Understanding the History of Farming

Agriculture that involves the domestication of both plants and animals actually dates back to roughly 12,000 years ago. However, there were earlier people who began altering various communities of both fauna and flora for their own use by way of fire-stick farming and more. Through the centuries, agriculture has gone through quite a few significant developments since the very first cultivation. The more you learn about the history of farming, the more you will understand just how far this field has come.




Egypt, Western Asia and India

Some of the earliest sites known for planned sowing along with the harvesting of plants that were normally gathered only in the wild took place in Egypt, Western Asia and India. From there, the independent development in the field of agriculture took place in both Northern and Southern regions of China, New Guinea, portions of India, Sahel in Africa and regions of the Americas. Soon after the time of the Neolithic Revolution, more and more agricultural techniques were developed including crop rotation, irrigation and even the application of various fertilisers.


Developments in Farming

Over the past century, the field of agriculture has grown leaps and bounds in developed nations, showing more and more productivity. Human labour has been replaced by synthetic fertilisers, selective breeding and of course mechanisation. In recent history, mass agriculture has been tied in with a number of political issues as well, including biofuels, farm subsidies, water pollution, genetically modified organisms and more. Due to the impact on the environment that a number of mechanised entities have had, there has been more of a surge for sustainable agriculture, organic movements and farming solutions.


Prehistoric Farming

Trying to identify or pinpoint the exact origin of agriculture is quite problematic due to the simple fact that the hunter and gatherer societies actually begin thousands of years prior to the invention of writing and recording history. Archaeobotanists and paleoethnobotanists have worked to trace back to a time of the cultivation of specific plants used for food. One example would be the seeds used around the time of 9500 BCE in the region known as the Fertile Crescent. After this time in 9500 BCE, there were several founder crops that have been recorded as appearing, including einkorn and emmer wheat, hulled barley, lentils, peas, bitter vetch, flax and chick peas. These crops were grown on a wide scale along sites in an area known as Levant, with heat being the first known to be harvested on a grand scale.


Throughout time, there have been hundreds of different agricultural tools and machinery that has been developed to help the process for growing all sorts of important crops that are used on a wide scale today. The introduction of synthetic nitrogen as well as mined rock phosphate and pesticides have been able to increase the amount of crops that have been grown all throughout the 20th century. The more the agricultural community works on various farming solutions and the best ways to create environmentally friendly growing methods, the more benefits people everywhere will be able to enjoy