What were the major causes of the development of agriculture


What Caused the Rise of Agriculture?

  • Genetic Factors. Genetics in animals and plants are very different, and these differences make domestication more complicated in plants than in animals.
  • Geographical and Climatic Factors. We see domestication and agriculture occurring so early in the Near East because of two main reasons.
  • Social Factors. …


What are the negative effects of Agriculture?

Top 16 Negative Effects of Agriculture on the Environment

  • Soil/Land degradation
  • Deforestation
  • Biodiversity
  • Climate change
  • Pest problems
  • Industrial & agricultural waste
  • Irrigation
  • Livestock grazing
  • Chemical fertilizer
  • Point source pollution

More items…

What are current issues that are affecting agriculture?

  • Climate change.
  • The ongoing trade war between the United States and China.
  • Rapidly depleting reserves of freshwater around the world.
  • The looming food crisis.
  • Economic insecurity in the United States.
  • Ongoing closures of food processing facilities and local businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More items…

Why we should do agriculture?

Three reasons to study Agriculture:

  • Interdisciplinary perspectives: A degree programme in Agriculture offers the opportunity to approach agriculture at different levels. …
  • Good job opportunities: Worldwide, about 40% of people work in agriculture. …
  • Regional & international job opportunities: With a degree in Agriculture, you have a wide range of locations in which to pursue your job. …

What are the main factors of Agriculture?

heavier rains and droughts that collectively are predicted to significantly reduce US agricultural production “without major technological advancements,” according to the latest National Climate …


How did farming affect the way people lived?

Farming immediately triggered a huge change in society and the way in which people lived. Before farming, humans traditionally were hunter-gatherers, always moving their homes and searching for their food. This ended as people could now form permanent settlements and have a reliable food supply.

Where did farming start?

There was no single reason that led people to try farming in different parts of the world. Some early evidence of farming exists in the Fertile Crescent region of the Middle East, which includes areas we know today as Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, and Turkey. There, farming could have been brought on by climate changes at the end of the last ice age.

What was the first crop that humans started growing?

Plant Domestication. Humans first started growing wild crops including wheat, barley, and peas in the Fertile Crescent. Cereals were grown around what we today know as Syria as long as 9,000 years ago.

What happened to the people before cows arrived?

Before domestic cattle arrived in Europe, prehistoric people weren’t able to drink raw cow milk. Then, something changed during the spread of farming into southeastern Europe. A mutation in human genes occurred. People could then tolerate lactose, a natural chemical in milk, which they could not before.

How long ago did goats come to Europe?

Dates for the domestication of these animals range from between 13,000 to 10,000 years ago. Agriculture spread from Eastern regions further west into Europe. Genetic studies show that goats and other livestock came along with it. This helped to revolutionize Stone Age society.

When were cereals first grown?

Cereals were grown around what we today know as Syria as long as 9,000 years ago . Figs were cultivated even earlier. Seedless fruits discovered in the Jordan Valley suggest fig trees were being planted about 11,300 years ago. Slowly, humans moved on from wild harvesting and tried farming at home.

When did rice and millet originate?

The origins of rice and millet farming date to around 6,000 B.C.E. in China.

What were the main causes of the agricultural revolution?

The Agricultural Revolution that took place during the 18th century in Europe was caused by four primary factors, which were the increased availability of and access to farmland, a warm and stable climate for crop production, an increase in number of livestock and a more voluminous crop yield.

When did the agricultural revolution take place?

The Agricultural Revolution that swept through Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries came many years after the first Agricultural Revolution recorded by historians, which took place around 10,000 B.C.

Why did the warmer temperatures help the growing season?

Warmer temperatures also brought longer growing seasons, which in turn allowed for production of more crops. Machines replaced human labor, minimizing costs for farmers and expediting production, and crops were grown on larger scales, then harvested and shipped for sale. ADVERTISEMENT.

Why did the second revolution occur?

While the first revolution introduced a societal change from nomadic lifestyles to stationary farms and villages, the second revolution occurred because of an influx of new technologies that improved farming techniques and made farming more efficient.

How does agriculture affect biodiversity?

Agricultural development has historically been a major cause of reduced biodiversity. Agricultural land is created by converting wetlands, forests, prairies, and other landscapes into agricultural production. Typically, diverse plant and animal communities are replaced by much less diverse assemblages of commercially valuable species. Some of those species may have been engineered to combine traits unknown in nature. When a large fraction of the landscape is dominated by artificial communities, species that would otherwise have prospered can be edged out and replaced by ones better adapted to the new circumstances.

What are the causes of the conversion and degradation of the hotspots’ natural landscapes?

Agricultural development is one of the leading causes of the conversion and degradation of the hotspots’ natural landscapes, and Gorenflo and Brandon (2005) examined particularly agricultural suitability (land with high productivity potential) and the likelihood and implications of agricultural expansion affecting the high biodiversity forests of the hotspots.

What are the consequences of the loss of habitat for fish?

However, the loss and degradation of habitat for fish, such as seasonally flooded forests and wetlands, for conversion into rice paddy, may undermine food security if the important contribution of fish and other aquatic animals to local diets and livelihoods continues to be eroded.

What are strategies for addressing losses of biodiversity?

Strategies for addressing losses of biodiversity are diverse and make selective use of economic instruments. In the United States ( Walls and Riddle, 2013 ), the Endangered Species Act limits the rights of landowners who host species recognized as threatened or in danger of extirpation.

Why do some states restrict the conversion of land to other uses?

In the United States, some states restrict the conversion of land to other uses (e.g., urban development) to limit losses of unusually rich ecological resources , such as wetlands ( National Research Council, 2001 ). The restrictions are coupled with markets where developers can trade ‘credits’ for ecological functions ( Mills, 1980 ).

Why are species valued?

Species are also valued by some people for their mere existence or for viewing, as reflected in the financial contributions to or involvement in preservation causes and the establishment of conservation areas. A variety of economic methods have been used to value the economic benefits of species diversity.

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 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 did the Industrial Revolution affect 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 drive the Industrial Revolution. The productivity of wheat went up from 19 US bushels (670 l; 150 US dry gal; 150 imp gal) per acre in 1720 to around 30 US bushels (1,100 l; 240 US dry gal; 230 imp gal) by 1840, marking a major turning point in history.

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.

Why was clover important to agriculture?

The use of clover was especially important as the legume roots replenished soil nitrates. The mechanisation and rationalisation of agriculture was another important factor.

How long ago did agriculture start?

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

What is the origin of agriculture?

origins of agriculture, the active production of useful plants or animals in ecosystems that have been created by people. Agriculture has often been conceptualized narrowly, in terms of specific combinations of activities and organisms—wet-rice production in Asia, wheat farming in Europe, cattle

Why is agriculture a cultural phenomenon?

Because it is a cultural phenomenon, agriculture has varied considerably across time and space. Domesticated plants and animals have been (and continue to be) raised at scales ranging from the household to massive commercial operations.

What is the process of domestication?

Domesticationis a biological process in which, under human selection, organisms develop characteristics that increase their utility, as when plants provide larger seeds, fruit, or tubers than their wild progenitors. Known as cultigens, domesticated plants come from a wide range of families (groups of closely related genera that share a common ancestor; seegenus). The grass(Poaceae), bean(Fabaceae), and nightshadeor potato(Solanaceae) families have produced a disproportionately large number of cultigens because they have characteristics that are particularly amenableto domestication.

Why are domesticated animals more docile than wild animals?

Domesticated animals tend to have developed from species that are social in the wild and that, like plants, could be bred to increase the traits that are advantageous for people. Most domesticated animals are more docile than their wild counterparts, and they often produce more meat, wool, or milk as well.

What are domesticated animals?

Domesticated animals tend to have developed from species that are social in the wild and that, like plants, could be bred to increase the traits that are advantageous for people. Most domesticated animals are more docilethan their wild counterparts, and they often produce more meat, wool, or milk as well. They have been used for traction, transport, pest control, assistance, and companionship and as a form of wealth. Species with abundant domesticated varieties, or breeds, include the dog(Canis lupus familiaris), cat(Felis catus), cattle(Bosspecies), sheep(Ovisspecies), goat(Capraspecies), swine (Susspecies), horse(Equus caballus), chicken(Gallus gallus), and duckand goose(family Anatidae).

Why do grasses have cultigens?

The grass ( Poaceae ), bean ( Fabaceae ), and nightshade or potato ( Solanaceae) families have produced a disproportionately large number of cultigens because they have characteristics that are particularly amenable to domestication.

What happens to plants and animals over time?

Over time, some plants and animals have become domesticated, or dependent on these and other human interventions for their long-term propagation or survival.

What were the factors that contributed to the agricultural revolution?

The increased agricultural production of the 18th century can be traced to four interrelated factors: The increased availability of farmland. A favorable climate.

Who created tools that greatly influenced the new agriculture?

Several innovators created tools that greatly influenced the new agriculture. For instance, a significant step forward was pioneered by Jethro Tull, an English agriculturist.

How did crop rotation and livestock utilization affect society?

New patterns of crop rotation and livestock utilization paved the way for better crop yields, a greater diversity of wheat and vegetables and the ability to support more livestock . These changes impacted society as the population became better nourished and healthier.

How did the boost in livestock affect the diet of much of Europe?

Not only were Europeans consuming more meat, but the livestock was producing much needed fertilizer for crops. The addition of fertilizer allowed an improved production rate per acre.

Why were turnips important to farmers?

The cultivation of turnips was important because they could be left in the ground through the winter.

Why was the crop of wheat so popular in Europe?

Because this crop was incredibly easy to grow, was high in carbohydrates, calories and essential vitamins and could be stored successfully , it became a necessity for many of Europe’s poor. Landowners began to enclose fields that were formerly open.

Why was the open field system problematic?

This system was problematic because it allowed part of the land to remain unplanted at all times in order to avoid depleting the soil.

What were the main developments in agriculture during the agricultural revolution?

In China, humans used flood and fire control to create rice paddies beginning around 6,000 B .C. They domesticated water buffalos and yaks to eat their meat and milk and their hair and hide to make clothing. In Mexico, humans selectively bred a wild plant called teosinte to create maize or corn. The earliest known corn cob dates from 3,500 B.C. These same humans grew squash, which would become a staple food throughout the Americas. At the same time in the Andes Mountains of South America, humans grew potatoes.

Why did the first agricultural revolution occur?

Because this revolution began about 14,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age, experts theorize the warmer climate drove early humans to plant crops and build homes. At the same time, humans developed aspects of culture like religion and art. Archeologists have discovered cave art and figurines from this period. These discoveries demonstrate how humans had developed greater intellectual capabilities than their ancestors. Additionally, these new beliefs may have encouraged humans to settle in a permanent community with like-minded people.

What was the second agricultural revolution?

The Second Agricultural Revolution, or the British Agricultural Revolution, began during the 18th century. Major changes to farming techniques, which included livestock breeding, crop rotation, and mechanical farm equipment, decreased the number of workers needed on farms.

How did agriculture change the world?

The innovations in agriculture radically changed how humans produced food. Crop rotation and livestock breeding resulted in higher yields, while new mechanical equipment required fewer workers. Because their work was no longer needed, people traveled to cities to find work. Some people were desperate for employment in factories or other city jobs. Their small family farms could not compete with larger, industrial farms, or modern farming equipment had rendered their labor obsolete. In contrast, the children of successful farmers could now leave their families to look for other employment without worrying about who would work on the farm. The surplus produce from industrial farms could be sold to city dwellers, which in turn allowed more people to have occupations other than farming.

How did the agricultural revolution affect people?

The agricultural revolutions affected how people worked and got their food. The first caused people to grow crops and raise animals for food. The second caused people to move into cities and work in factories . The third led to an increase in human population.

Why was the Third Agricultural Revolution called the Green Revolution?

This time period received its name because of the emphasis on creating crops that yielded the most produce. Improvement in fertilizers and irrigation allowed crops to grow in climates previously too dry. Agricultural scientists like American researcher Norman Borlaug bred plants resistant to disease, produced more grain, and responded well to fertilizers. Industrial farms raised a single strain of highly productive plant. While these homogeneous crops increased yield, they were less disease-resistant and elevated the need for pesticides.

Why did the seed drill revolution start?

This revolution started because of developments in technology, a shift towards industrialization, and the growth of cities. In the early 18th century, British inventor Jethro Tull perfected the seed drill, which allowed farmers to efficiently sew seeds in rows rather than scattering seeds by hand.

Where did agriculture originate?

We believe that it emerged independently and spread from places as varied as Mesopotamia, China, South America and sub-Saharan Africa. As we explore more, it is likely that scientists will find more places where agriculture may have emerged even earlier. The birth of agriculture is often referred to as the Neolithic Revolution since it seems to coincide with the Neolithic period—or new stone age. The Neolithic period’s name stems from the fact that stone artifacts were more smooth and refined than those of the Paleolithic period, or old stone age. Many of these tools facilitated early agriculture.

What was the first agriculture?

The first agriculture was likely cultivation of wild species of plants and basic herding of livestock. As time went on, humans became more and more sophisticated at breeding the plants and livestock that best met our needs. The corn you see in the grocery store and the pigs, cows, and sheep you see at a farm did not evolve independently in the wild. They are the product of thousands of years of human selection and breeding from original, wild forms.

What is the name of the branch of agriculture that herds animals?

Pastoralism: a branch of agriculture. A branch of agriculture—called pastoralism—began around the same time as cultivation of plants. Pastoralism is the domestication and herding of animals such as goats, sheep, and cattle.

What is the birth of agriculture called?

The birth of agriculture is often referred to as the Neolithic Revolution since it seems to coincide with the Neolithic period—or new stone age.

Why did preagricultural societies need more energy?

For many of these preagricultural societies, a good bit of their energy went into just getting more energy—in other words, food—to keep going and reproduce. There also couldn’t be too many humans living in one area since there was only so much food to be found or killed .

What is the relationship between pastoralists and farmers?

Pastoralists’ military-related artifacts suggest that they may have come into conflict with farming societies; however, in other cases, pastoralists traded goods with farmers in a cooperative relationship.

Why is breeding plants and animals important?

This is because breeding plants and animals has significantly increased the availability of human consumable calories per square kilometer. One way to think about it is that we replaced things that weren’t consumable by humans with things that were.




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 …


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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