A brief history of agriculture

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History of Agriculture

  • Background. Agriculture, the cultivation of food and goods through farming, produces the vast majority of the world’s…
  • Dawn of agriculture. From as early as 11,000 BCE, people began a gradual transition away from a hunter-gatherer…
  • Dawn of civilizations. For better or for worse, agriculture was a driving force behind the growth of civilizations.

Agricultural communities developed approximately 10,000 years ago when humans began to domesticate plants and animals. By establishing domesticity, families and larger groups were able to build communities and transition from a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle dependent on foraging and hunting for survival.May 19, 2022

Full
Answer

What was the origin of Agriculture?

The origins of agriculture occurred from about 10 000 years ago in certain suitable regions, known as “core areas” or “nuclear zones.” The key factor in this process was the biological domestication of targeted plants and animals through selective breeding and other forms of selection (see Domestication and Development of Plant Cultivars).

What is the beginning of Agriculture?

Beginning of Agriculture (Neolithic): Part I Neolithic Age, which followed the Mesolithic, heralded the beginning of food production. Human communities entered a new stage of culture when, instead of depending entirely on the resources of nature for survival, they started producing their own food by cultivating cereals like barley, wheat and rice and started domesticating…

When was the beginning of Agriculture?

The history of agriculture began thousands of years ago. After gathering wild grains beginning at least 105,000 years ago, nascent farmers began to plant them around 11,500 years ago. Pigs, sheep, and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Plants were independently cultivated in at least 11 regions of the world.

What is the historical development of Agriculture?

Taking root around 12,000 years ago, agriculture triggered such a change in society and the way in which people lived that its development has been dubbed the “Neolithic Revolution.” Traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyles, followed by humans since their evolution, were swept aside in favor of permanent settlements and a reliable food supply. Out of agriculture, cities and civilizations grew, and because crops and animals could now be farmed to meet demand, the global population rocketed …

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Where did agriculture start from?

The earliest farmers lived in the Fertile Crescent, a region in the Middle East including modern-day Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Israel, Palestine, southeastern Turkey and western Iran.


What are 5 historical facts about agriculture?

5 Interesting Facts – All About AgricultureAgriculture is the single largest employer in the world. … There are 914 million acres of farmland just in the U.S. … The average U.S. farmer can feed 155 people. … Beef farming accounts for 29% of American farms.More items…


What is agriculture summary?

Agriculture, the cultivation of food and goods through farming, produces the vast majority of the world’s food supply. It is thought to have been practiced sporadically for the past 13,000 years,1 and widely established for only 7,000 years.


What are major events in agriculture history?

More than 3,000 years of progress in agriculture9000 BCE. Agriculture is born. … 8700 BCE. Corn is farmed in Central America. … 7000 BCE. Chinese farmers begin to grow rice. … 5000 BCE. Farmers harvest potatoes in Central America. … 3500 BCE. Squash and beans domesticated in Central America. … 300 BCE.


When did agriculture start in history?

approximately 10,000 years agoAgricultural communities developed approximately 10,000 years ago when humans began to domesticate plants and animals. By establishing domesticity, families and larger groups were able to build communities and transition from a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle dependent on foraging and hunting for survival.


Who started agriculture?

Egyptians were among the first peoples to practice agriculture on a large scale, starting in the pre-dynastic period from the end of the Paleolithic into the Neolithic, between around 10,000 BC and 4000 BC. This was made possible with the development of basin irrigation.


Why is it important to know the history of agriculture?

If agricultural history is to matter it must matter because it is about the past. It seeks to understand why some actions were taken and others were not, in the terms of those persons actively engaged in those decisions.


Who is the father of agriculture?

Norman Ernest Borlaug (25 March 1914 – 12 September 2009) was an American agricultural scientist, and humanitarian. He is considered by some to be the “father of modern agriculture” and the father of the green revolution.


What are the 4 types of agriculture?

There exist four main branches of agriculture, namely;Livestock production.Crop production.agricultural economics.agricultural engineering.


What invention helped agriculture?

Cyrus Hall McCormick invented a machine to help farmers harvest their crops faster. His machine was called the mechanical reaper. Before his invention farmers had to harvest grain by hand, using a long handled tool called a scythe.


When did the agricultural revolution start?

about 12,000 years agoThe Neolithic Revolution—also referred to as the Agricultural Revolution—is thought to have begun about 12,000 years ago. It coincided with the end of the last ice age and the beginning of the current geological epoch, the Holocene.


How did agriculture start in India?

Indian agriculture began by 9000 BCE on north-west India with the early cultivation of plants, and domestication of crops and animals. Indian subcontinent agriculture was the largest producer of wheat and grain. They settled life soon followed with implements and techniques being developed for agriculture.


A strenuous symbiosis

Humans changed from hunter-gatherers who, so to speak, helped themselves in the Garden of Eden, to farmers who had committed the sin of behaving rather like God in intervening in the course of nature. It was a transition that bore fruit in the truest sense of the words, yet also created hardship – just as God had ordained.


Striving for the right path

So we can assume that many were critical of the new lifestyle. But in the long term, farming prevailed: the communities of farmers increased faster than those of the hunter-gatherers; cities grew up, crafts and writing evolved.


So where do we stand today?

There are currently conflicting schools of thought, with some advocating a “back to nature” approach, wanting to limit growth, while others prefer to forge on ever faster, believing machine technology or biotechnology is the only way forward 3.


Discourse and dialogue are indispensable

Are these solutions? Yes, but in this form they are merely platitudes. How sustainable these paths are depends entirely on how we design them ecologically, economically and socially. The essence of it –and my greatest concern – is to bring all these developments and their conflicting goals into dialogue with each other.


Discussing smart farming

ETH Zurich is organising an event on Smart Farming – Was heisst das für die Schweiz? call_made to discuss the future of our agricultural system. Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann will present his view of smart farming and Professor Achim Walter will inform participants about the latest research.


When did agriculture start in North America?

It is likely that agriculture came to the North America relatively late, perhaps between 2500 and 2000 BC and we see it extensively with such civilizations as the Hohokam, the Anasazi and ancient Pueblos (17), possibly developing in Mesoamerica around 6000 BC with the domestication of maize.


Where did farming originate?

Archaeologists and palaeontologists have traced the origins of farming to around 10,000 years ago, to somewhere in the Indus Valley, and possibly as a separate development in China along the Yangtze River (6) .


What is the early civilization?

Early Civilization. Early civilization can be considered a boom time in agricultural science and technology. Around 5500 BC (7, p26-28), the Sumerian civilization of the Middle East and other early pre Greco-Roman civilizations understood the need for a specialized agricultural workforce for their societies to thrive.


Where did maize come from?

When we look at the south-western states, particularly Arizona and New Mexico, we see agriculture on an industrial scale – especially the cultivation of maize crops that were introduced from modern Mexico, the rest of Mesoamerica and beyond.


Did Native Americans have agriculture?

It’s certainly not true that the Native Americans had no agriculture; indeed, there is evidence for some limited agricultural practices (16) but it was not universal across the tribes. Some were completely nomadic and some were largely static – these were not geographical either, some tribes in the east had completely domesticated crops. When we look at the south-western states, particularly Arizona and New Mexico, we see agriculture on an industrial scale – especially the cultivation of maize crops that were introduced from modern Mexico, the rest of Mesoamerica and beyond. It is likely that agriculture came to the North America relatively late, perhaps between 2500 and 2000 BC and we see it extensively with such civilizations as the Hohokam, the Anasazi and ancient Pueblos (17), possibly developing in Mesoamerica around 6000 BC with the domestication of maize.


How long has agriculture been around?

It is thought to have been practiced sporadically for the past 13,000 years, 1 and widely established for only 7,000 years. 2 In the long view of human history, this is just a flash in the pan compared to the nearly 200,000 years our ancestors spent gathering, hunting, and scavenging in the wild. During its brief history, agriculture has radically transformed human societies and fueled a global population that has grown from 4 million to 7 billion since 10,000 BCE, and is still growing. 3


How did farming help the population?

5 More abundant food supplies could support denser populations, and farming tied people to their land. Small settlements grew into towns, and towns grew into cities. 1.


What is the name of the wild food that nourished our hunter-gatherer ancestors?

Left to right: Gingerbread plum ( mobola ), baobab seed, carissa fruit. These wild foods, native to Africa, may resemble the fruits, nuts, and seeds that nourished our hunter-gatherer ancestors. There is growing interest in cultivating these “lost” crops on a larger scale—the carissa fruit tastes a little like cranberry …


What was the difference between hunter-gatherer and agriculture?

Whereas hunter-gatherer societies generally viewed resources as belonging to everyone, agriculture led to a system of ownership over land, food, and currency that was not (and is still not) equitably distributed among the people. 1,16.


How did small settlements grow into cities?

1. Agriculture produced enough food that people became free to pursue interests other than worrying about what they were going to eat that day. Those who didn’t need to be farmers took on roles as soldiers, priests, administrators, artists, and scholars.


What did people who didn’t need to be farmers do?

Those who didn’t need to be farmers took on roles as soldiers, priests, administrators, artists, and scholars. As early civilizations began to take shape, political and religious leaders rose up to rule them, creating classes of “haves” and “have-nots.”.


When was the plow used in Egypt?

Grave chamber of an Egyptian public official, circa 1250 BCE. The plow is believed to have been used as early as 4,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. Although it brought tremendous gains in short-term productivity, it has also been a major contributor to soil erosion.


How long ago did agriculture start?

Wild grains were collected and eaten from at least 105,000 years ago.


Where did agriculture originate?

By 8000 BC, farming was entrenched on the banks of the Nile. About this time, agriculture was developed independently in the Far East, probably in China, with rice rather than wheat as the primary crop. Maize was domesticated from the wild grass teosinte in southern Mexico by 6700 BC.


What were the first foods that were domesticated in the New World?

The potato (8000 BC), tomato, pepper (4000 BC), squash (8000 BC) and several varieties of bean (8000 BC onwards) were domesticated in the New World. Agriculture was independently developed on the island of New Guinea.


What are the social issues that modern agriculture has raised?

Modern agriculture has raised social, political, and environmental issues including overpopulation, water pollution, biofuels, genetically modified organisms, tariffs and farm subsidies. In response, organic farming developed in the twentieth century as an alternative to the use of synthetic pesticides.


How has agriculture changed since 1900?

Since 1900, agriculture in the developed nations, and to a lesser extent in the developing world, has seen large rises in productivity as human labour has been replaced by mechanization, and assisted by synthe tic fertilizers, pesticides, and selective breeding.


What were the crops that were introduced in the Middle Ages?

In the Middle Ages, both in the Islamic world and in Europe, agriculture was transformed with improved techniques and the diffusion of crop plants, including the introduction of sugar, rice, cotton and fruit trees such as the orange to Europe by way of Al-Andalus.


What was the Bronze Age?

The Bronze Age, from c. 3300 BC, witnessed the intensification of agriculture in civilizations such as Mesopotamian Sumer, ancient Egypt, the Indus Valley Civilisation of the Indian subcontinent, ancient China, and ancient Greece.


What is the history of agriculture?

Agriculture, also known as farming, is the production of food, fiber, animal feed, and other goods by means of growing and harvesting plants and animals. Agriculture is practiced throughout the world. Many agricultural products are used every day, from the clothes we put on in the morning to the sheets we sleep


When was agriculture invented?

Humans invented agriculture between 7,000 and 10,000 years ago, during the Neolithic era, or the New Stone Age.


What did humans do during the Bronze Age?

Humans continued domesticating animals and plants to serve as food sources or sources of other useful products.


How did hybrid seeds contribute to agriculture?

Hybrid seeds contributed to the increased agricultural output of the second half of the 20th century.


What is the oldest method of irrigation?

Conversely, when the waters were low, the land dried up, killing crops. The oldest method of irrigation made use of man-made underground streams, called qanats, and is still being used in parts of the Middle East.


When did irrigation start?

Evidence suggests that irrigation first appeared in Egypt and Mesopotamia in the fourth millennium B.C. Floods caused by the yearly inundation of the Nile would have had disastrous effects for ancient farmers, washing away dikes and swamping fields. Conversely, when the waters were low, the land dried up, killing crops.


When was the combine harvester invented?

Plows and other farming implements improved, and the mechanical combine harvester—a machine that harvests grain—was invented in the 1830s. In the early 1900s, the horse-drawn plow was a catalyst for introducing more machinery on the farm.


What is the history of agriculture?

The history of agriculture (the production of food by plant cultivation and animal husbandry and control of productivity) can be organized around several themes (such as time, productivity, environmental impact, and genetic diversity). The most obvious is time and the sequence of events from gathering wild plants for food to crop plant


Where did agriculture originate?

The origin of agriculture was around ten thousand years ago or approximately four hundred human generations back in time and prehistory, before written records were kept. What is known is based on evidence gathered from archaeological sites. Agriculture started independently in at least three places in the world, each with a distinctive cluster of plants drawn from the local flora: Mesoamerica (Mexico/Guatemala: corn, beans, squash, papaya, tomatoes, chili, peppers), the Fertile Crescent ( Middle East from the Nile Valley to the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers: wheat, barley, grapes, apples, figs, melons, lentils, dates), and north China (mid-reaches of the three-thousand-mile-long Yellow River: rice, soybeans, peaches, Chinese cabbages such as bok choy). From these regions and possibly others, notably Africa (sorghum, cowpeas, yams, oil palm), South America (potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, peanuts, pineapples), and a broad band of tropical southeast Asia (oranges, mangoes, bananas, coconuts, sugarcane), the invention of agricultures spread to encompass the entire world by two thousand years ago.


What is seed farming?

Planting seed broadcast across plowed fields typifies most cereals (50 percent of human calories). Vegetables, legumes , and corn are planted from seed in rows separated by furrows. Seed agriculture usually consists of annuals that are typically planted as genetically uniform monocultures . Agriculture of the humid tropics has been more vegeculture …


How many people did the Green Revolution feed?

These late 1960s Green Revolution cereals and the genes they hold (dwarf stature and fertilizer responsive) now enter the food supply of three billion plus people and are directly responsible for feeding more than eight hundred million people by their increased yield alone.


How did farming begin?

Farming began when people intentionally saved and planted seeds of their favorite plants. By selecting characteristics that make a plant a good crop, early farmers altered the genetic makeups of plant populations.


What is the term for the raising of domesticated animals and the planting, cultivation, and preservation of crops?

Agriculture is the raising of domesticated animals and the planting, cultivation, and preservation of crops.


How did domesticated plants become genetically diverse?

Once domesticated plants began to travel through human migration and conquest beyond their local area of genetic adaptation, a large amount of genetic variation was released by chance hybridization of diverse forms or freedom from constraints (such as pests, pathogens , frost, and day length) of the old habitat.


How has technology changed agriculture?

While farming began as long back as 8500 BC in the Neolithic revolution, technological improvements have significantly shaped the development of human settlements through increasing agricultural production. Here is a brief history of how technology has influenced agricultural production over the centuries.


What is precision agriculture?

Today, modern agriculture regularly uses sophisticated technologies such as drones , robots, temperature and moisture sensors. This modern agriculture, known as precision agriculture, has transformed the farming business and allowed farming to be more profitable, efficient, safer, and more environmentally friendly. History shows that technology has been an important part of agricultural production, and farmers should invest in technologies that can help boost agricultural production in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.


What crops were genetically modified?

Monsanto’s Soybeans and cotton varieties became the first genetically modified row crops to farmers. The soybeans were tolerant to the herbicide glyphosate, and the genetically modified traits in cotton provided protection against the cotton bollworm, tobacco budworm and pink bollworm.


What was the first plant cell genetically modified?

The Monsanto team used Agrobacterium to introduces a new gene into the plant Petunia and within five years, planted the first outdoor trials of genetically modified tomatoes that were resistant to Roundup, certain insects, and viruses.


How does the internet help farmers?

The advent of computers and the internet allowed the collection of a wide variety of farming data and the storage and easy retrieval of farming data. For example, The Climate Corporation’s Climate Field View platform is a digital platform that brings together data collection, agronomic modelling, and local weather monitoring, which gives farmers a better understanding of their fields. These tools allow farmers to plan for better harvests and make decisions that are better for the planet.


When was the combine harvester invented?

In 1975 , the first twin-rotor system combine harvester was created by Sperry-New Holland. The invention of the combined harvester allowed the crop to be cut and separated in one pass over the field. The new machines combined three separate harvesting operations — reaping, threshing, and winnowing — into a single process. For corn, it not only separated the husk and ears, but shelled the kernels, and chopped the stalks. Combine harvesters quickly became one of the essential farm machines economically because they reduced labour costs and the time taken during harvesting operations.


What was the Green Revolution?

By the 1960s crop production had significantly improved and nicknamed the Green Revolution. This period saw the introduction of new wheat varieties in many countries in Africa.

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Prehistory


Early Civilization


Early to Modern Civilization

  • The Middle East continued to see much innovation in the agricultural industries, something that historians refer to as The Arab Agricultural Revolution (10). This was thanks to the diversity of the local topographies, the crops grown in the Middle East and Indus Valley that European societies coveted, and later acted as a trade bridge between Far East and Europe (11). In Europe, little cha…

See more on environmentalscience.org


The Americas

  • Mass agricultural practices were not particularly present in North America until the arrival of the European colonists. It’s certainly not true that the Native Americans had no agriculture; indeed, there is evidence for some limited agricultural practices (16) but it was not universal across the tribes. Some were completely nomadic and some were largely static – these were not geographi…

See more on environmentalscience.org


Modern Farming

  • Modern farming began around the 18thcentury in what is generally referred to as “The British Agricultural Revolution” when several advances and changes were made to farming in a short space of time that saw massive increases in yield and a more efficient process. The three field crop rotation system was replaced with a four field system and sweepin…

See more on environmentalscience.org


The Ecological Age

  • “Sustainability” is the buzzword today as we look to balance several conflicting needs – to protect the environment and to instigate practices that protects it while providing for the growing needs of the future population growth. Today, our food supply feeds 7 billion people and there is still enough surplus for more going forward (20). We know though that some of these practices hav…

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Overview

The history of agriculture records the domestication of plants and animals and the development and dissemination of techniques for raising them productively. Agriculture began independently in different parts of the globe, and included a diverse range of taxa. At least eleven separate regions of the Old and New World were involved as independent centers of origin.


Origins

Scholars have developed a number of hypotheses to explain the historical origins of agriculture. Studies of the transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies indicate an antecedent period of intensification and increasing sedentism; examples are the Natufian culture in the Levant, and the Early Chinese Neolithic in China. Current models indicate that wild stands that …


Civilizations

Sumerian farmers grew the cereals barley and wheat, starting to live in villages from about 8000 BC. Given the low rainfall of the region, agriculture relied on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Irrigation canals leading from the rivers permitted the growth of cereals in large enough quantities to support cities. The first ploughs appear in pictographs from Uruk around 3000 BC; seed-ploughs that funneled s…


Middle Ages and Early Modern period

From 100 BC to 1600 AD, world population continued to grow along with land use, as evidenced by the rapid increase in methane emissions from cattle and the cultivation of rice.
The Middle Ages saw further improvements in agriculture. Monasteries spread throughout Europe and became important centers for the collection of knowled…


Modern agriculture

Between the 17th century and the mid-19th century, Britain saw a large increase in agricultural productivity and net output. New agricultural practices like enclosure, mechanization, four-field crop rotation to maintain soil nutrients, and selective breeding enabled an unprecedented population growth to 5.7 million in 1750, freeing up a significant percentage of the workforce, and thereby helped …


See also

• Agricultural expansion
• Effects of climate change on agriculture
• Farming/language dispersal hypothesis
• Green revolution


Further reading

• Manning, Richard (1 February 2005). Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-1-4668-2342-6.
• Civitello, Linda. Cuisine and Culture: A History of Food and People (Wiley, 2011) excerpt
• Federico, Giovanni. Feeding the World: An Economic History of Agriculture 1800–2000 (Princeton UP, 2005) highly quantitative


External links

• “The Core Historical Literature of Agriculture” from Cornell University Library

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