Mutual Relationship Between Agriculture and Industrialization

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The industrialization process is historically based on the expansion of the secondary sector in an economy dominated by primary activities. Thus, industrialization can be termed as the period of social and economic change that transforms a human group from an agrarian society into an industrial one. It is a part of a wider modernization process, where social change and economic development are closely related with technological innovation, particularly with the development of large-scale energy and metallurgy production.

It is the extensive organisation of an economy for the purpose of manufacturing. Key positive factors identified by researchers that lead to industralisation have ranged from favourable political-legal environments for industry and commerce, through abundant natural resources of various kinds, to plentiful supplies of relatively low-cost, skilled and adaptable labour. As the consequence of industralisation, industrial workers incomes rise, markets for consumer goods and services of all kinds tend to expand and provide a further stimulus to industrial investment and economic growth.

On the other hand, the lack of an industrial sector in a country can be a handicap in improving the country’s economy and power, so governments encourage or enforce industrialisation.

Agriculture

Agriculture also called farming or husbandry is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi, and other life forms for food, fiber, biofuel and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the development of civilization.

The history of agriculture dates back thousands of years, and its development has been driven and defined by greatly different climates, cultures, and technologies. However, all farming generally relies on techniques to expand and maintain the lands that are suitable for raising domesticated species. For plants, this usually requires some form of irrigation, although there are methods of dryland farming; pastoral herding on rangeland is still the most common means of raising livestock. Until the Industrial Revolution, the vast majority of the human population labored in agriculture.

Pre-industrial agriculture was typically subsistence agriculture in which farmers raised most of their crops for their own consumption instead of for trade. A remarkable shift in agricultural practices has occurred over the past century in response to new technologies, and the development of world markets. This also led to technological improvements in agricultural techniques, such as the Haber-Bosch method for synthesizing ammonium nitrate which made the traditional practice of recycling nutrients with crop rotation and animal manure less necessary.

Modern agronomy, plant breeding, pesticides and fertilizers, and technological improvements have sharply increased yields from cultivation, but at the same time have caused widespread ecological damage and negative human health effects. Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry such as intensive pig farming have similarly increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal cruelty and the health effects of the antibiotics, growth hormones, and other chemicals commonly used in industrial meat production.

The major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers, fuels, and raw materials. In the 21st century, plants have been used to grow biofuels, biopharmaceuticals, bioplastics, and pharmaceuticals. Specific foods include cereals, vegetables, fruits, and meat. Fibers include cotton, wool, hemp, silk and flax. Raw materials include lumber and bamboo. Other useful materials are produced by plants, such as resins. Biofuels include methane from biomass, ethanol, and biodiesel.

Cut flowers, nursery plants, tropical fish and birds for the pet trade are some of the ornamental products.

Mutual relationship between industrialization and agriculture

For economic growth of a agriculture dominated nation, there is need for restructuring of the national economy, decreasing the share of the agricultural sector in the GDP (gross domestic product ) and in the work force , and boosting the industrial sectors. Developmental strategies are usually geared towards the maximum utilisation of agricultural resources to augment industrialisation and urban expansion.

For this, a successful agricultural sector is an important element in the industrial development and rapid growth rate of a nation ‘s economy. The agricultural sector supplies other sectors within and outside the country with products such as foodstuffs , industrial raw materials , labour , capital , and markets that are necessary for industrialization and the manufacturing industries aggregate, pack, package, purify or process the raw materials, in most of the cases, close to the primary producers especially if the raw material is unsuitable for sale or difficult to transport long distances.

As the relationship between agriculture and industry is very important in any economic development, the whole process of development can be understood in the context of the relationship between agriculture and industry and its evolution.

This is because first, agriculture and industry are usually the biggest and primary material production sectors in the economy, they provide physical goods for a society’s survival and the foundation for any further development.

Second, it becomes more and more clear that one sector cannot develop properly without the other. The agriculture industry relationship from the point of view of the intersectoral terms of trade is considered as the most important factor in agriculture industry relationship because the connection between the two sectors is mainly through product exchanges. To begin with, agriculture sector enjoys both production and demand linkages with industrial sector.

Agriculture sector has demand linkage with the industrial sector as it depends on the latter for agricultural implements and other inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides.

Thus, a good harvest (in turn giving a boost to agricultural income) results in increased demand for industrial products. Similarly, a good agricultural year is also likely to raise demand for services like trade, transport, banking and insurance services. On the supply side, agricultural inputs are used in the production of various chemical and pharmaceutical products; consumer items, especially non-durable food products, etc. Thus, a fall in aggregate supply in agriculture sector is likely to cause a serious constraint in production of the industrial sector.

The rise in the demand for food and in agricultural prices has stimulated the development of agriculture, its capacity to increase its purchases from industry and its deliveries of products to the market. Increased consumption of producer goods has been sustained by increased agricultural prices and state subsidies for the purchase of equipment more than by advances in agricultural productivity: the growth in agricultural production has been obtained by extending crops rather than by increased yields.

Today the key roles of agriculture are:

•to supply cheap foodstuffs and raw materials for the urban /industrial sector

•to export farm products to earn foreign exchange which could be used to finance technological and material imports for urban and industrial development

•to release labour to provide the work force for the industrial sector

•to expand the domestic market for industrial products and

•to increase domestic savings to be used to finance industrial expansion

Primary industry is a larger sector in developing countries; for instance, animal husbandry is more common in Africa than in Japan where as in developed countries primary industry becomes more technologically advanced, for instance the mechanization of farming as opposed to hand picking and planting. In more developed economies additional capital is invested in primary means of production.

As an example, in the United States corn belt, combine harvesters pick the corn, and spray systems distribute large amounts of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides, producing a higher yield than is possible using less capital-intensive techniques. These technological advances and investment allow the primary sector to require less workforce and, this way, developed countries tend to have a smaller percentage of their workforce involved in primary activities, instead having a higher percentage involved in the secondary and tertiary sectors.

Developed countries are allowed to maintain and develop their primary industries even further due to the excess wealth. For instance, European Union agricultural subsidies provide buffers for the fluctuating inflation rates and prices of agricultural produce. This allows developed countries to be able to export their agricultural products at extraordinarily low prices. This makes them extremely competitive against those of poor or underdeveloped countries that maintain free market policies and low or non-existent tariffs to counter them. You may also be interested in reading Business and Society Relationship

Such differences also come about due to more efficient production in developed economies, given farm machinery, better information available to farmers, and often larger scale. Considering inter-dependence among the three sectors of an economy viz. agriculture ; allied activities (primary), industry (secondary) and services (tertiary), it may be presumed that demand for one sector in a closed economy is a function of outputs generated in the other two sectors. In an open economy, however, the relationship can be captured by incorporating some other variables, which integrate the external economy.

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