Agriculture originally comes from the Latin words’ ager which means the field and the another is cultura with the meaning of cultivation. Other than that, agricultural can also be defined as the science, art, or practice of cultivating the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock and in differing degrees the preparation and marketing of the resulting products. Agriculture can be seen in many aspects of life from microscopic to macroscopic since the prehistoric era later through the middle ages and even until the modern days.
These aspects included are the floriculture, livestock, fisheries, and aquaculture and industrial crops such as oil palm, rubber, rice, and vegetables. Wheat was the first crop to be grown and harvested by using a sickle on a big scale in the prehistoric era through the middle ages. From all of these aspects, agriculture is seemed to be very important in our daily life as it acted as the heart of our daily life. First and foremost, agriculture can affect our daily life by acting as a source of food supplies either it is a vegetable or livestock. Every day, we have to eat food as it is one of the essential human needs in order to keep us alive. Food supplies that are included in the category of vegetable are as such tomatoes, maize, cabbages, and cauliflower. Fruits are strawberries, oranges, apples, and coconuts. Livestock can include the goats, pigs, and beef cattle. Others that also can be included as the source of food supplies are chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese from the poultry category which the chickens are divided into two groups which are the layers that produce eggs and the broiler that produce tender meat, catfish, carp, tuna, and mackerel from the fish category that can be found along the river banks, lake, sea, ponds or tanks, and others comprise the honey and the mushrooms. Not only these, the fodder that has to be provided to the cattle or others livestock is the product of agriculture too. With the blooming agriculture, we are able to get food supplies in the form of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamin, fats, and minerals to help us to become well-developed and healthy. Other than that, agriculture also affects our daily life as the source of raw materials.
A raw material brings the definition of a feedstock or most correctly unprocessed material that is a fundamental material which is used to produce goods, finished products, energy, or intermediate materials which are feedstock for future finished products. A raw material is the first and primary source of agriculture for human and also an environmentally friendly product to our surroundings. There are two groups which are original from the sector of the raw materials can be divided into the direct materials that are used in the final product and the indirect materials that are not directly included in the final product even though it is used throughout the process. Raw material includes all kinds of materials not matter that it is a product of fishery, forestry, agriculture and others, for example, fish, cocoa, crops, raw latex, oil palm, cotton, coffee, soy, rice and leather. Searching for and extracting raw materials are involved in the upstream stage of the production process. The upstream part of the production process does not involve in the yield of the material but only to seek and extract the raw material which will later dedicate to the manufacturing use. So with the existence of raw materials, we are able to use these natural resources from the earth to improve our lives. Besides, agriculture also affects our daily life with the development of the industrial sector which is also known as the secondary sector. Manufacture industry is often as described as a flow of the river which consists of the upper part which is the upstream and the lower part which is the downstream.
The downstream stage of the production process involves processing the raw materials collected during the previous stage which is the upstream stage into a final product. There are two types of the downstream production which are the food processing that produces the food products and the industrial processing that will produce the non-food products. The food product includes the juice, jam, jelly and the health product from the origin of the plants and the burger, sausage, cheese and milk from the source of the animals. In the non-food product, furniture, building materials, tires, gloves and shoes can be made from the raw materials of the source of plants and the belts, handbags, cloth, carpet, and silk can be made with the raw materials from the animals such as the leather from the crocodile. For example, the tires, gloves, and shoes can be made with the raw rubber that obtained from the runny and milky white liquid latex through the agriculture activity that carries out by the locals and later goes through the manufacturing process. Manufacture of the oil palm product can include lipstick, detergent, margarine, soap, and biodiesel. Without the advanced technology, we cannot enjoy the life that provided us with the processed product either it is food processing or industrial processing and the luxury and the comfort that we gain from the cause of the manufacturing industry which is also the factor of production in addition to labour and capital. After that, agriculture can affect our life by giving us the source of income for both the civilian and the country.
This is because the agriculture provides a variety of job opportunities in a lot of fields which include the pig farming, horticulture, fishery, hydroponics, farmers’ market, dairy farming, organic farming, poultry farming, agricultural machinery, aquaculture, livestock, beekeeping, animal husbandry, agricultural engineering, and agribusiness. Agriculture provides the first source of income for a lot of civilians especially the countryside people. Income of a country is very dependent on the intensification level, productivity and efficiency. There are two types of agriculture which are the plantation agriculture which also known as the commercial farming and the smallholder agriculture that known as the subsistence farming that brings the source of income. The plantation agriculture emphasizes the single crop cultivation that also known as the economic value crop which is planted in a larger scale that is more than 40 hectare.
These crops included the rubber, oil palm, pineapples, tea, coffee, and coconut. This plantation management is often more systematic with the use of modern technology and the hired labour. Another type of agriculture is the smallholders that cultivate small areas with the production capacity that is low by using the limited technology and farm management practices are disorganised. This is because in the smallholder system, farmers only cultivate their land for their own consumption and they practice a monocropping type of subsistence farming. These source of income contribute to the revenue of the government because it increases in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and then increases in the economic development, and contributes to the employment as the job opportunity increases and causes the unemployment rate to decrease. The increase in a country’s production causes the escalation in the income of a country which increases the GDP that leading to the economic growth of a country.
Agriculture can maintain the socio-political stability of a country in our daily life as well. The socio-political stability of a country can be stabilized by the constant guarantee of the food security to prevent our country from lacking of food supplies in the difficult times such as the landslides, earthquakes, floods, tsunami, draught and others that may happen and put our country into an unstable state as if we are in a shortage of food. Food security acts as the backbone of our country as it guarantees our source of saving is enough and ensure the peace in our country to prevent riot happens when a natural disaster happens which will lead to the political turmoil, instability, and uncertainty. According to The Star Online (2011), the self-sufficiency level (SSL) was targeted at a comfortable level of 65% in NAP 3, but was required to be at 86% by the end of the Mid-Term Review of the 9th Malaysian Plan (2006-2010) in order to fit its production-centric vision of self-sufficiency level in most commodities for reducing deficit in trade balance. With the increased level of the SSL, we can stop the import from others country which includes Vietnam, Phillippines, and Thailand. With the sufficient amount of SSL, we can use the extra from the food pile stock to be the foreign exchange resources as it has the marketable surplus and it can be essential in the international trade as well.
With enough SSL, the constant and stable level has been made which will contribute to the constant growing of the economy and currency that enable our country to be a move towards a developed country with a more stable backbone. In conclusion, it is a fact that agriculture brings benefit to our country as it act as the source of food supplies and raw material, contribute to the development of industrial sector, as the major income to both civilian and country and to maintain the socio-political stability of a country in our daily life. But in conjunction, even though the agriculture brings pros to our daily life but we cannot ignore the fact that with the blooming agriculture, it has been bringing the cons to our life as well such as the pollution, soil erosion and natural habitat of flora and fauna. The government has to take action carefully, precisely and efficiently to solve the agriculture problem to make sure the sustainable farming can continue to grow while simultaneously still able to bring the benefit of agriculture to us in our daily life and lead our country towards the step of a developed country.