• David Nott

Modern Agriculture and Traditional Agriculture

Updated: Sep 22

Whether you have felt it or not, agriculture has always been an important, if not one

of the most important, part of people’s lives across history. A well-known Chinese

idiom “民以食为天”(Food is the first necessity of the people) certainly indicates

the same idea. Therefore, given the massive significance, people from around the

globe have been dedicated to improving approaches and methodologies to produce

more food so that people do not have to struggle for survival. They were not

improved significantly until the industrial age when machines that remarkably

boosted productivity were created and used in the production of food, and

agriculture stepped into the “modern” realm from the “traditional” society. This

blog is meant to describe both of them with condensed paragraphs.

The most prominent trait of traditional agriculture is that it stresses the aspects of

labor, for example, the amount of labor and the quality of labor. In other words, it is

usually labor-intensive. Farmers have to be responsible for every process

including tilling, sowing, and harvesting. A typical day for an individual farmer is

probably like this: he/she gets up when the day is yet bright and starts the work in the

field. The work repeats until evening or even night when he/she could go back and

rest properly. Indeed, they have tools like sickle, plough, and spade, which facilitate

those processes by improving productivity and information like the best time to sow

and time to harvest, but they all seem less effective compared to modern machinery.

Modern agriculture, on the other hand, is capital-intensive, which means a huge

amount of capital is inputted into the industry. That capital is used to purchase

advanced machinery that generates more productivity than the tools mentioned

above. Combined with efficient techniques, these processes are able to become

easier, faster, and happier. In addition, modern agriculture can get rid of the

dependence on weather, despite not completely. Yet, it makes farmers more

resistant to the uncontrollable, minimising their loss of income and our reduction of


A number of farmers in India are still growing crops in traditional ways, which

partly contributes to the fact that they are under the poverty line with dreadfully low

social status. It is not that they do not want to embrace modern technology that benefits their

production, it is the additional costs that prevent them from implementing it.

Therefore, I believe things would be changed massively if they are provided with

more subsidies and support from the government. Indian farmers are just a

microcosm of farmers in all those developing countries. Thus, in the end, I would like

to call on to care more about farmers in developing countries, respect them, and

thank them.

- Ryan

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