming land and expose the useful soil bacteria to surrounding air, excessive tillage of land is done. Modern farming practices make use of fertilizers to increase the yield of crop. Earlier, synthetic fertilizers were used, but this led to leaching of harmful chemicals in the environment which had adverse effects on other components of nature. So, farmers were directed to make use of organic fertilizers which improved soil fertility as well as were environment-friendly. The use of better and well-planned irrigation technologies like sprinkle and drip irrigation have led to provision of adequate water to plants. These advanced irrigation methods make efficient use of water too. The use of pesticides has led to less crop damage by infestation, reducing invasion of vegetation through pests, and the result is healthful and productive plants. The practice of monocropping gradually lead to depletion of nutrients in the soil making it infertile. So, a lot of research has been done in this arena and recent studies have led to the practice of crop rotation, wherein a series of different types of crops are grown on the same land on a sequence of growing seasons. Usually, after cash crops are grown, leguminous plants are farmed on the same land to enhance soil fertility. This method restores the nutrient level of soil.
The agriculture area has witnessed a lot of modernization for good crop produce and environmental safety. Many more methods are being invented to make conventional farming mechanized, hassle free, environment friendly and sustainable. In the coming years, better use of the small portion of available land will be necessary to overcome shortage of agricultural land and highly developed techniques and technologies might provide the required push to agricultural practices.