International Conference and Exhibition on Industrial Agriculture 2019 (ICONIA2019)

Managing Crisis in Industrial Agriculture: Way Forward

Easparc, Yogyakarta, 13-14 November 2019


Agriculture which is defined as the science, art, and business of raising animals or growing crops to obtain food for primary consumption or for profit plays an important role for development. Agriculture provides food, income, and jobs and hence can be an engine of growth in agriculture based developing countries and an effective tool to reduce poverty in transforming countries, Agriculture has been the foundation of socio economic progress because agriculture is an important contributor to national economic vulnerability.

Agriculture can be differentiated into subsistence and commercial or industrial types. Subsistence agriculture is a type of agriculture in which most of the product from the agricultural activity is consumed by the farmer and leaving or nothing to be marketed, whereas Industrial agriculture is the type of agriculture where large quantities of crops and livestock are produced through industrialized techniques for the purpose of sale. Industrial agriculture means that agriculture is considered as an entrepreneur. The goal of industrial agriculture is to increase productivity which is the amount of product that is produced for each unit of land. Industrial agriculture is of particular importance and adapted in any area of the world. Crops and livestock made through this type of agriculture are produced to feed the masses and the products are sold worldwide.

Industrial agriculture is able to produce large quantities of food due to the farming methods used. Instead of using animal and manpower to work the fields, industrial agriculture utilizes large machines, which are more powerful and can work faster and harder. The shift towards machines has increased the use of fossil fuels on industrial farms, and, therefore, the price of food can fluctuate as the price of oil changes. Industrial agriculture also increases crop yield by investing in large irrigation systems and by using chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

The chemical fertilizers that are used in industrial agriculture often add inorganic nutrients to the soil to increase yield and plant size. The use of pesticides is also common in industrial agriculture, and most pesticides help increase yield by killing pests that are harming or consuming the crops. Another farming technique that is used in industrialized agriculture is the method of growing monocultures, which is when a single crop is planted on a large scale. Although planting monocultures can increase overall yield, this method of farming is also more susceptible to disease and causes a reduction in the dietary variation of consumers.

Industrial agriculture in general faces big challenges for providing sufficient food, feed, fiber, and fuel  because an  increasing global population with increasing dietary expectation, an issue of sustainability, current uses of natural resource are highly stressed, climate change is reducing productivity, and market protection, therefore tropical countries which the economics growth depend upon the agriculture must collaborate together to tackle such big challenges through innovations.