1. Food is a substance that provides a living organism energy for body functions and materials for growth, repair, development and health.
2. Humans obtain food from both plants and animals. Food yielding plants and animals are reared by human beings. However, the availability of food and other materials from agriculture and animal husbandry has always fallen short of requirement due to rapid rise in the human population.
3. During the last century we have overexploited our natural resources in order to increase food, shelter and industrial raw materials.
4. It is important that food production should be increased without degrading our environment and disturbing natural balance. This is possible through genetic improvement of crop plants, domesticated animals, adopting sustainable agriculture and animal husbandry practises,
5. Agriculture is the science and practise of farming which mainly involves rearing of livestock, cultivating land, raising crops, reaping and marketing the produce.
6. Crops are plants cultivated by human for food, fodder and other materials. Cereals, pulses, oil seeds, fruits, vegetables, cash crops, fodder crops, spices and so on are some of the important types of crops.
7. Different crops require different climatic condition, temperature and photoperiods for their growth and maturation. Broadly there are two seasons of crop growth — kharif and rabi.
8. Kharif crops are also called summer season crops as they grow during rainy season of June - October. Rice, groundnut, brinjal, pumpkin, spinach, soyabean are a few examples of kharif crops.
9. Rabi crops are also called winter season crops as they are grown from November to April. The important rabi crops are wheat, barley, mustard, cauliflower, cabbage, carrot, radish and so on.
10. Foodgrain production has increased four times between 1960 and 2004. This has been possible through improvement in three stages of farming
(i) Crop variety improvement
(ii) Crop production improvement
(iii) Crop protection management.
11. Crop variety improvement is canned out to obtain higher yield, improved quality, biotic and abiotic resistance in plants, shortening of maturity duration in crops, wider adaptability and other desirable agronomic traits. It involves genetic manipulation i.e., incorporation of new genes for various traits from other genotypes into the crop variety so as to bring desired changes.
12. Crop production management involves controlling of various aspects of crop production so as to obtain the maximum and the best yield. It has three components - nutrient management, irrigation and cropping pattern.
13. Biotic factors which affect crop production are diseases, insects and nematodes.
14. Abiotic factors which affect crop production include drought, heat, cold, frost, salinity and water logging.
15. Plants manufacture their food in sunlight by the process of photosynthesis.
16. There are sixteen nutrients essential for plants.
17. Nutrients are supplied to plants by air, water and soil.
18. Air supplies carbon and oxygen. Water supplies hydrogen and oxygen.
19. Soil supplies thirteen nutrients to plants. Six nutrients which are required in large quantities are called macro or major nutrients. The remaining seven nutrients which are required by plants in small quantities are called micro or minor-nutrients.
20. Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulphur are macronutrients.
21. Zinc, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, boron and chlorine are micro-nutrients.
22. Manures and fertilisers are the main sources of nutrient supply to crops.
23. Manure is prepared by the decomposition of plant waste and animal excreta (cow dung). It helps in enriching soil with nutrients and organic matter. It improves the soil structure, increases water-holding capacity and avoids water logging. Based on kind of biological material used, manure can be broadly classified into compost or vermicompost and green manure.
24. Fertilisers are commercially produced chemicals which supply nutrients like N, P and K. It ensures good vegetative growth giving rise to healthy plants.
25. Fertilisers should be applied carefully in terms of proper dose, time and observe pre and post-application precautions for their complete utilisation.
26. Continuous use of fertilisers in an area can destroy soil fertility because organic matter in the soil is not replenished and micro-organisms in the soil are harmed. Excess use of fertilisers can also lead to water pollution.
27. Manure and fertilisers are applied in the crop field before or at the time of irrigation. 28. Most agriculture in India is rain-fed i.e., the success of crops in most areas is dependant on timely monsoon and sufficient rainfall spread through most of the growing season. Therefore many measures are used to bring more and more agricultural land under irrigation
29. Depending on the kind of water resources available, several different kinds of irrigation systems are adopted to supply water to agricultural lands. These includes wells, canals, rivers and tanks. Water harvesting techniques and watershed management have been adopted to increase the availability of water for agriculture.
30. Different ways of growing crops can be used to give maximum benefit. They are mixed cropping, inter-cropping, crop rotation, integrated farming as well as organic farming.
31. Mixed cropping is growing of two or more crops simultaneously on the same piece of land.
32. Inter-cropping is growing two or more crops simultaneously on the same piece of land in definite row patterns.
33. Crop romtion is growing of different crops on a piece of land in a pre-planned succession.
34. Organic farming is a system of farming without the use of chemicals such as fertilisers and pesticides etc., and with a maximum input of organic manures with healthy cropping systems.
35. Crop protection management involves the protection of growing and harvested crop from losses. Field crops are infested by a large number of weeds, insect pests and diseases. Storage losses in agricultural products can be brought about by biotic (insects, rodents, fungi, mites and bacteria) and abiotic (inappropriate moisture and temperatures) factors.
36. Animal husbandry is the scientific management of animal livestock. It includes shelter, feeding, breeding and disease control of farm animals.
37. Animal husbandry helps in increasing milk, eggs, meat and fish production. It also helps in proper utilisation of animal wastes.
38. Animals like cow, buffalo, bull and bullocks are called 'cattle’. Cattle farming is raising of cattle for yield of milk by females and draught labour connected with agriculture like tilling, irrigation and carting by males.
39. The cattle feed consists of :
(а) Roughage: It is a coarse and fibrous substance which has low nutrient content e.g., fodder, hay, straw and so on.
(b) Concentrate: It is rich in nutrients with very little fibrous or cellulose matter. The concentrate is provided by grains, seeds and oil cakes.
40. The shelter provided for the livestock depends on type of animals to be sheltered, number of animals and location of the shelter.
41. The good animal shelter should be clean, dry, airy and well-ventilated. It should be spacious, have proper disposal of wastes, arrangement of clean drinking water and protection of animals from environmental factors, predators and diseases.
42. Animal diseases can be prevented if animals are kept in clean, hygienic environment if they are given regular bath, if their shelter prevent entry of germs and flies; if they are vaccinated at regular intervals.
43. Breeding of animals is controlled reproduction of animals. There are two methods of breeding animals:
(a) Natural method: Crossbreeding of indigenous cows with the bulls of high milk yielding, foreign breeds by the mating process.
(b) Artificial insemination: It is the process of storing desired male animal’s semen and then inseminating female animal with the same by the use of suitable instruments to produce a better breed of the offspring animals.
44. Some of the indigenous breeds of cows are Sahiwal, Red Sindhi, Haryana. The high yielding varieties of cows are Karan Swiss, Karan Fries, Jersey, Holstein-Friesian. The high yielding variety of buffalo is Murrah.
45. Poultry is rearing of domesticated fowl, ducks, geese, turkeys and pigeons for their meat and eggs.
46. Superior varieties are developed to improve the quality and quantity of chicks, to develop dwarf broilers for- commercial meat production and to develop breeds which have low maintenance requirements.
47. Our indigenous breeds of hen are Aseel, Busra, Ghagus and so on. They have natural immunity against diseases so are hardy in nature but they have a poor yield.
48. Layers are hens which have high rate of egg production whereas broilers are chicken which are 7-8 weeks old and are raised for meat.
49. Poultry feed consists of mashed cereals like wheat, maize, jowar, oil cakes, fish meat etc,
50. Poultry birds are kept in wire cages or permanent brick houses with solid floor. Poultry sheds are made waterproof and is also protected from predators.
51. Poultry birds may suffer from cholera, tuberculosis, aspergillosis, Ranikhet etc.
52. Pisciculture is the rearing and breeding of fishes on a large scale under controlled conditions.
53. Fish is a rich source of protein. Fish oil is used in the manufacture of soaps and paints. Shark liver oil and cod liver oil are natural sources of vitamin A and D.
54. Catla, Rohu, Calbasu, Mrigala, Tirica, and Singhara are a few examples of edible freshwater fishes. Marine edible fishes are Hilsa, sardine, pomphret, Bombay duck, catfish, ribbon fish and so on.
55. Fin fishery deals with the capture management and exploitation of cartilaginous and bony fishes whereas shell fishery, on the other hand, deals with the capture management and exploitation of crabs, prawns, oysters.
56. The process which involves only harvesting (catching) without sowing is known as capture fishery,
57. Culture fishery is the type of fishery practised in small water bodies where fish is first reared and then harvested. It is of different types — monoculture, polyculture and composite culture.
58. Single species of fish is grown in monoculture. Two or more than two fishes are grown together in polyculture whereas in composite culture, six species of fish are reared in the same pond which do not compete with one another due to different feeding habits.
59. The technique of induced spawning in fishes led to blue revolution through fish culture.
60. Apiculture is the rearing, care and management of honey bees for obtaining honey, wax and other substances.
61. Apis mellifera is an exotic variety of honey bee domesticated in India to increase the yield of honey.
62. Honey bees are social, polymorphic insects which live in colonies. The colony of honey bees has three types of castes namely Queen bee, Drones and worker bees.
63. Queen is the mother of colony which lays about 2000 eggs in a day. Drones are smaller and stouter than queen. They are males of the colony. Workers are the most active members of the colony. They are sterile females.
64. To obtain good quality and high yield of honey, beehive should be developed near pasturage. The selected honey bees should show less swarming. They should be protected from diseases and pests.