Aviva Directory » Business & Industry » Agriculture & Aquaculture

Agriculture is the art or science of cultivating the soil, including planting and harvesting crops, and raising and managing livestock, while aquaculture is the cultivation of aquatic produce, such as aquatic plants, fish, and other aquatic animals.

Tillage, farming, and animal husbandry are part of agriculture, while the rearing of aquatic animals and the cultivation of aquatic plants for food are part of aquaculture. Basically, the difference is where these activities take place. In soil, it's agriculture; in water, it's aquaculture. Generally speaking, the animals and the plants will differ, as well. Agriculture, horticulture, permaculture, hydroculture, and aquaculture are appropriate topics for this section of our web guide, or its subtopics. Horticulture, permaculture, and hydroculture are subsets of agriculture, while aquaculture is the aquatic equivalent of agriculture.

This portion of our web guide focuses on agriculture and aquaculture businesses and industries, rather than the science, although there may be some overlap.

Agriculture refers to crop and livestock production, the development of which has enabled human beings to live in one place, while animal husbandry is responsible for the food surpluses that have empowered the development of cities and other urban areas. It wasn't until the 20th century that industrial agriculture came to dominate agricultural activities. Today, the largest one percent of farms in the world are 125 acres or greater, and consist of more than seventy percent of the farmland in the world, while small farms produce less than a third of the world's food.

Agricultural products include foods, fibers, fuels, and raw materials like rubber, while food classes include cooking oils, eggs, fruits, fungi, grains, meat, and vegetables.

Horticulture is a sub-field of agriculture that has to do with the art, science, technology, and business of plant cultivation. It is a specialized field of agriculture based on the improvement of agricultural technology and techniques to cultivate crops and other plants. Also included in horticulture are such topics as plant conservation, landscape restoration, landscape or garden design, and arboriculture, which refers to the cultivation and management of individual trees, shrubs, and vines.

Permaculture is a form of agriculture includes elements of ecological design, ecological engineering, environmental design, and regenerative design, the idea being to recreate natural ecosystems that include resources that can be used as food, as well as an environment that can sustain the ecosystem. The term has its roots in "permanent agriculture," and is considered to be a more traditional or natural approach to agriculture.

Terms associated with permaculture include rewilding, community resilience, and forest gardens. While horticulture is focused on producing crops, the focus in permaculture is on creating a sustainable ecosystem.

Many people have become familiar with hydroponics, which is a reference to growing plants in a liquid growing medium solution rather than soil, commonly used to grow vegetables like lettuce and tomatoes, as well as herbs. This method is also used to start various plants that will later be transplanted into a soil medium.

Hydroculture is similar to hydroponics, except that it uses an inorganic solid growing medium rather than water. The inert growing medium is usually rock-based, or expanded clay aggregates. The technology is sometimes known as passive hydroponics, as the plants grow without soil, bark, or peat moss. Most commonly used are Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregates (LECA), which are small pieces of clay that have been heated to very high temperatures, creating air pockets in the clay pellets, producing capillary properties, allowing dry LECA to absorb water and wick it upward to provide water to the plants. LECA does not compact or decay over time.

Aquaculture, on the other hand, refers to farming in water. As opposed to hydroponics, in which otherwise soil-based plants are grown in water rather than soil, aquaculture is the cultivation of aquatic organisms, like algae, crustaceans, fish, and mollusks. Aquaculture can involve the cultivation of freshwater, brackish water, and saltwater animal and plant populations under controlled or semi-natural conditions.

Types of aquaculture include pisciculture (fish farming, shrimp farming, oyster farming), algaculture (seaweed farming), or the cultivation of ornamental fish.

In most cases, farms or other operations within a single geographic location should be listed in the Local & Global category appropriate to the area in which it is located, however. Those with operations in multiple areas may be listed here as well as in the category representing the area in which they are headquartered.






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