The word agriculture indicate plowing a field, planting seed, harvesting a crop, milking cows, or feeding livestock. Until recently, this was a fairly accurate picture. But to days’ agriculture is radically different.
Agriculture has evolved in to agribusiness and has become a vast and complex system that reaches for beyond the farm to include all those who are involved in bringing food and fiber to consumers. Agribusiness include not only those that farm the land but also the people and firms that provide the inputs (for ex. Seed, chemicals, credit etc.), process the output (for ex. Milk, grain, meat etc.), manufacture the food products (for ex. icc cream, bread, breakfast cereals etc.), and transport and sell the food products to consumers (for ex. restaurants, supermarkets).
Agribusiness system has undergone a rapid transformation as new industries have evolve and traditional farming operations have grown larger and more specialized. The transformation did not happen over night, but came slowly as a response to a variety of forces. Knowing something about how agribusiness came about makes it easier to understand how this system operates today and how it is likely to change in the future. Initially agriculture being the major venture it was easy to become a farmer, but productivity was low. Average farmer produced enough food to feed just four people. As a consequence most farmers were nearly totally self-sufficient. They produced most of the inputs they needed for production, such as seed, draft animals, feed and simple farm equipment. Farm families processed the commodities they grew to make their own food and clothing. They consumed or used just about everything they produced. The small amount of output not consumed on the farm was sold for cash. These items were used to feed and cloth the minor portion of the country’s population that lived in villages and cities. A few agricultural products made their way into the export market and were sold to...
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