what year was agriculture invented



The earliest evidence of agricultural cultivation is from around 21,000 BC with the Ohalo II people on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. By around 9500 BC, the eight Neolithic founder crops – emmer wheat, einkorn wheat, hulled barley, peas, lentils, bitter vetch, chickpeas, and flax – were cultivated in the Levant.

When did humans first start farming?

Answered 10 years ago. Agriculture, defined broadly as the human activity of cultivating plants and animals arose around 12,000-10,000 BC, in the fertile crescent. Many competing and complementary theories exist to explain the development of agricultural practices and the adoption of a sedentary lifestyle.

When did humans start agriculture?

Humans invented agriculture between 7,000 and 10,000 years ago, during the Neolithic era, or the New Stone Age. There were eight Neolithic crops: emmer wheat, einkorn wheat, peas, lentils, …

When and where did agriculture first develop?

 · The origins of rice and millet farming date to around 6,000 B.C.E. The world’s oldest known rice paddy fields, discovered in eastern China in 2007, reveal evidence of ancient …


When was started agriculture?

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.

What age discovered agriculture?

The Neolithic is characterized by fixed human settlements and the invention of agriculture from c. 10,000 BP.

Where was agriculture developed first?

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.

When and where was agriculture invented?

Until now, researchers believed farming was “invented” some 12,000 years ago in the Cradle of Civilization — Iraq, the Levant, parts of Turkey and Iran — an area that was home to some of the earliest known human civilizations.

What year was 10000 years ago?

8,000 BC10,000 years ago (8,000 BC): The Quaternary extinction event, which has been ongoing since the mid-Pleistocene, concludes.

When did agriculture start 4700 years ago 2500 years ago 8000 years ago 5500 years ago?

Indian agriculture began by 9000 BCE on north-west India with the first cultivation of plants, and domestication of crops and animals.

What was the first crop?

HISTORY OF THE CULTIVATION OF PLANTS. Wheat is the first cereal to be cultivated by man. In several places in the Middle East it is being sowed, tended and reaped soon after 8000 BC. The people of Jericho are the first known to have lived mainly from the cultivation of crops.

Who were the first farmers?

Around 4,000 years ago, people in Britain started living in a new way. Instead of spending all their time hunting and gathering, they began to set up farms. The early farmers chopped down trees so they could grow crops and vegetables. They kept cattle, sheep and pigs.

Is agriculture an invention?

Humans invented agriculture between 7,000 and 10,000 years ago, during the Neolithic era, or the New Stone Age. There were eight Neolithic crops: emmer wheat, einkorn wheat, peas, lentils, bitter vetch, hulled barley, chickpeas, and flax.

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 early man discovered agriculture?

Around 12,000 years ago, hunter-gatherers made an incredible discovery. They dug up the ground, scattered a few wild grains, and learned how to farm. Farming meant that early humans could control their sources of food by growing plants and raising animals.


When did agriculture start?

The scientific study of agriculture began in the 18th century, when Johann Friedrich Mayer conducted experiments on the use of gypsum (hydrated calcium sulphate) as a fertilizer. Research became more systematic when in 1843, John Lawes and Henry Gilbert began a set of long-term agronomy field experiments at Rothamsted Research Station in England; some of them, such as the Park Grass Experiment, are still running. In America, the Hatch Act of 1887 provided funding for what it was the first to call “agricultural science”, driven by farmers’ interest in fertilizers. In agricultural entomology, the USDA began to research biological control in 1881; it instituted its first large program in 1905, searching Europe and Japan for natural enemies of the gypsy moth and brown-tail moth, establishing parasitoids (such as solitary wasps) and predators of both pests in the USA.

What is the origin of agriculture?

The word agriculture is a late Middle English adaptation of Latin agricultūra, from ager, “field”, and cultūra, ” cultivation ” or “growing”. While agriculture usually refers to human activities, certain species of ant, termite and beetle have been cultivating crops for up to 60 million years.

What is the basis of pastoral agriculture for several Arctic and Subarctic peoples?

Reindeer herds form the basis of pastoral agriculture for several Arctic and Subarctic peoples.

How does agriculture increase yield?

Agriculture seeks to increase yield and to reduce costs. Yield increases with inputs such as fertilisers and removal of pathogens , predators, and competitors (such as weeds). Costs decrease with increasing scale of farm units, such as making fields larger; this means removing hedges, ditches and other areas of habitat.

What was the Arab agricultural revolution?

The Arab Agricultural Revolution, starting in Al-Andalus (Islamic Spain), transformed agriculture with improved techniques and the diffusion of crop plants.

How many people were employed in agriculture in the 21st century?

At the start of the 21st century, some one billion people, or over 1/3 of the available work force, were employed in agriculture. It constitutes approximately 70% of the global employment of children, and in many countries employs the largest percentage of women of any industry.

What did Sumerians do in ancient times?

In Eurasia, the Sumerians started to live in villages from about 8,000 BC, relying on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and a canal system for irrigation. Ploughs appear in pictographs around 3,000 BC; seed-ploughs around 2,300 BC. Farmers grew wheat, barley, vegetables such as lentils and onions, and fruits including dates, grapes, and figs. Ancient Egyptian agriculture relied on the Nile River and its seasonal flooding. Farming started in the predynastic period at the end of the Paleolithic, after 10,000 BC. Staple food crops were grains such as wheat and barley, alongside industrial crops such as flax and papyrus. In India, wheat, barley and jujube were domesticated by 9,000 BC, soon followed by sheep and goats. Cattle, sheep and goats were domesticated in Mehrgarh culture by 8,000–6,000 BC. Cotton was cultivated by the 5th–4th millennium BC. Archeological evidence indicates an animal-drawn plough from 2,500 BC in the Indus Valley Civilisation. In China, from the 5th century BC there was a nationwide granary system and widespread silk farming. Water-powered grain mills were in use by the 1st century BC, followed by irrigation. By the late 2nd century, heavy ploughs had been developed with iron ploughshares and mouldboards. These spread westwards across Eurasia. Asian rice was domesticated 8,200–13,500 years ago – depending on the molecular clock estimate that is used – on the Pearl River in southern China with a single genetic origin from the wild rice Oryza rufipogon. In Greece and Rome, the major cereals were wheat, emmer, and barley, alongside vegetables including peas, beans, and olives. Sheep and goats were kept mainly for dairy products.

When did agriculture start?

Agriculture, defined broadly as the human activity of cultivating plants and animals arose around 12,000-10,000 BC, in the fertile crescent. Many competing and complementary theories exist to explain the development of agricultural practices and the adoption of a sedentary lifestyle.

How did farmers sown grain?

The plow. Experts now think farmers probably sowed grain by breaking the soil for at least a thousand years before domesticated strains appeared. When agriculture was first developed, soil was turned using simple hand-held digging sticks and crude hoes. Hoe-cultivation was common everywhere agriculture was practiced, especially in the traditional tillage method in tropical or sub-tropical regions. The primary purpose of plowing is to turn over the upper layer of the soil, bringing fresh nutrients to the surface, while burying weeds and the remains of previous crops and allowing them to decay.

What was the impact of the introduction of the heavy plough?

As a result, populations grew, old cities expanded and new urban areas came into being. In fact it is estimated, that population growth and urbanization increased by 10% during the three hundred years following the heavy plough’s introduction. Anyway, that is my contribution to “ some life changing innovations in the agriculture industry”.

What was tilling before the heavy plough?

Before the introduction and widespread use of the heavy plough, tilling was performed by what was known as the ‘ard’. This was a hoe like device which is estimated to have been around since the very beginning of agriculture itself…that is, some ten thousand years ago. The ard was it appears, perfectly suitable for turning the light, dry soils of the Mediterranean, and also, for a few areas of Northern Europe.

What are some examples of inventions?

The use of the word ‘invention’ naturally draws our minds to other modern inventions such as the radio, light-bulb, atom bomb or reality TV. In these modern examples the invention is revolutionary and adoption, helped along by global communication and trade, is swift. Agricultural practices is a different sort of ‘

When were oxen first introduced?

The domestication of oxen in Mesopotamia and the Indus valley civilization, perhaps as early as the 6th millennium BC, provided mankind with the draft power necessary to develop the larger, animal-drawn true ard (or scratch plough) that was dragged through the topsoil to cut a shallow furrow ideal for most cereal crops. The ard is best suited to loamy or sandy soils that are naturally fertilized by annual flooding, as in the Nile Delta and Fertile Crescent, and to a lesser extent any other cereal-growing region with light or thin soil. In Europe, the earliest known wooden ard (at Lavagone in Italy) dates from around 2300-2000 BC, but the earliest scratch marks date from 3500-3000 BC.

Is it misleading to talk about agriculture?

The bottom line is that it is somewhat misleading to talk about the ‘invention’ of agriculture since we are talking here about a massive system change that occurred globally over thousands of years. Better instead to talk about adoption of agricultural practices.

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 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

What were the inventions of the Bronze Age?

During the Bronze Age and the eras that followed, civilizations all over the world gradually invented or acquired advanced metalworking techniques, creating ever-stronger farming implements. Humans continued domesticating animals and plants to serve as food sources or sources of other useful products. During the Middle Ages, European farmers began using complex irrigation systems such as dams, reservoirs, and water-raising machines. They also developed a three-field system of crop rotation and the moldboard plow. These inventions greatly increased the efficiency of agriculture.

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.

Where did agriculture originate?

The history of agriculture begins in the Fertile Crescent. This area of Western Asia comprises the regions of Mesopotamia and Levant while being confined by the Syrian Desert to the south and the Anatolian Plateau to the north. In the early 1900s, University of Chicago archaeologist James Henry Breasted coined the term “Fertile Crescent” to describe this location’s role as the birthplace of agriculture. It has often been called the “Cradle of Civilization” as well, since both the wheel and writing first appeared there. Modern Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories all include some land within the Fertile Crescent.

Why did people start farming?

In the Near East, for example, it’s thought that climatic changes at the end of the last ice age brought seasonal conditions that favored annual plants like wild cereals. Elsewhere, such as in East Asia, increased pressure on natural food resources may have forced people to find homegrown solutions. But whatever the reasons for its independent origins, farming sowed the seeds for the modern age.

What was the farming revolution?

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 …

What mutation occurred during the spread of farming into southeastern Europe?

But at some point during the spread of farming into southeastern Europe, a mutation occurred for lactose tolerance that increased in frequency through natural selection thanks to the nourishing benefits of milk.

When did corn cobs first appear?

While maize-like plants derived from teosinte appear to have been cultivated at least 9,000 years ago, the first directly dated corn cob dates only to around 5,500 years ago . Corn later reached North America, where cultivated sunflowers also started to bloom some 5,000 years ago.

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. Genetic studies show that goats and other livestock accompanied the westward spread of agriculture into Europe, helping to revolutionize Stone Age society. While the extent to which farmers themselves migrated west remains a subject of debate, …

Where did the wild produce originate?

The wild progenitors of crops including wheat, barley and peas are traced to the Near East region. Cereals were grown in Syria as long as 9,000 years ago, while figs were cultivated even earlier; prehistoric seedless fruits discovered in the Jordan Valley suggest fig trees were being planted some 11,300 years ago. Though the transition from wild harvesting was gradual, the switch from a nomadic to a settled way of life is marked by the appearance of early Neolithic villages with homes equipped with grinding stones for processing grain.

When did rice and millet farming start?

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

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.

How did farming start?

The three field crop rotation system was replaced with a four field system and sweeping enclosure acts regulated land management, selective cross-breeding began on an industrial scale to increase crop size as well as yields creating several cultivars in the process. Animal husbandry also improved, leading to a greater surplus than had been permissible under the old system. It is said that these changes permitted the industrial revolution and even greater concentration of urban development, fueling the empire. How so? More crops for fewer workers, better methods of keeping and replacing nutrients in the soil meant that more people could work in industry. When the Corn Laws in England were repealed, it began the global food economy; about the same time, Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution put agriculture on the modern path of a science as we began to understand the development of crops.

What were the crops of Mesoamerica?

In Mesoamerica and South America, with the Inca, the Maya, Olmecs and the Aztecs, relatively early development of agriculture permitted the building of enormous cities that impressed the European colonizers; it was quickly identified that these civilizations had an impressive agriculture-based economy that stood on a par with Europe, challenging what was then understood about the development of civilization. In Mesoamerica it was corn and in South America it was the humble potato (18) – today the staple crop of most people in the western world, along with coca and the domestication of animal species such as llama and alpaca.

What was the Middle East’s agricultural revolution?

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).

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.

What is agriculture in the US?

Agriculture is defined as the cultivation and exploitation of animals, plants (including fungi) and other forms of organic life for human use including food, fiber, medicines, fuel and anything else. It is, and has been since there was an agricultural market, one of the largest employers of people; in the USA today, agriculture represents 20% of the US economy (1). Before organised agriculture, it is believed that the food supply could provide for just 4 million people globally (21).

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.

When did agriculture start?

From as early as 11,000 BCE, people began a gradual transition away from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle toward cultivating crops and raising animals for food. The shift to agriculture is believed to have occurred independently in several parts of the world, including northern China, Central America, and the Fertile Crescent, a region in the Middle East that cradled some of the earliest civilizations. 1 By 6000 BCE, most of the farm animals we are familiar with today had been domesticated. 1 By 5000 BCE, agriculture was practiced in every major continent except Australia. 2

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

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 …

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 was the driving force behind the growth of civilizations?

For better or for worse, agriculture was a driving force behind the growth of civilizations.

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.

When was synthetic fertilizer invented?

First introduced in the early 1900s, synthetic fertilizers dramatically increased crop yields (though not without consequences ), and have been credited with providing the lion’s share of the world’s food over the 20 th century. 27 The use of these and other chemicals has become a hallmark of industrial agriculture.

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.

When was agriculture invented?

The history of American agriculture (1776–1990) covers the period from the first English settlers to the modern day. Below are detailed timelines covering farm machinery and technology, transportation, life on the farm, farmers and the land, and crops and livestock.

When did the commercial corn and wheat belts begin to develop?

The 1850s —Commercial corn and wheat belts began to develop; wheat occupied the newer and cheaper land west of the corn areas and was constantly being forced westward by rising land values and the encroachment of the corn areas

How much labor was required to produce 100 bushels of corn?

By 1890, labor costs continued to decrease, with only 35–40 labor-hours required to produce 100 bushels (2-1/2 acres) of corn, because of technological advances of the 2-bottom gang plow, disk and peg-tooth harrow, and 2-row planters; and 40–50 labor-hours required to produce 100 bushels (5 acres) of wheat with gang plow, seeder, harrow, binder, thresher, wagons, and horses.

How many hours did it take to produce 100 bushels of wheat?

By the 1830s, about 250-300 labor-hours were required to produce 100 bushels (5 acres) of wheat using a walking plow, brush harrow, hand broadcast of seed, sickle, and flail.

What were the inventions of the early 19th century aimed at?

Inventions during the early decades of the 19th century were aimed at automation and preservation.

What were the first inventions in the 1790s?

But in the 1790s, the horse-drawn cradle and scythe were introduced, the first of several inventions. 16th century —Spanish cattle introduced into the Southwest. 17th century —Small land grants commonly made to individual settlers; large tracts often granted to well-connected colonists.

What was the main tool used to sow hay?

During the latter part of the 18th century, farmers relied on oxen and horses to power crude wooden plows. All sowing was accomplished using a hand-held hoe, reaping of hay and grain with a sickle, and threshing with a flail. But in the 1790s, the horse-drawn cradle and scythe were introduced, the first of several inventions.

Who was the first to use the four year crop rotation method?

In the 18th century, British agriculturalist Charles Townshend boosted the European agricultural revolution by popularizing a four-year crop rotation method with rotations of wheat, barley, turnips, and clover. In the United States, George Washington Carver brought his science of crop rotation to the farmers and saved the farming resources …

When was the cotton harvester invented?

The first cotton harvester was patented in the U.S. in 1850, but it was not until the 1940s that the machinery was widely used. 03.

When was the baler invented?

The stationary baler or hay press was invented in the 1850s and did not become popular until the 1870s. The “pick up” baler or square baler was replaced by the round baler around the 1940s. In 1936, a man named Innes, of Davenport, Iowa, invented an automatic baler for hay.

How did farmers avoid soil fertility?

Farmers avoided a decrease in soil fertility by practicing crop rotation. Different plant crops were planted in a regular sequence so that the leaching of the soil by a crop of one kind of nutrient was followed by a plant crop that returned that nutrient to the soil. Crop rotation was practiced in ancient Roman, African, and Asian cultures. During the Middle Ages in Europe, farmers practiced a three-year crop rotation by rotating rye or winter wheat in year one, followed by spring oats or barley in the second year, and followed by a third year of no crops.

When were cutting devices invented?

In the 1860s early cutting devices were developed that resembled those on reapers and binders; from these came the modern array of fully mechanical mowers, crushers, windrowers, field choppers, balers, and machines for pelletizing or wafering in the field.

Who invented the self-polishing plow?

John Deere invented the self-polishing cast steel plow—an improvement over the iron plow. “He forged the blade into a plow and the plow forged a farming revolution,” according to Jackson Landers, writing in Smithsonian Magazine. Jackson adds:

Who invented the milking machine?

Milking Machine. Peter Muller / Getty Images. In 1879, Anna Baldwin patented a milking machine that replaced hand milking: her milking machine was a vacuum device that connected to a hand pump. This was one of the earliest American patents; however, it was not a successful invention.


Agriculture or farming is the practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities. The history of agriculturebegan thousands of years ago. After gathering wild grains beginning at least 105,000 years ago, nascent farm…

Etymology and scope

The word agriculture is a late Middle English adaptation of Latin agricultūra, from ager ‘field’ and cultūra ‘cultivation’ or ‘growing’. While agriculture usually refers to human activities, certain species of ant, termite and beetlehave been cultivating crops for up to 60 million years. Agriculture is defined with varying scopes, in its broadest sense using natural resources to “produce commodities which maintain life, including food, fiber, forest products, horticultural crops, and t…


The development of agriculture enabled the human population to grow many times larger than could be sustained by hunting and gathering. Agriculture began independently in different parts of the globe, and included a diverse range of taxa, in at least 11 separate centers of origin. Wild grains were collected and eaten from at least 105,000 years ago. From around 23,000 years ago, the eight Neolithic …


Pastoralism involves managing domesticated animals. In nomadic pastoralism, herds of livestock are moved from place to place in search of pasture, fodder, and water. This type of farming is practised in arid and semi-arid regions of Sahara, Central Asia and some parts of India.
In shifting cultivation, a small area of forest is cleared by cutting and burning th…

Contemporary agriculture

From the twentieth century, intensive agriculture increased productivity. It substituted synthetic fertilizers and pesticides for labour, but caused increased water pollution, and often involved farm subsidies. In recent years there has been a backlash against the environmental effects of conventional agriculture, resulting in the organic, regenerative, and sustainable agriculturemovements. O…


Overall production varies by country as listed.
Cropping systems vary among farms depending on the available resources and constraints; geography and climate of the farm; government policy; economic, social and political pressures; and the philosophy and culture of the farmer.
Shifting cultivation (or slash and burn) is a system in which forests are burnt, r…

Crop alteration and biotechnology

Crop alteration has been practiced by humankind for thousands of years, since the beginning of civilization. Altering crops through breeding practices changes the genetic make-up of a plant to develop crops with more beneficial characteristics for humans, for example, larger fruits or seeds, drought-tolerance, or resistance to pests. Significant advances in plant breeding ensue…

Environmental impact

Agriculture is both a cause of and sensitive to environmental degradation, such as biodiversity loss, desertification, soil degradation and global warming, which cause decrease in crop yield. Agriculture is one of the most important drivers of environmental pressures, particularly habitat change, climate change, water use and toxic emissions. Agriculture is the main source of toxins released into the …

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