There was once a time when farmers used to plow the land manually and it was one long hard task stretching from dawn to dusk. So they put their heads together and came up with the tractor. Cut to the 21st century and farming has gone all high-tech and is talking about GM food and agricultural biotechnology.
The scientific advances have touched all the facets in the field of agriculture. Thus agricultural machinery has witnessed a radical makeover from the days of hand-held apparatus like trimmers and chainsaws to the modern day computer-controlled, GPS-monitored and self-steer programs that are virtually negating the need for human intervention.
Agricultural technology is also making inroads into the relatively new but very promising fields of nanotechnology and genetic engineering. And nowhere is it more apparent than in the crops that are being churned out and the animal husbandry techniques that are being practiced.
Health concerns have seen the soaring popularity of organic fruits and vegetables. The organic variety of food is cultivated without using pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and growth hormones. In the organic form of agriculture, food processing is done without ionizing radiation and the use of food additives. Artificiality is the bane now, only confined to the myriad-hued artificial fruits and vegetables, made from polyfoam, plastic, PVC, wax, papier-mache and also terracotta, that grace your showcase and dinning table.
The arrival of genetically modified (GM) vegetation has meant that plants, fruits and vegetables have been endowed with increased insect resistance and abundant nutritional advantages. The health brigade is lapping these up fervently.
The influx of technology in the sphere of agriculture has witnessed veritable revolutions in the arena of livestock farming. Cattle breeding nowadays encompass scientific crossbreeding techniques like heterosis and breed complementarity that produce cattle with greatly improved fertility.
Cloned sheep had been an idea that scientists had been toying with since the late 1970s. Dolly was the outcome of years of research, an exact replica of her mother. Dolly unfortunately survived for only six years, but she set the trend for future cloning experimentation on bulls and horses.
The practice of cattle slaughter has also made progresses and hygienic standards have improved manifold times. Advances in this arena include improved cooling and storage techniques to prevent the growth of microorganisms, waste products being sent to rendering and waste treatment plants to cut back on the environmental pollution.
Evolution of agricultural practices has meant that there’s greater productivity and hence prosperity in the farming circles and a variety of healthy food options for the consumers.