Agriculture Corner

Classification of Climate with Respect to Agriculture


This article discusses the climate classification with respect to agriculture sector. Mainly 4 classes exists on this basis. These are as follows:-

  1. Tropical Climate
  2. Temperate Climate
  3. Sub-Tropical Climate
  4. Polar Climate

Details of these are presented below. This article further highlights factors that affect climate.

Classification of Climate with Respect to Agriculture

Tropical Climate

It is a type of climate, where average monthly temperature changes little during the year and lengthy of the day changes only slightly at different times of years. The climate is severe in nature due to intense heat of sun and bears very high rainfall, cloudy weather and high humidity. Soil is rich and fertile due to presence of more organic matter. Bacterial activities are high.

Temperate Climate

Temperate climate is characterized by warm summer with long days and cool winter with short days and long nights. It bears moderate temperature and enough rainfall. Frost and snow may occur. There are heavy rains on the coast side and comparatively low towards interior.

Sub-Tropical Climate

It is between tropical and temperature climate.

Polar Climate

This climate is found on both poles of the earth. Highest temperature does not exceed 50oF. it remains very severe cold all the year. Foggy and snowy weather prevails always.

Factors that Affect Climate

Altitude (Height from sea level)

In elevated region air is thinner and does not receive much heat as there less dust particles to intercept sunrays and thus climate poor. Murree is cooler than Faisalabad.

Latitude (Southern and Northern distances from equator)

Place nearly equator are always hot as the sun rays fall perpendicular during the year. Places which are away from the equator are colder e.g. Indo-Pak is warmer than China and China is warmer than Japan.

Position and Direction of Mountains

The interception of warm and moist winds by high mountains that causes heavy rain falls on one side while in other side may remain dry.


They affect climate by causing more humidity and rainfall.

Slope of the Land

If slope of a land is towards sun the climate of that place will be warm because the sun rays fall perpendicular. When the sun rays fall parallel, climate is cool.


Moist winds cause rain and make the atmosphere cool.


Countries receiving more rainfall have moist and cool climate whereas countries receiving low or no rainfall possesses dry and hot climate.

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[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2019, March 21). Classification of Climate with Respect to Agriculture [Blog Post]. Retrieved from [/box]

Agriculture Corner

An Introduction and Benefits of Agroforestry


An Introduction to Agroforestry

This article deals with giving an introduction to agroforestry along with its benefits. For ease of understanding, the benefits of agroforestry are further divided into two group viz., short term benefits of agroforestry and long term benefits of agroforestry.

The concept of agroforestry is not new and is in practice for quite a long time. It is the integrated and self-sustained land management system that involves the growing of agricultural crops deliberately along with the trees or woody components. It may also include rearing of livestock along with cropping of trees. Common thing in both cases is that the agricultural and forestry activities are carried out on the same piece of land with the aim to meet not only the ecological needs of a region but also socio-economic needs of the people. The importance of agroforestry lies in the fact that there is both ecological and economic interaction between different components.

An agroforestry system is more preferable than growing trees in isolation because the crops bring the revenue for the farmers when the trees are too young to earn something for them. In addition to this tress brings more stability against harsh climatic parameters like intense rains, winds and help in reducing soil erosion. More benefits of agroforestry are discussed in next section.

Benefits of Agroforestry

There are numerous benefits of agroforestry ranging from providing food security to fuel and fodder availability to the livestock. Fruits shelter and shade provided by agroforestry system are some notable outcomes of this system. A detail idea regarding benefits from agroforestry is presented below.

Short Term Benefits of Agroforestry

  • Less attack of pests and diseases on regular crops due to lack of favorable host plants in the presence of trees.
  • Regular income
  • Short term crops meets the need of food and fodder supply
  • Less soil erosion.
  • Increased activity of soil microorganisms.
  • Water table is sustained.

Long Term Benefits of Agroforestry

  • Overall stability to the ecosystem
  • The soil and crop productivity is increased.
  • The socio-economic living being of the farmers is increased.
  • Continuous nutrient recycling.

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[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2019, March 21). An Introduction and Benefits of Agroforestry [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]

Agriculture Corner

Loss of Organic Matter in Arid Areas


Organic matter deficiency is a problem that is faced by almost entire cultivated lands of Pakistan. Intensive and multiple cropping have rendered the agricultural lands with fewer nutrients. In arid areas, the situation is worse and loss of organic matter and nutrient is high as compared to irrigated lands. The reason is poverty that prevails among the farming community of arid regions that solely dependent on rainwater. The production is less and hence they meet their necessities hardly and left with less finances to replenish the nutrients and loss of organic matter through application of artificial fertilizers.

In arid areas, the cropping has exposed oils to conditions that are favorable in decomposing and erosion. These conditions increase the pace of loss of organic matter from soil. Changes in carbon and nitrogen that are related to losses of organic matter have occurred with small grains and row crops under both continuous cropping and alternate crop fallow systems.

How to Increase Organic Matter in Soil?

Organic matter elevation in the soil is necessary for optimum crop plant growth for healthy production. The loss of organic matter can be reduced or compensated by adopting some useful measures. These measures can be applied individually or collectively to increase the organic matter in arid areas soil.

  1. Regular application of farm yard manure (FYM) or litter in the agriculture fields of arid areas.
  2. Practicing stubble farming. This can be done by retaining the large portions of crop biomass in the agriculture fields during the time of harvesting.
  3. Keeping the soil covered and cool by mulching techniques to slow down organic matter degradation.
  4. Adopting the habit of green manuring in the agriculture fields of arid areas.
  5. Addition of hydrojels or the industrial organic wastes.
  6. Poultry manure application which is rich in nitrogen and is considered as one of the strongest organic manure.
  7. Planting legumes during fallow periods.

These practices are not only cheaper but also within the financial range of the relatively poor farming community of arid areas as compare to irrigated land farmers to cope with the loss of organic matter from soil .

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[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, September 21). Loss of Organic Matter in Arid Areas [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]

Agriculture Corner

Objectives of Adult Education in Agriculture


Without designing proper objectives on paper, success rate of any educational program is minute. In the case of adult education in agriculture, the responsibly of extension officer or adult education agent increases manifolds. This is because of the reason that it is somewhat tricky and slightly difficult to teach adults than the children due to less accepting attitude and lack of interest in learning and adopting new technologies and innovations. In the light of this, the objectives of adult education in agriculture are needed to be based on specific needs or precisely should be based to address demand driven problems.

Before going to deliver adult education, extension officer should equip himself with the demands and solutions of the farmers in the targeted area, so that objectives of adult education in agriculture are addressed optimally.   

Objectives of Adult Education in Agriculture

Below is the list of 9 important objectives of adult education in agriculture that should be given due importance while designing any adult education program for farmers.

  • First and foremost objective of adult education is to convince and encourage them to adopt new and improved technology in farming operations. The communication skills and convincing power of adult education expert is of utmost importance here.
  • Develop abilities in the farmers that can enhance their managerial skills so that farming is turned from ‘just farming’ to successful business.
  • Teach them such techniques that increase their abilities to make farm a better living place.
  • Adult education program should be up to date and provide farmers with latest and innovative farming techniques and information.
  • Democracy is vital in making any business of life successful. Adult education program should develop awareness of the value of democracy to farmers.
  • The program should develop and maintain favorable social environment in the farming community.
  • Increase the farmer’s interest in farming by incorporating such knowledge and understanding about care, well being and physical fitness on the farm.
  • The program of adult education should use such tools that are easy to understand for farming community.
  • The adult education program should be designed and deliver in local language of the targeted area. This will increase the overall efficiency of the program.

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[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ] Rahman, M. A. (2018, May 31). Objectives of Adult Education in Agriculture [Blog Post]. Retrieved from [/box]


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Agriculture Corner

Functions of Adult Education in Agriculture


Adult education is one of the key components in agriculture extension service programs, designed for any farming community globally. This is because of the low literacy rate that exits in farming communities especially in the developing nations to make them competitive in farming operations. In the light of this, there are several functions of adult education in agriculture sector. These are categorized into three main functions. Following paragraphs will highlight the functions of adult education in agriculture sector.

Functions of Adult Education in Agriculture

Breaking Orthodoxy and Encouragement

First, out of three functions of adult education in agriculture is the linking of farmers with the innovations and technology of modern day agriculture. Field experience shows that it is hard to convince the farmers to change the way of old farming practices and to adapt to modern agricultural practices due to their risk aversive behavior.

Similarly applying new technology in farming is another issue for farmers due to illiteracy. So first and foremost function of adult education is to break the orthodoxy. They need to be convinced that adopting to change will bring economic fruits from farming. Encouragement is needed for all this process and it is more feasible to indigenize the modern technology so that farmers can understand it easily.

One think should be kept in mind that extension officer must use effective and dynamic extension techniques for transmitting information while involved in adult education in agriculture.  

Bridge the Gap between Farmers and Research

Second function of adult education in agriculture extension is to bridge the gap between research carried out in research institutes and taking problems of farming community to the research institutes. For this purpose, the adult education officer or extension officer should have sound knowledge and grip over the topic which he is going to teach the farmers.

On the other hand, he should also understand the nature of technology which he is going to transfer to the adult farmers. Another function of adult education that is to be performed by the extension officer is to diagnose the reason of the problems faced by farmers at spot, and if possible, suggest the solutions immediately.

Skill Development in Farmers

Third function of adult education is to equip the farmers with the skills especially the managerial skills, so that they can play their productive role in commercial economy. These can be taught by trainings to the farmers by the adult education officer.

These functions of adult education in agriculture are most important in making the farmers successful.

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[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, May 29). Functions of Adult Education in Agriculture [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]

Career in Agriculture

Introduction and Career in Plant Pathology


Plant Pathology, as name portrays that it deals with the study of plant diseases including crops, vegetable, fruits, ornamental etc. Before going deep to discuss the underpinnings of subject Plant Pathology and what opportunities exist when one thinks about career in plant pathology, let us start by looking at the definition of Plant Pathology.

What is Plant Pathology?

Plant pathology is simply the study of the diseases and problems that cause the plant to suffer in terms of health that not only affect growth and development but also the production losses occur. Diseases or ailment here can be considered as the harmful changes in plant body that impact normal functioning of body functions and cause deviation in physiological processes. These are caused by any pathogenic and infectious agent. The harmful agents may include a virus, fungus, a parasite or a bacterium that occupy plant body and affect it.

Importance of Plant Pathology

Most of the researchers and plant pathologists study the diseases that affect the crop plants. Why? This is because the increase in global population has forced the agriculturists to produce more food specifically on commercial scale to meet the demand of food and keep the world a food secure place for humans. However, with the increase in population and food production, there are several new varieties of harmful agents that have evolved over the time that affect plants and especially the crops. As human security is dependent on crops plants; so most of the focus in plant pathology is given to crops.

The plant diseases that directly affect crops have also shown indirect but deep impact on human civilization. A hundred and 50 years ago (150 years ago), Europe faces the worst disease of potato blight fungus of potato crop that devastated the potato crops especially in Ireland. This resulted in to 1 million deaths and about 1,500,000 emigrations from Ireland alone.

Similarly, hundred years ago, a fungus Hemileia vastatrix also known as coffee rust fungus ruined the fields of coffee in today’s SriLanka. The damage was so swear that coffee plantation was replaced by tea plantation. More recently, fifty years ago, brown spot on rice caused by Cochliobolus miyabeanus, caused death of thousands from starvation in today’s Bangladesh.

The devastation and problems occurred by pathogens has increased of plant pathology. In the modern world of today, the importance of plant pathology has increased many folds. This is because the changing climate of the world has also introduced new varieties of crop and plant pathogens that are unknown few years ago. Sincere efforts and attention is required now address the advancements in plant pathogens if we want to have food secure world and population.

Career in Plant Pathology

A professional degree in Plant Pathology can be obtained after high school. Normally four year degree programs are offered in plant pathology that opens several job opportunities for plant pathologists. To me, career in plant pathology opens challenging as well as learning horizons for the plant pathologist. Here in this section of the article, I am going to discuss few important opportunities when you choose career in plant pathology.

Colleges and Universities

A good scope of job is present in colleges and universities when one chooses career in plant pathology. Research, teaching, and extension are three important domains that can be chosen by a plant pathologist. There is always room for research and based on that research, plant pathology teacher can introduce the students with new advancements in plant pathology. Good salary packages are given to teachers, however, salary may vary for college and university teacher.

Agricultural Consulting Companies

The next best option in career in plant pathology is working as a consultant for agricultural consulting companies. The salaries are good based on skills a plant pathologist has. These companies help firms and farmers in combating against diseases in their field plants or crops.  

Agro-chemical companies

The medicines develop by agro-chemical companies are vital in catering plant diseases. These agro-chemical companies require the services of plant pathologists not only in developing new pesticides and herbicides but also exploring new and innovative ways of controlling plant diseases.

Tissue Culture Laboratories

Next in career in plant pathology is the job opportunities in tissue culture laboratories. Research is required to design disease tolerant crop and plant varieties and for this, these laboratories provide the platform for the plant pathologists to carry out research and innovations in the field of plant pathology.

International Agricultural Research Centers

This is a dream opportunity to work with international research fellows and scientist to learn from global experience in the field of plant pathology. The salaries are surely high, however the demand for work and skills are also high. This platform provides a good path for the scientists to work in collaboration to explore solution of common problems in plant diseases domain.  

Private Practice

Staring a private business is always a good option. Though it requires some investment and marketing campaign, however, once you establish yourself as professional plant pathologists, the rate of return on investment and your skills are huge.  

Other Job Options When You Choose Career in Plant Pathology

There are numerous other job options when you choose career in plant pathology. I am enlisting these other options below;

  • Diagnostic Laboratories
  • Biological Control Companies
  • State Departments of Agriculture
  • EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Environmental and Patent Law Firms
  • Garden and Nurseries Centers
  • Public Policy Organizations
  • Lawn and Landscape Maintenance Firms

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[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, March 21). Introduction and Career in Plant Pathology [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]

Vegetable Gardening

Square Foot Gardening


Square Foot Gardening is an innovative and advance technique of planning small but intensively planted gardens at home. Mel Bartholomew is considered as the pioneer to coin the term Square Foot Gardening. The beauty of this farming technique resides in its application of organic farming techniques combined with other innovative methods to get more and better production from a small piece of land especially in vegetable gardens.

Square Foot Gardening  includes the application of organic gardening techniques along with strong emphasis on composting methods, planting the plants closely and intensively, making raised beds and also bio intensive attention to a small yet clearly defined area of garden.   

Square Foot Gardening

Importance of Square Foot Gardening

The success of this technique lies in the fact that this method is quite beneficial in those areas where the gardener is facing the problem of poor quality of soil. By selecting a confined area for gardening, that plot can be modifies according to the desire and best quality of output as well as production can be obtained. This technique is equally beneficial for those who are new to vegetable gardening or backyard gardening. It is also proved to be a recreational activity for the people with disabilities those allowing them to enjoy the leisure time efficiently.

Method of Square Foot Gardening

The basic idea behind this technique is using an open bottomed box that is placed on the soil that contain finite amount of soil. This soil is then divided into various sections according to the desire using grids. To get good quality and quantity of production from vegetable gardening crops each square would be planted with different kind of crop plants. In case of ornamental gardening, the Square Foot gardening is equally beneficial in a sense that spate type of flowers can be grown in each square to increase the aesthetic sense of the garden.   

Square Foot Farming 1 | Arid Agriculture
Square Foot Farming 1

Vegetable Gardening Recommendation for Square Foot Gardening

The Square Foot gardening can be used differently for different types of crops. For instance, a single Tomato plant might consume a full square. Similarly, herbs like Oregano, Mint or Basil also consume a full square. On the other hand, Strawberry plants can be planted four per square. In case of vegetables, sixteen radishes can also be planted and grown per square.

The smaller beds used in square foot gardening are helpful in easy adaptation of the farmer with his/her garden. He can have reach to every single inch of the entire area for gardening practices by avoiding direct stepping on the soil ad making it compact.  

Square Foot Gardening is Effective for Weed Control

Square Foot Gardening  is effective for weed control in a sense that a weed barrier can be made beneath the square foot box. At the bottom of the box, it can be filled with a combination of one third of decayed Sphagnum (peat moss), one third of compost and one third of vermiculture.

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[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, March 20). Square Foot Gardening [Blog Post]. Retrieved from [/box]

Agriculture Corner

Universal Soil Loss Equation


A universal soil loss equation has been developed by the soil scientists to estimate the soil loss from any area around the globe. The equation uses the values of parameters of the factors that affect the soil erosion. These factors are placed in the equation in such a manner that condition of a place like climate, slope of land, crop management, rainfall, temperature and conservation practices are also accounted to get realistic estimates from the universal soil loss equation.

In the coming line the actual universal soil loss equation will be presented along the description of its components.

Universal Soil Loss Equation

A = R*K*L*S*C*P

The equation has a dependent variable that depends on six other independent variables.

Dependent Variable:

A = Computed or estimates variable that represents soil loss per unit area. This variable is the product of the six variables presented on the right hand side of Universal Soil Loss Equation

Independent Variables:

R = refers to the rainfall factor in soil erosion.

K = the soil erodibility factor. Erodibility factor is the average soil loss per unit area per unit of erosion index from cultivated fallow plot.

L = represents the slope length factor.

S = the slope percentage factor.

C = the crop management factor. This is calculated by the ratio of soil loss under a specific cropping system to that of fallow plot.

P = is the soil conservation or erosion control practice factor like contour farming or strip farming etc.

Any student, farmers or scientist interested in estimating the soil loss from the field under his control can use this equation. It is equally applicable to any sort of erosion viz., water or wind erosion that is damaging the soil and depriving it from the nutrients for optimum crop production.

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[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, March 11). Universal Soil Loss Equation [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]

Agriculture Corner

Branches of Soil Science


Soil is a natural resource. It exists on the earth surface even before the existence of mankind on earth. So to study soil from various dynamics and its relation with other entities whether living or non-living things, a branch of science was designated called as soil science. So Soil Science is the branch of science that studies soil formation, its mapping and classification, properties including physical, chemical and biological and management of soil for various purposes. This is has enabled the scientists to craft various branches of soil science.

Branches of Soil Science

Due to this importance of soil, scientists divide soil science into various branches for easy understanding of various soil phenomenon. There are 8 branches of soil science. These include;

  • Soil Physics
  • Soil Chemistry
  • Soil Biology
  • Soil Mineralogy
  • Soil Fertility
  • Soil Genesis and Classification (Pedology)
  • Soil Survey
  • Soil Technology

Soil Physics

Soil has a mechanical behavior. By mechanical behavior, it means soil has physical properties and through which it control physical process in and through the soil. There is a need to measure that control of soil over various physical processes and for this, soil physics is the branch of soil science that focuses on this phenomenon.

Soil Chemistry

This branch of soil science deals with the study of chemical properties and composition of soil. It also studies the chemical processes that takes place in soil.

Soil Biology

This branch deals with the soil ecology. In this, scientists study the role of living organisms in biological transformations that take place in soil.

Soil Mineralogy

The study of minerals present in the soil is focused in soil mineralogy. It also includes the study of contribution made by those minerals in soil physical, chemical, biological and fertility and their relation to the genesis of soil.

Soil Fertility

The status of nutrients present in the soil and the ability of soil to provide these nutrients to the crops or plants for optimum growth under finest environmental conditions like temperature, light etc.

Soil Genesis and Classification (Pedology)

The study of weathering of rocks and minerals and soil formation is studied under this branch of soil science. It also includes the classification of soil in recognized manner.

Soil Survey

Systematic analysis and examination of soil in the laboratories as well as in fields is studied in soil survey. It also includes the study of adaptability of soils to various crops in different areas and also interpretation of soil according to soil productivity under different management systems.

Soil Technology

It is an applied side of the soil science. It deals with the study of principles and the practices of soil erosion and conservation. It also deals with the soil health or soil problems that include salinity, sodic (alkaline), acidic, degradation, water logging etc.

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[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, March 10). Branches of Soil Science [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]

Agriculture Corner

Genetically Modified Crops in Agriculture


Genetically modified crops in agriculture, also referred to as genetically modified foods, are those crops that are tested and modified in laboratory according to the desired traits with the aim to increase the nutritional status of that crop or food. The question arises here, that when breeding techniques are available then why there is need of genetically modified crops in agriculture.

Need of Genetically Modified Crops in Agriculture

These crops were introduced because of the fact that the method of getting desired traits and characteristics in crops through traditional breeding was time consuming and the probability of getting the desired result is low. Whereas in genetically modified crops, the genetic engineering creates plants or crops with fast, accurate and exact results as per requirement.

How Genetically Modified Crops are Made?

In Genetically Modified Crops, the genes are transferred between organisms. These are transferred by using sequence of laboratory techniques to clone the genes by splicing the DNA segments together and ultimately inserting the modified genes into the cells of plants in which modification is needed. The aggregate of these techniques is also called as recombinant DNA technology.

Other Terms Used for Genetically Modified Crops

There are several other terms in use for Genetically Modified Crops or foods. The terms are;

  • Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)
  • Genetically Engineered (GE)
  • Bio-Engineered Crops
  • Transgenic Crops

The term ‘Genetically modified’ is confusing for some people. How? It is a fact that almost everything we consume today as food is actually modified genetically. This is because the crops we are eating are domesticated from wild species and passed through many generations of selection by humans to modify them for desirable traits. However in actual, genetically modified here refers  to indicate the use of recombinant DNA technology in crop production or food manufacturing.

What is inserted into a Genetically Modified Crops?

The DNA fragments inserted contains genes with desired traits. These genes have the DNA sequence information encoding specific proteins. In addition to this, it also contains DNA segments which control assembly of the proteins.

An important aspect in genetic engineering of crops is that the inserted fragment of DNA also has a marker gene. The concept behind marker gene is to easily identify plants that have been incorporated with the transferred genes into their chromosomes.

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[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, March 08). Genetically Modified Crops in Agriculture [Blog Post]. Retrieved from [/box]