Agriculture Corner

United States Land Grant Model: Lessons for Developing Countries


With the implementation of Morrill Land-Grants Act in 1862 during the presidential tenure of Abraham Lincoln, United States Land Grant Colleges and Universities of Agriculture were start establishing in the states, territories and bound of Unites States of America. It won’t be wrong to claim that, Unites States Land Grant Model opened a new horizon of research and development in agriculture sector of USA. On top of it, this model is intertwined with the opening of gates to a mediocre American to have an access to technical and higher education. 

Before moving ahead, let’s have a brief on what is Land Grant System? We know that government grant is anything having a value and is given by the Federal or central government to a non-federal unit with the objective to carry out activities of public interest as authorized by the government law.

In case of United States Land Grant system, it is the award of government owned land to a receiver with the condition that the land will be used for public purpose under the legislation of US. Public colleges and universities are the most prominent outcomes of land grant system.

The law bounded the awardees of government land to either built a college or university (for agriculture and mechanic arts) or sold the land, and use the money to build at least one college for agriculture or mechanic arts. As the time passed, the dynamics of higher education and agriculture sector changed in USA and this also impacted on the land grant colleges that responded to this change by upgrading to universities.

Today, this 150 years old model is supporting USA economy by providing state of the art and world class research output, educational facilities, innovative public outreach programs and extension schemes that have strengthen the rural communities. As a result, community members have become the drivers of change by producing superior quality food, fiber along with renewable fuel systems to face the new challenges at national and global stages.

These colleges and universities under land grand model are now primary source of policy input to US government in research, education and extension services, thus creating an enabling environment to face 21st century challenges.

Can Third World Countries Agricultural System Withstand Challenges of 21st Century?

The most common missing link in any sector of economy in a third world nation is the element of ‘Planning’. Planning is at the core of achieving any goal. However, this habit has to be changed if governments in third world want their citizens to have access to safe and nutritious food along with sustainable livelihoods.

Another limiting factor that hinders the process of planning in third world nations is the access to capital and technology. For planning, research is needed to answer the unanswered queries. And for research funds are required. With weaker economies, it is difficult for third world nations to make a cut on other expenses and divert the funds towards research and ultimately planning. The viable option left is to learn from the successful stories and models round the globe.

Almost all the third world countries on the globe have agricultural based economies. Without innovation and technological advancement, it is hard to withstand 21st century challenges. Some notable challenges to agriculture sector in the 21st century include;  

  1. Climate change
  2. Population explosion
  3. Food insecurity
  4. Water scarcity for irrigation purpose
  5. Introduction of new diseases and pest on agricultural fields
  6. Orthodox extension methodologies
  7. Lack of research for new crop varieties.

Unites States Land Grants Model is Best Suited to Third World Countries

As mentioned earlier, that poor agriculture based nations have viable option of learning from global successful models. Land grant model is suited to the economic conditions of these countries in many ways;

  1. Government has to spend nothing on its part. They can award the government owned lands to follow a grass root level approach for agricultural development.
  2. USA land grant universities are also supporting third world countries that are ready to adopt land grant model by proving technical assistance, scientific trainings and hands on instruction.
  3. Land grand model can aid in uplifting the higher education and literacy rate in the country.
  4. Government can provide seed money to the trained graduates from land grant education system so that they can become entrepreneurs to generate further employment opportunities.
  5. Eventually, not only livelihoods of the people will increase but economy will also witness boom.

Cite this Article in APA Style as:

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2017, September 19). United States Land Grant College of Agriculture: Lessons for Developing Countries [Blog Post]. Retrieved from [/box]


Agriculture Corner

Innovative Water Resource Management in Agriculture


Water is the basic need of life and one of the core elements of sustainability of living beings on planet earth. We have learnt since our childhood that 70 percent of earth surface is covered by water. However, the dilemma is, this large mass of water is not fit for human consumption and agricultural purposes. We are only available with 1 percent of fresh water resources to fulfill our drinking and other farming needs. This situation demands wise and innovative water resource management in agriculture and other sectors of daily life.

Now, I want to divert the focus of my readers towards the population explosion aspect that we are facing for the past 2-3 decades. Population on the globe has increased at an exponential rate. There has been a dramatic escalation of population graph line if you plot years and population number on a graph as shown below.

Population on Earth

Source: United Nations World Population Prospects

The above graph is quite self-explanatory that how we are expanding. Within a century, we have added almost 5 billion people and in coming 2-3 decade, we will be around 9 billion. This fast phase population explosion is on the other hand exerting pressure on the limited resources of the earth. Similarly, food demand is on a high and it will get increase in future as we are adding more mouths to our food basket.  

Now when we link the water availability situation with population, a dark picture comes out as a result. As stated earlier, we are bestowed with only one 1 percent fresh water resources by nature and this resource is limited. On top of it, we are wasting water criminally in domestic and agricultural purposes, thus creating a difficult situation for our coming generations. Water resources are also facing another pressure from the changing climate. Changing rainfall and temperature patterns due to climate change are affecting negatively on water resources. So importance of innovative water resource management in agriculture increases many folds.

Widening Gap of Water Demand and Population

Over the years, because of the factors discussed in previous lines, per capital water availability of water has reduced. In some parts of the world, it has crossed the red line. There is a widening gap between the water demand and population as presented in graph below.

Water Demand and Population


The reason for which I build the case so far is that the changing dynamics of water, climate and population needs new and innovative measures to tackle in order to have sustainability in all forms of life, especially in agriculture. Out of the box approach is needed to address all the issues.

What is Innovative Water Resource Management?

Innovative Water Resource Management is the set of management techniques that include cutting-edge knowledge and innovative approaches including an in-depth understanding of the inherent economic, scientific, social and environmental aspects to manage water resources for its sustainable consumption and to ensure the healthy recharge of water resources.

The advanced countries of the world are investing a great deal on planning and development of Innovative Water Resource Management techniques to ensure minimal water loses and enhanced water use efficiency.

The current trend of water use that is widely practiced in various parts of the world including Asia and Africa is the usage of water only once and then disposal. This trend is harmful and has created water scarce situation in many areas. Innovative Water Resource Management emphasizes more on reuse of available water through processing treatments.

Innovative Water Resource Management from Agriculture Perspective

Water lose in agriculture is lot more as compare to other sectors of the economy. Especially in third world countries, due to lack of technology, water is still used in traditional ways of irrigation in farming that results in excess loss. There are several innovative techniques now available globally to ensure water resource management in agriculture sector.

Though these technologies are expensive, however, their indigenized area specific versions have been developed, keeping in mind the local needs and budget. These are proven beneficial both for farmers and from water management perspective. Some of these Innovative Water Resource Management techniques included;

  1. Hydroponic system to grow vegetables on a media that is water use efficient.

Hydroponic system
  1. Smart Rain Water Harvesting System by building community level small dams to collect rain water for its usage in irrigation.
Smart Rain Water Harvesting System
  1. Usage of Precision / Laser Land Leveling to Conserve Water.
Laser Land Leveling to Conserve Water
  1. Bed and Furrow Planting
Bed and Furrow Planting
  1. Flexible gated pipe irrigation system
Flexible gated pipe irrigation system
  1. Optimizing Watercourse Conveyance Efficiency through Enhancing Lining Length

  1. Spat Irrigation
Spat Irrigation

This innovative water management technique is an art as well as science which is especially designed and unique to semi-arid environments.

Cite this Article in APA Style as:

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2017, September 18). Innovative Water Resource Management in Agriculture [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]



Agriculture Corner

Various Types of Soil Water


In arid and dryland farming, water has premium importance. It is available in scarce quantity, so its usage should be carried out in a wise manner. In this regard, understanding soil chemistry and soil-water relationship is of utmost importance especially for arid and dryland farming systems. This article will highlight various types of soil water or precisely the combinations of water that is available in connection with the soil particles that give birth to new and innovative soil-water relationship.  

Soil chemistry is complex. Understanding soil needs in-depth analysis of various factors. One of these is the soil-water relationship. The interaction of water with soil is always the element of interest for agriculturists and especially soil scientists all around the globe. The study of soil-water relationship gives birth to a phenomenon called as ‘types of soil water’. Soil scientists classified this relationship in various categories which I will discuss later in this article. Firstly, it is important to understand the behavior of soil when it receives water.

You May Like this Also: Why Choose Agriculture as Career?

Suppose the soil is dry. You add water to the soil by any means say for example through irrigation, or rainfall. The water gets in touch with the soil and is distributed all around the particles of soil. The water around the soil particles is held through adhesion and cohesion forces. By the action of these forces, air gets displace that is present in pore spaces and water enters in these pores and fill them. The pore spaces are of various sizes. When all these pores get filled whether they are small, medium or large, we call that soil is saturated and it is now at maximum capacity of retention.

Types of Soil Water

It is difficult to define what the exact soil water definition is, but for the sake of easy understanding of students and general readers, soil scientists classify various kinds of soil water into following categories.

  1. Gravitational Water
  2. Hygroscopic Water
  3. Capillary Water
  4. Water Vapors

1. Gravitational Water

It is the simplest type of soil-water relationship. In this, when soil gets water, water moves freely under the action of gravitational force and drains out of the soil. This happens, when the capillary capacity of soil is fulfilled and additional water comes under the gravitational pull. This additional water then starts moving freely through the macro-pores of soil particles and this is termed as gravitational water.

As this water can be regarded as surplus, it is not useful for the plants. It has zero atmospheric tension. In case where movement of gravitational water is more towards downward, there is a good chance that some useful nutrients needed by plants may leached out. On the other hand, in case where gravitation water’s downward movement is slow or less, then in that case, it affects the soil aeration.  

2. Hygroscopic Water

This type of soil water is tightly held with the surface of the soil particles in the form of a thin film. It is held under the influence of adhesive and cohesive forces. Mostly, it is in vapor form. This type of water is held by the soil with a force which is estimated to be 31 atmosphere from the outer side and 10,000 atmosphere towards inner side of hygroscopic water film. (At sea level, 1 atmosphere is 15 pounds per square inch). In general, this type of water is not of any use to the plants.

3. Capillary Water

Third type of soil water is capillary water. This water is held by the surface tension forces. It is in the form of continuous film around the soil particles and in the spaces of capillary. Capillary water is that water which is held in soil in excess of hygroscopic water. However, it is less than the point where gravitation water category starts. This means, capillary water is a type that exists between hygroscopic and gravitation water. In the scenario when capillary water exceeds the point of gravity pull, then in that case, water will move downwards and drainage situation occurs.

The capillary water is actually loosely held water. It ranges from 31 atmosphere to 1/3 atmosphere tension. It is capable of moving within the soil. It is useful for the pant as the plant food nutrients gets dissolved in capillary water.

4. Water Vapors

Last in the types of soil water is the water available in vapors form. It is of least importance as compare to the first three. This is because; water vapors are present in the soil atmosphere in the gaseous form. This does not allow the plant to use it directly. Water vapors are important for maintain healthy soil chemistry. This type of water not only helps in maintaining the optimum temperature in the soil, but also allows healthy intake of nutrients by the plant.

Water is precious for arid agriculture and dryland farming. Understanding the soil-water chemistry is important in chalking out irrigation methodologies for arid agriculture.

Cite this article in APA Style as;

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2017, September 09). Various Types of Soil Water [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]









Agriculture Corner

Agronomic Procedures in Dryland Agriculture: Global Perspective


Agriculture in dryland or arid lands is carried out in harsh environment. Water being the chief resource in crop growth, is scarce in drylands. To cope with this situation, there are certain agronomic procedures in dryland agriculture that are applied to have sustainable production in efficient manner.

Soil and water are two basic factors that are vulnerable to harsh environment in arid or dryland agricultural systems. These two factors require conservation measures to have sustainable crop production. Otherwise crop failure occurs. In modern day agriculture, agronomic and mechanical means are used to conserve soil and water. Mechanical measures are supposed to back or support the agronomic measures especially where slope surpasses the tolerable limit and runoff results in accelerated erosion. Thus, water being the scarce resource in dryland agriculture needs special attention of the agronomists and agricultural engineers to have supportable livelihoods of the farmers.

This article is focused on the agronomic procedures in dryland agriculture that are essential in terraced or inter-bunded areas. In reality, the agronomic measures enhance the utility obtained from all types of mechanical structures applied in an area. Below are few necessary measures that should be taken for resource conservation to achieve optimal crop production in dryland or arid agriculture system.

Organic Matter

It is a common observation that the soils in arid or dryland agriculture systems are very low in organic matter. Increasing the organic matter is somewhat expensive for the poor farmers. So, most common agronomic procedures in dryland agriculture are the leaving of crop residue in situ in the fields after harvesting the crop.

Organic Matter in Dryland Agriculture

Being an agriculturist, I am big opponent of applying chemical or synthetic fertilizer in dryland or arid agriculture systems to increase fertility of soil. This is because; these fertilizers act as competitors to crops and consume already scarce moisture in soil in their transformation. This also impacts the natural activities of microorganisms and destruct soil structures.

Soil in dryland or arid agriculture systems should be supplemented by organic farm manure or compost. Using cow/buffalo waste or poultry residue are good examples of manures, while utilizing dead leaves and kitchen waste are good examples for composting. These are very helpful in increasing soil-temperature, soil-air and soil-moisture relationship along with enhanced soil micro organismic activities.

Contour Tillage

Contour tillage is an agronomic practice if the land slope is more than the normal level. The objective is to reduce erosion and prevent runoff. It is generally recommended that all mechanical practices like ridging, ploughing, harrowing, sowing and trenching should be done on the contour. Moreover, these practices should be implemented across the direction of the slope especially where the land holding are small. Though, the procedure looks simple, but is quite effective against the forces that cause the soil erosion. Moreover, it also increases the time of concentration of water, so that more water seeps into the soil.

Contour Tillage in Dryland Agriculture

Dead Furrows

Dead furrows are very important when all tillage operations are completed. It is beneficial to leave a yawning dead furrow at least every 10 m interval. It should be ensured that this dead furrow remains in that position till crop harvest. The advantage of dead furrow is to reduce the velocity of runoff that results in water conservation.

Dead Furrow in Dryland Agriculture


In normal season, there are marginal lands that do not produce good annual income from crops. These soils are in-fact best suited for dryland horticultural crops like tamarind, olive, guava etc. These kinds of land help in growing such trees that have economic value and become assets to generate handsome profit. Another option is to grow such varieties of trees that are fast growing and usable as fodder, timber or fuel for the local community. Thus dryland become good source of income for local inhabitants.

Argo-Horticulture in Dryland Agriculture


Regular weeding is not only a requirement in arid or dryland agriculture, but also it should be made a habit. Weeds compete for moisture and nutrients with crops. Mechanical weeding and line sowing along with using appropriate size of blade harrow eradicate the weeds. Hand hoes are useful for weeding within the rows.

Weeding in Dryland Agriculture

Growing Drought Tolerating and Early Maturing Varieties

It is wise to cultivate those varieties of crops in dryland or arid farming systems that have genetic character with the ability to endure shortage of water and drought circumstances. Similarly, it is worthy to select such crop varieties having shorter period of life cycle i.e. their seed to seed cycle is less. This will reduce the water requirements of the crop. These two measures are revenue generating in the drought-prone areas.

Cite this Article in APA Style as:

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2017, August 22). Agronomic Procedures in Dryland Agriculture: Global Perspective [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]


Agriculture Corner

Problems of Dryland Agriculture


The dynamics of dryland farming are different and harsh than irrigated farming. So the problems of dryland agriculture are also unique. Water is the chief requirement for cropping. The crops in dryland or arid lands have to face the challenge of shortage of water more frequently. Rainfall is the sole option for them to get water. Though groundwater is available, however it is a common phenomenon that dryland farmers are poorer than other farmers. It is challenging for them to get access to the groundwater. That is why crop failure is quite common in drylands leaving the farmers and habitants worse off. Either they have to rely on previous stored grains or to buy from market, which is for sure expensive for them.

Having said that, water shortage is not the only problem faced by dryland farming community, there are several other problems of dryland agriculture. In this article, i am going to discuss few of these problems of dryland agriculture for beginners to get better insight of the issue.

1. Moisture Stress, Dryness and Uncertainty

The rainfall in dryland is erratic and has no pattern. In some years, there is plenty of rainfall, while sometime drought prevails in the area. Farmers have no opportunity to take necessary steps on soil for moisture conservation. This result in dryness of soil—crop roots fail to harness moisture, even if they are lush and lengthy, eventually crop failure occur. Farmers do not have enough resources to gamble with nature. So they crop half-heartedly and get nominal production and yield. This issue can be addressed by providing the farmers with necessary weather forecasting advisory, so that they can schedule their cropping activities accordingly to get maximum benefit from available water.

2. Water Storage

Water storage facilities are seldom available in areas where dryland agriculture prevails and this is a serious problem of dryland agriculture. It is more prevalent in developing nations of Asia, Africa and some countries of South America. Water is lost in several ways including evaporation, runoff or used by weeds. As mentioned earlier, problem of dryland agriculture is that there may be no rain or high intensity torrential rain. So there is an opportunity available to save this water. But due to lack of indigenous physical and financial resources along with less state level interest in dryland agriculture, water is wasted. This water can be stored in ponds or ditches or even in the soil. If government support is not available, farmers can form a community at village level and pool resources to have a localized water storage infrastructure to use water during dire need.

3. Marketing Problems of Dryland Produce

Marketing is another problem of dryland agriculture. Farmers usually grow same type of crops. At crop maturity, farmers want to market their produce as it is difficult to store it due to lack of storage facilities. This enables the traders and middleman to have upper hand on them and thus the agricultural produce is sold in difficulty and at low price. An option for dryland farmers is to cultivate different crops in a season or also they can pool money to build local level storage facilities.

4. Limited Liberty of Crop Selection

This is a serious concern for dryland farmers. There are very limited crops that have the adaptability to grow in arid or dryland conditions. However, it is also an opportunity for them. Oil seeds have greater adaptability and resistance to grow in dryland conditions. If cultivation of oil seed crops is done properly and carefully, these crops can earn handy cash for farmers and can be sold quickly. In this way, farmers can buy other products and food items of their need.

5. Vigilant and Judicious Fertilizer Application

We are too much dependent on fertilizer. First, it was needed to increase the output of crops. However, now it is a must need due to weaker soil conditions. The fertility and availability of organic matter in soil has depleted over the past few decades and it is more severe in arid lands. Thus, this increases the problems of dryland agriculture many folds. Moreover, the irrigated farmers have a defined schedule of farming activities specially the irrigation. So they have the liberty to apply fertilizer and schedule it accordingly. In case of dryland farmers, it is a difficulty to manage fertilizer application. In case of applying fertilizer through broadcasting for basal or top-dressing, it is useless without availability of moisture and it is wasted

6. Quality of Crop Produce

The above mentioned problems of dryland agriculture put a big question mark on the quality of crop produced in dryland or arid conditions. Grain quality is the biggest issue as it is of inferior quality due to underdevelopment. On the other hand, the plant growth is also affected, often termed as stunted. This result in less fodder production and farmers get less return on their produce from the market.

These are few common problems of dryland agriculture and farming community. The ultimate responsibility is on government shoulder for backing the farmers in these areas. This is because of the poverty and lack of resources which is common in arid or dryland farming system. Moreover, the current changing climate is another threat to this form of cropping system. Last but not least, extensive research for new crop varieties, innovative water resource management and introduction of unique cropping practices can aid in lessening problems of dryland agriculture.

Cite this Article in APA Style as:

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2017, August 13). Problems of Dryland Agriculture [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]

Agriculture Corner

The Importance of Agriculture


Whenever I am asked about my education and career, I receive almost same decade old comments because of the stereotype image of agriculture. Being a graduate level agriculture instructor, the situation gets more interesting when they ask is there any particular curricula for agricultural studies and what do you teach the students? This is the situation of the country I am residing in i.e. Pakistan, which is one of the biggest agricultural nations of the world with around 70 percent of the population involved directly or indirectly in farming activities and providing 45 percent of the labor force, still the importance of agriculture is not fully understood. And the situation is not different in many other parts of the world including developed countries as discuss with my professional links at various seminars and conferences. 

Agriculture is always underestimated. The fresh entrants in agricultural degree programs are discouraged at every level, at least in Pakistan, again due to stereotype image of agriculture and glamour that is linked to medical and engineering profession. The reason of today’s blog is to encourage new entrants to adopt agriculture and current agricultural graduates to feel pride of being agriculturist by highlighting few lines on the importance of agriculture. 

Technical Aspects of the Importance of Agriculture

In the world of today, the importance of agriculture has increased many folds when the population of the world has hit the 7 billion mark and exploding at an exponential rate. The need of a professional agriculturalist is increasing. The annual growth rate of world population is 1.11 percent in 2017 (worlometer) and following these trends, United Nations has projected that by 2050, the earth will be home of over 9.7 inhabitants. Feeding and supplying fiber to such a mammoth population is not an easy task. Before moving ahead, let me take your attention to the fact that, an agriculturist is a potential global employee, i.e. he/she has a chance to get a job anywhere in the world depending on the abilities, skills and importantly the attitude.

Moving further, the global community has harnessed almost everything what it could get from the famous “green revolution” of 1960’s. Innovation and smartness is the dire need of time to have sustainable food and fiber. Most importantly, the water resources are depleting, so is the organic matter in the soils. This situation demands rigorous research and for that, need of an agriculturist cannot be denied.

Social Aspects of the Importance of Agriculture

Being an agriculture student does not mean that you learn agriculture only. An agricultural graduate is equipped with wide range of knowledge. I am not undermining the importance of any other field of knowledge, but recall and think what you learnt in mathematics or social studies class is applicable to your daily life? Or how much information you learnt in chemistry class is used and helpful in your routine life today? However the knowledge gained in agriculture or its sub domains like horticulture, food technology, agricultural economics, entomology agricultural engineering etc. are not only helpful in daily life but open new and dynamic dimensions of nature in front of you. Agriculture studies also build leadership qualities because of its applied nature and work ethics along with the ability of work in harsh and pressure situations.    

Last but not the least, being a normal human being and consumer, our 80 percent daily requirements is fulfilled by agriculture sector in one way or another. How? What we earn is spent largely on food and clothing. And ask yourself before you survey people around you; do you really bother where it comes from? What is its source? Is it safe to consume? What are the benefits of consuming a certain food type? The answer is definitely NO. Here comes the importance of agriculture. The knowledge of what are you consuming comes when you study agriculture.

Human nature is to fight challenges. Sometimes the challenges are self-created in the form of problems or are natural. Agriculture, being a tough job in the fields helps in learning skills to face the challenges. And once the challenge is fulfilled, the passion about the profession increases many folds. So, the importance of agriculture cannot be denied. The human race depends on it. If all farmers quit growing crops, what would happen? That is why; I believe that basic agricultural courses should be included at intermediate and college level.

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[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2017, August 07). The Importance of Agriculture [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]


Agriculture Corner

What is Sustainable Agriculture?


Sustainable agriculture is a hot cake that has been debated globally. This is because of its dynamic nature that sometimes it is very hard to declare a particular farming pattern a sustainable one. The diversity in agriculture makes it complex. However, most of the experts have a consensus that a sustainable agriculture model should fulfill 3 important components. These include social, environmental and economic. In the light of this, sustainable agriculture may be defined as a system that produces food, fiber and animals by using such kind of techniques that are protective and does not harm the environment, human health and communities and safeguard animal welfare. Or more precisely, an integrated farming system that fulfills three P’s criteria that are people, planet and profit is regarded as sustainable agriculture.

Here, it is important to mention that organic agriculture and sustainable agriculture are sometimes confused. It should be cleared “Organic” and “sustainable” are not quite synonym to each other. There are still many practices in organic agriculture that do not comply with the sustainable way of farming. Plus there are reservations on organic agriculture that whether this form of farming can sustain large and explosive population of the world? This is mainly due to less production attainable through organic agriculture.

Benefits of Sustainable Agriculture

There are several benefits of sustainable agriculture. First of all this model of farming ensures supply of healthy food. Food determines the health of people. If we are eating healthy food, then our health will be good. A healthy nation is necessary for prosperous and economically stable country. Less monetary resources are needed on health facilities. Time resource is also saved in this manner.

On the other hand, preservation of planet resources is vital in a sustainable agriculture model so that environment is conserved. The resources like organic fertilizers, seed, soil, minerals and water for irrigation etc. should be used economically and optimally. This allows usage of resources in other production processes. Moreover, the resources become less vulnerable to degradation.

Lastly, sustainability in agriculture brings gain in terms of economic profitability. When resources are managed wisely and sustainably, it generates high profits in return. Less expenditure is incurred on inputs thus increasing the margin between cost and revenue and farmer gets fair share in terms of profitability. Financial security is also ensured.

Other benefits of having sustainability in agriculture are the efficient usage of non-renewable resources and increased quality of farm output. Social and economic equity is also earned as income from sustainable agriculture model has positive impact on it. Pest management, crop diversity and water management are few other benefits of sustainable agriculture.

Sustainable Agriculture Examples

There are numerous sustainable agriculture examples. However, I am discussing the two most important of them. One is the permaculture. It is a designed technique of producing food following the principle of “working smarter not harder” to expel waste and to create efficient system of farming. It is implemented by various means like herb spirals, keyhole and mandala gardens, zero tillage growing grain, sheet mulching, thus each plant serving multiple purposes, and creating swales on contour to hold water high on the landscape.
Another renowned sustainable agriculture example is the hydroponics. Better known today as the 21st century agriculture, in hydroponic model, crop is cultivated in such a manner that the roots of the plants are directly submerge in a mineral solution or precisely the roots are in an inert medium like gravel or perlite. This form of sustainable agriculture is practicable at both small and large scale. The most important aspect of hydroponic is that the crops are grown in a controlled environment. So the risk of contamination and usage of inorganic pesticide and fertilizer is none or minimized.

Importance of Sustainable Agriculture

No one can deny importance of sustainable agriculture in the 21st century. It is the most trusted way of protecting the soil and increasing its fertility. It aids in achieving integration of natural biological cycles and controls them accordingly. Importance of sustainable agriculture can also be observed from the fact that it also improves the organizational use of on-farm resources and helps in reducing dependence on non-renewable resources and other purchased inputs. Livelihoods of the farmers are enhanced along with elevated harmony among the faring community.

Cite this Article in APA Style as:

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2017, July 26). What is Sustainable Agriculture [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]

Agriculture Corner

What is Arid or Dryland Agriculture?

Arid agriculture or dry land agriculture is used quite often universally. However, these are poorly defined and understood. The word ‘Arid” is used for an area that is characterized by low volume of rainfall i.e. less than 10 inches of rain fall per annum. Arid agriculture is sometimes referred to as dry land agriculture. From farming perspective, arid agriculture has great importance. This is mainly because most of the regions in the world are Arid, where agricultural system lack irrigation facilities. More precisely, arid agriculture refers to as the cultivation of crops where irrigation facilities are absent and evaporation of moisture from soil exceeds rainfall.

It is interesting that rain fed agriculture and arid agriculture are sometimes consider same and used interchangeably. However, there lies massive difference between the two. Rain fed agriculture includes the arid or dryland agriculture. But arid agriculture is generally defined as growing of crops where lack of availability of moisture hampers the crop production to part of the year.

A study of world atlas shows that large chunk of the earth is arid. So, arid agriculture is adept in many parts of the globe. The countries in the Middle East, South America, the steppe lands of Eurasia, major part of Australia and southern and southwestern parts of United States bear arid climate. The weather conditions are harsh with high temperature and less availability of water. Rainfall is sporadic in arid areas. This causes flash floods when it happens because dry climate of arid areas makes the soil tough and compact that it cannot easily absorb rain water. Thus flood occurs. On the other hand, the organic matter in the soils of arid regions is low resultantly the fertility of the soil is affected. Soil erosion is a common problem in arid agriculture.

Despite of all these facts, the mankind has developed technologies to cope and sustain under harsh climate of arid nature. Arid agriculture has economic importance because if no cropping is practice in these areas, then more pressure will be exerted on other limited productive parts of the world that will eventually result in food insecurity situation. So, arid agriculture or dryland agriculture cannot be neglected of its harsh environment.

There are ways in which arid agriculture can be made productive by altering farming practices and adapting smart water conservation technologies. Mulching, growing trees at farm borders, constructing small dams, leveling the farm land, growing heat tolerant crops, avoiding formation of hard crust on soil surface, growing small structured variety of crops to minimize transpiration, usage of smart irrigation strategies like drip, furrow or sprinkler etc. are few practical ways that can ensure sustainable arid agriculture in any part of the world.

Cite this Article in APA Style as:

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2017, July 30). What is Arid or Dryland Agriculture? [Blog Post]. Retrieved from [/box]