Agricultural research is a specialized kind of research system which can be carried out using both laboratory and field facilities as well as by interacting with farmers as critical informants for their betterment and raising their day to day level of livelihood. Agricultural research is based on crops, livestock, fisheries, forests, and the environment as well.
Until the 1970s, the primary focus was on cropbased research to meet the growing demand of food-grains to feed the millions of people in the global context.
As such, it was known as cropping system research.
Since the 1980s, it has made a significant shift from cropping system to farming system research as a holistic approach encompassing all sectors of food production, such as crops, livestock, fisheries, and forests, including the environment.
Agricultural Research Examples
Here are two examples that demonstrate what agricultural research is:
It is a long-felt demand in the agricultural sector to know the extent of participation of rural households in livestock production activities.
A study was designed by a student of Bangladesh Agricultural University; therefore, to identify the type of livestock activities usually undertaken by the rural farmers.
The study further aimed at assessing the labor contribution of males, females, children, and the paid workers to each of the identified activities.
Farmers in Bangladesh usually follow the traditional farming practices and depend mainly on chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides for higher yield without or less application of organic fertilizers/compost/IPM. They usually apply excess dosage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides without understanding soil/plant requirements.
Thus it indicates the consequence of decreasing soil fertility status day by day, which already resulted in <2% organic matter content, whereas it should be maintained at least 5%.
Therefore, to overcome this situation and to restore the plant nutrients of our soil, integrated nutrient, and pest management through increase use of compost/organic fertilizers/IPM is a crucial need at this moment.
Considering this, a study on sustainable agriculture through organic farming and IPM practices in Dinajpur was conducted.
Keeping these issues in view, Uttam Kumar Mojumder and some of his colleagues (2013) designed a study to identify the state of food security and farming practices of small and marginal farmers community to identify the sustainable farming system and suitable farming methods and to demonstrate and promote sustainable farming methods.
As the researchers speculate, the research findings will help to identify the best farming methods and their uses to achieve environmentally friendly, sustainable agricultural production systems.
The policymakers at the national level will get information about the assessment of organic farming, and this information will help them to make suitable decisions concerning sustainable agricultural land uses.