Agriculture


ag·ri·cul·ture

noun \ˈa-gri-ˌkəl-chər\

AGRICULTURE is the science, art, or practice of cultivating the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock and in varying degrees the preparation and marketing of the resulting products. Agriculture is the active production of useful plants or animals in ecosystems that have been created by people. Agriculture may include cultivating the soil, growing and harvesting crops, and raising livestock.
Agriculture was independently developed in many places, including the Middle East, East Asia, South Asia, and the Americas. The earliest evidence for agriculture has been found in the Middle East and dates to between 14,500 and 12,000 BP. Early cultivars include wild barley (Middle East), millet (China), and squash (the Americas). The domestication of many animals now considered to be livestock occurred during roughly the same period, although dogs were domesticated considerably earlier. Slash-and-burn land-clearing methods and crop rotationwere early agricultural techniques. Steady improvements in tools and methods over the centuries increased agricultural output, as did mechanization, selective breeding and hybridization, and, beginning in the 20th century, the use of herbicides and insecticides.
First known use of ‘agriculture’ in 15th century. Origin of AGRICULTURE from Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin agricultura, from ager (field) + cultura (cultivation) — related to acreculture. Definition of ACRE
a archaic : a field especially of arable land or pastureland’ b plural : landsestate; 2 any of various units of area; specifically : a unit in the United States and England equal to 43,560 square feet (4047 square meters); 3 a broad expanse or great quantity.
Definition of CULTURE : cultivationtillage, 2 : the act of developing the intellectual and moral faculties especially by education, 3 : expert care and training, 4 a : enlightenment and excellence of taste acquired by intellectual and aesthetic training, b : acquaintance with and taste in fine arts, humanities, and broad aspects of science as distinguished from vocational and technical skills, 5 a : the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations, b : the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also : the characteristic features of everyday existence (as diversions or a way of life} shared by people in a place or time, c : the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization, d : the set of values, conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity, or societal characteristic, 6 : the act or process of cultivating living material (as bacteria or viruses) in prepared nutrient mediaalso : a product of such cultivation.
AGRICULTURE merupakan pendekatan mem-BUDIDAYA yang berbeda dengan perhutanan dan perikanan.  Perhutanan dan perikanan memanen hasil dengan melestarikan lingkungan alaminya, sementara pertanian melakukannya dengan cara berbeda. Pertanian berusaha mengatur proses pertumbuhan dan perkembangan tumbuhan, ikan dan hewan dalam suatu habitat buatan yang tidak bersandar pada sistem alamiahnya.  Sebaliknya, pertanian justru berupaya mengatur sistemnya agar memberikan hasil secara lebih efisien dan berupaya mengisolasi dari pengaruh lingkungan yang tidak pasti.  Pertanian menyediakan pangan, sandang, papan dan enerji bagi manusia melalui suatu proses budidaya.

Budidaya pertanian mencakup budidaya tumbuhan sedemikian hingga menjadi tanaman, maupun budidaya hewan sedemikian hingga menjadi ternak dan ikan.

Budayatani (agriculture) merupakan kebiasaan yang telah berkembang tidak sekadar menjadi cara berkehidupan MENANAM dan MEMELIHARA. Alih-alih meramu (memungut hasil hutan dari hutan atau hasil laut dari laut) berbudayatani merupakan peradaban “baru” yang oleh Alvin Toffler (1980) disebut sebagai Peradaban Gelombang Pertama.

Peradaban gelombang pertama telah menjadikan kehidupan masyarakat menjadi lebih efisien, meski di sisi lain berimplikasi biaya korbanan berupa terkikisnya peradaban rimba. Peradaban rimba tersingkir seiring menyebarnya budaya tani ke seluruh peradaban masyarakat.

Tapi tunggu, kerusakan peradaban rimba bukan disebabkan gelombang peradaban pertanian. Rimba rusak lebih disebabkan pengingkaran atas filosofi meramu yang mestinya hanya memungut hasil tetapi keserakahan telah membuatnya bertindak berlebihan dengan “menyembelih angsa bertelor emas” yang dimiliki, yakni membabat hutan. Hutan dibabat untuk pertanian (baca: menanam dan memelihara tumbuhan dan hewan) saja sudah mengundang perdebatan tentang efisiensi, apatah namanya hutan dibabat untuk dikonsumsi kalau bukan bunuh diri!?

Agrobisnis (agr-o-business) …

 

Budi Purwanto. Bogor. Oktober 2010.

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