Agriculture is both art and science of cultivating plants and livestock i.e., growing crops and raising livestock. The cultivated plant and animal products are marketed for people use. Agriculture provides the most of world`s food and fabrics. It also provides leather, wood and paper products also.
Before agriculture, humans were filling their stomach by searching for food here and there, wandering and hunting like every other animals. But 11,500 years ago humans gradually stared learning growing cereals and roots and started to settle down in one place. They also started domestication of animals around 10,000 years ago. according to scholars first domesticated plant was rice or corn. And first domesticated animal would be dog , which helped for hunting. After dogs, sheep, goats, pigs and cattle were also domesticated. first animal domestication was for meat but then gradually usage of milk and fur also started. Oxen were then domesticated for pulling and transportation.
” You know, farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you’re a thousand miles away from the corn field.”Dwight D. Eisenhower
Agriculture enabled production of large amount of food which may have motivated humans to settle down and shift to agriculture for survival . But scholars think climate change made that shift happen. Production of in large amounts may have introduced the concepts of stocking for future and trading. Barter system, the exchange of products and services arose and this may have promoted growing different products. Wherever the agriculture flourished, humans came in groups and the economy and trade grew, small villages were formed and civilizations happened.
“When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization.”Danial Webster
Development of tools are also one of the things that accelerated the growth of agriculture. Fire is one of the greatest invention and earliest tool used in agriculture. Small equipment like axes of bone, stone, iron, bronze were invented. To store the products, pots and vessels were made. Around 5500 BCE Mesopotamian farmers developed simple irrigation. A not so famous tool called shaduf, was important for irrigation and now also it is used in some parts of the world. Jethro Tull from England invented horse drawn seed drill which helped to replace planting seeds with hands. Cyrus McCormick invented mechanical reapers that helped to modernize grain cutting process.
Now, new inventions of science and technology have revolutionized agriculture. Some of the ancient cultures knew breeding of animals and plants from centuries. Gregor Mendel’s experiments then proved that crops can be improved through implementation of techniques of genetics. Scientific advances of the modern world increased the yield to an another level. introduction of gasoline and electricity and machinery powered by them replaced animals.
Further introduction of chemicals to control pests and protect crops from getting ruined increased the shelf life of the food products. Synthesis of fertilizers with elements that are essential for plants growth like potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus further increased yield. Development of different and new strains by genetic modification lead to the green revolution. Dr. Norman Borlaug is father of green revolution of the world. For India, M. S. Swaminathan, popularly known as father of green revolution, lead to the latter by producing a new strain of wheat.
agriculture is the backbone of any economy. growing population of every region will have basic necessities to be fulfilled and agriculture is holds the power to provide all that. Improvement in agriculture increases food security of the country and hence its prosperity.