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History of Agriculture

Updated on November 3, 2009

History of Agriculture

The word "agriculture" come from the Latin words ager cultura which mean field cultivation. In the beginning, there was no food production. The ancient people subsisted on food gathering, hunting and fishing. They wandered from place to place searching for food. Clearly, there were no permanent human settlements. It was a nomadic society.

Agriculture was first discovered in Southeast Asia, Middle East, and Latin America. People in the Middle East raised wheat and barley around 6000 B.C. The region was greatly instrumental in' spreading the knowledge of agriculture in Asia and Europe. The discovery of agriculture was one of the most crucial phenomena towards human development. It ended their wanderings, and began the development of civilization. Permanent and stable societies were organized. Economic, political, cultural, social, and religious institutions emerged. However, still many agricultural villages have until the modern age remained primitive. In fact, not a few of them even deteriorated because of disease. Their people died without benefit of medical services. In addition, they were exploited by more powerful and civilized races.

The methods of farm production have not changed much in the poor countries. They are still using primitive techniques of production which are mostly done by men and animals. They lack irrigation facilities. So they depend only on rain water which means they can only farm during rainy seasons. Their production outputs are very low which are not even enough to feed their own peoples. In the case of the United States, only 4 percent of its population are engaged in agriculture. And yet, its agriculture can supply not only the needs of the American people but also the poor peoples of other countries. In short, American agriculture is very efficient because it is using modern technology. However, technology is not only the factor for such productivity. Other factors include the attitudes and values of the farmers, landownership, government policies, and peace and order.

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