The knowledge of biology is playing very important role in the welfare of human beings. Advance studies in biology especially genetic engineering, plant and animal breeding and biotechnology have n flounced man’s economic, social and industrial progress. They have enabled man to develop high yielding crops, better strains of livestock and many other developments beneficial to man. They are proving helpful in meeting the demands of rapidly growing population. Some of the contributions of biology in the economic development of various aspects of human life are given below:
20.3.1 Forestry, fuel, furniture
Forestry is the business of cultivating trees which provide us fuel, timber and wood products. Timber is used for making furniture. Paper industry is also dependent upon wood. Turpentine and resins are extracted from many of the trees.
Advancement in biology has helped forest cultivators in choosing trees that fit successfully in local habitat. Modern plant breeding techniques have developed various varieties of plants that can tolerate wide range of climatic conditions and are fast growing, in addition to being of high productivity, palatability and nutritional content. So forest cultivators select varieties which satisfy all their requirements.
Food and clothing are basic necessities of mankind. With the increase of population man thought of securing more food by cultivating the most desirable plants and domesticating animal breeds. Application of the biological knowledge has enabled scientists to increases yield of crops and to improve quality of fruits and vegetables. In agriculture, cereal crops like wheat, corn, rice have been selectively cultivated and crossed with other varieties to produce super strains capable of giving a palatable high yielding crop in a minimal amount of time. Disease and pest resistant varieties have been evolved by plant breeders.
Plant breeding and selective cultivation has also enabled agriculturists to improve the yield of soyabean, sugarcane, maize, potatoes and almost all other crops and fruits. Biological knowledge has also led to increase in production by the use of fertilizers, better methods of cultivation and crop rotation.
A breed is a collection of individuals within a species which are evolved by selective mating for some definite set of qualities.
20.3.3 Dairy, poultry and fish farming
Biology is playing very important role in the economic development, in the field of poultry, dairy and fish farming. By the use of animal breeding technology, cross breeds of different animals have been raised which provide better protein source in the form f meat and high milk production in the case of cattle, eggs and meat production in the case of poultry and wool & meat in the case of sheep. The cross breeds are more resistant to disease and are more vigorous (fig 20.4).
Biology is helping to know more about diseases and their cure by studying various disease causing agents like viruses, bacteria and other parasites.
Biological knowledge helps in the development of balanced diet for different animals which is necessary for their rapid and speedy growth. Ideal feed is that which has better food conversion ratio.
Fig. 20. 4: A prize bull-the result of improved cross-breeding
Category: 9th 10th