The first President of Indonesia, Soekarno, said that agriculture is a matter of life and death. Although a country can build a lot of buildings and spacecrafts, they must plant a seed to feed the citizens. Farming as a part of agriculture is an important activity for humankind. Basically farming produces food for people but it also has a culture that inherited generation to generation for thousand years. During that time, farming was changing a lot through different civilizations in many regions in the world. It made some differences of farming from the past and in recent years.
Technology brought a big difference in the way of deciding when to plant. In the past, farmers used the stars to decide the planting month. The Earth revolves around the sun and along the journey, the stars’s position change night by night. The specific form of stars constellation only comes at certain times. The farmers used the stars to decide when the planting month would be. Today the farmers can access the satellite to decide the planting month. The satellites fly around the Earth and send the information through an internet connection. It measures the weather, temperature, humidity, rain levels and other climate elements. That information makes the measurement more accurate and reliable for the farmers to decide when to plant.
Another thing that makes today’s farming different from the past is the fertilizer. Most of the fertilizer that the farmers use in daily activities are chemicals. The scientist adds some important nutrient for the plants and the farmers can choose which fertilizer they need in order to grow the plants. However, the fertilizer is not always good for the environment. Some of them are not biodegradable, and it can harm the land if accumulated on the land in an abundant amount. On the other hand, the farmers use organic fertilizer in the past. They made it from the manure of cattle, goat, or even leaves. It is safe for the environment because it is biodegradable.
Unlike in the past, today’s farming uses technical irrigation. The farmers use the pump to move the water from the river or well to the farmland. When the drought season comes they are not afraid because they still can irrigate the farm. In the past farmers did not have irrigation system. They just waited for rain to supply water to the land. They did not plant their farm in the drought season because there was not enough water for the plants.
Finally, those differences brought different productivity between today’s farming and the farming in the past. Farming in the past was low in productivity level. The demand for food was not as high as today’s demand. In addition, the farmer planted their crops only for food not for trade in the past. On the other side, today’s farming has high productivity. Farming must feed much more people so it has to produce much more food. Today, the farmers have commercial motive for planting than just harvest the plants for their family needs.
Although the farming had inherited customs that passed through the generations, there are some differences between the farming in the past and in recent years. Technology helps the farmers today to decide when to plant accurately and to build a good irrigation system. In addition, today’s farming uses chemical fertilizer that contains more nutrients. As a result, today’s farming has more productivity than before. In a word, we must use the technology to produce more foods but also keep the environment safe from pollution.