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According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation global food prices have risen by an average of 83% overall in the last decade.

That’s just one statistic from this week’s crop of news reports on climate change, global warming and food production.

Here’s another: global greenhouse gas emissions since the 1850s would have been a third greater without the 1960s Green Revolution, according to the researchers in the US.

Neither of these findings is likely to bring much comfort to the millions of people currently struggling with the effects of this year’s unprecedented rainfall in Pakistan and China, which has displaced at least 20 million people in the two countries, flooded out of their homes, their work and all they own, including crops, seeds and livestock.

Nor will it be of comfort to the Russians, facing their hottest ever summer, with wild fires circling Moscow and risking the loss of at least a third, possibly more, of the country’s wheat crop – due for harvest in September and October but already triggering price speculation on the commodities markets because Russia is the world’s third largest supplier of wheat.

In addition 16 countries have recorded record temperatures this year (2010) and there are severe droughts, leading to starvation in Niger and parts of the Sahel region of Africa.

At the same time US researchers have also found that rice yields are declining in the six main Asian rice producing countries, which they ascribe to global warming and the resulting rise in night-time temperatures. Yields have dropped between 10% and 20% over the last 25 years in some places.

In the face of all this it is hard to tolerate the persistent wrangling between countries in the ongoing discussions ahead of the next meeting in Cancun, Mexico, due in November. Following the disappointing outcome of the last summit in Copenhagen, it’s now being said that the talks have in fact gone backwards.

Even without the mounting evidence of the devastating effects of climate change on weather patterns, and by extension agricultural production, a vast increase in food production is going to be needed to supply the projected global population growth and make some inroads into the scandal that a billion people on the planet are malnourished if not starving.

So what happened in the last “green” revolution and what chance is there of another one?

The 1960s green revolution increased crop yields and cut hunger dramatically in places like South Asia and Latin America by putting more land into cultivation and by using higher yielding varieties of rice, maize and other crops. The result for India, for example, was transformation from a food importer in need of emergency help from time to time to a major food exporter.

Twice as much land as is currently used would have been needed to feed the growing global population at current levels, according to the US researchers. The green revolution used a combination of intensive farming techniques and chemical fertilisers as well as the higher-yield varieties to avoid that.

However, as we now know, there were longer term implications to this method of farming – in the effects of chemical fertilisers on the soil, the environment, insects, plants, animals and sometimes human health.

Lessons have been learned and at least the language has changed. The talk now is all about sustainable farming, natural, healthier foods and a new range of low-chem agricultural products, including biopesticides, biofungicides and yield enhancers, coming from the Biopesticides Researchers that do less harm to the land.

These low-chem products are only part of the mix. There is also the technique of genetic modification although there are many people who are very wary of the unknown pandora’s box this might open.

Changing diet patterns towards eating more meat as the BRIC countries become more prosperous and develop a larger, urban middle class are another factor. Meat production is generally regarded as an inefficient use of land and water, so persuading people to eat less of it, while it would have an effect on the emission of greenhouse gases, might be a tall order in some parts of the world.

Plainly there’s a limited amount of land available for agricultural expansion, not to mention the production of biofuels. Increasingly extreme weather won’t help.

In addition therefore reaching global agreement on efforts to curb emissions in a way that is accepted as fair by all countries is another key to achieving some kind of sense on global warming, climate change and food production. It’s to be hoped that the pessimistic predictions for Mexico in November prove not to be true, since all our futures depend on it.

Copyright (c) 2010 Alison Withers

Agriculture is a significant part of Indian economy. All the raw materials to the industries is provided by agriculture. India is also an exporter of agricultural products. This makes agriculture a good career choice. There are various job opportunities in this sector as also agriculture nowadays is not a matter of the conventional and traditional agriculture methods, but has transformed into more scientific and hi-tech field.

The various jobs in agriculture include:

Agriculture business
Service in agriculture
Farming
Banking
Consultation
Agricultural Engineering
Agro industry
Agricultural education

Agriculture management This job includes the task of managing farms, timber tracts, supervision of the routine activities on these sites and monitoring the laborers as well as business.

Farming Farming usually involves growing crops on an owned land . You can either buy a land and start farming or you can even take somebody else farm .

Laborers A job usually for the uneducated class, the job of laborers involves working on the field and doing activities like plant seeds, prepare soil, managing the spraying of fertilizers, sowing of seeds as well as harvesting. This job involves a lot of physical work.

Agricultural Scientists This job involves research in the field of improvisation of agriculture, of developing ways to improvise on the agricultural output. It also involves research in the field of increasing resistance of plants to pests .

Forest Officers This job involves on site stay and involves taking care of the forest, the habitat and vital resources of the forest, resource management and protection of the wild , prevention of illegal activities, etc.

Horticulturist This profession involves cross breeding of various plants and vegetables for improved quality and nutrients.

Food Scientist Growing healthier crops and make the whole process a less hassle free and simpler one is what a food scientist does.

There are many more job opportunities in the agriculture sector as it is an ever shining industry. There is a good career scope also in this sector. Mainly in the field of business of farming, food technology , horticulture and biotechnology are the fields which are shining at present and offer immense job opportunities.

So if you are planning to join the agricultural sector, you need not worry about the opportunities in this sector. The remuneration offered by this industry is also above average and better the skills and the qualification better the salary or the returns. These fields are offering a lot of jobs and getting a job should never be a problems looking to the current scenario. So, join the agriculture sector for a green opportunities and lot of green also.