Agribusiness broadly encompasses the production, processing, and distribution of food and by-products. The agribusiness sector includes a variety of interests including the production of crops, meats, dairy, and tobacco. This business enables billions of people to be fed, sheltered, and clothed using the planet’s resources. Agribusiness can be further divided into input sectors, output sectors, and agriservices sectors.
The process of agribusiness in the most technical terms changes inputs into outputs. An input is a resource that is used in production and the output is a result of the production process. The agribusiness input sector, then, is comprised of resources such as machinery, fertilizer and seed, that have a role in producing agricultural commodities. The agribusiness output sector pertains to business that affect agricultural products between the supplier and consumer such as the packaging or transportation of a commodity.
People who continuously research new methods of protecting food producers and provide specialized agricultural services make up the agriservices sector. They include groups that provide these services through private and public entities. Public agriservices offer services at local, state and government levels. The United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration are notable examples of federal public agencies. Private agriservices agencies are not governed at any level and may be a part of major fields such as financial services and trade associations.
The forces of the economy have impacted the agribusiness sector tremendously. For instance, changes in supply and demand based on customer attitudes towards a product may affect business sales and profits. The ability of costumers to buy and consume products from countries all over the world means that global competitors can put pressure on local farming industries. These industries must find a way to make the most of their production efforts and compete with local and global markets.
In order to remain relevant in a competitive and ever-changing sector, agribusiness in highly industrialized countries must make use of the best technology. It is critical to implement new technology in order to address environmental and economic challenges while creating more productive, sustainable, and efficient food systems. One of the latest examples of technological advancement is the use of drone technology, which assists in monitoring crops and analyzing the fields to improve product output. GPS systems also help in crop scouting and general farm planning.
The farming industry is one of the largest industries in the world, directly impacting billions of people around the world and rising to meet the challenges of a growing population. There is an increase in job opportunities as mega companies have come to buy farms and operate them as businesses. Other businesses which may be affiliated with agriculture are banks, insurance companies, farm equipment companies, and public agencies. This sector employs about forty percent of the global population.
Studying agribusiness provides students with the tools needed to apply economic and business principles to the food industry. Students will learn the best ways to maximize profit, develop their product effectively and make sound investment decisions. They will also use quantitative tools and techniques in order to tackle management and business problems related to this sector.