Monday, April 2, 2012

Agriculture has been the prime and foremost activity of every culture and civilization through the history of mankind. Agriculture practices secured food supply and also resulted in establishment of farming settlements that subsequently grew into villages, towns, cities, states, countries and even empire.

The history of agriculture is broadly divided into 4 phases:

1. Prehistoric Agriculture

- Believed to have started near 10,000 BC or earlier and is considered to be first prototype of agricultural modules. They were mainly located in southeast and southwest Asia, what are now India, Iran, Iraq, Israel and the adjoining areas. Nile River in Egypt, Danube in Europe and Indus-Ganga in India were the main center of the agricultural farmlands.

- This was also the age of agricultural inventions as many new tools and practices were invented. The use of wooden tools and doomestic animals were the major highlights.

2. Historical Agriculture:

- Roughly from 2500 BC to 500 BC. It marks the introduction of metals in agricultural tool making. Agricultural sites grew proficient and covered much of southeast Asia, middle-east, Europe, North America and Easstern Asia.

- Mechanicals improvements in agricultural implements and development of storage and irrigation method marks the highlight of this age. Trading of argiculture also started.

3. Feudal Agriculture:

- The feudal age of agriculture ranges from 500 BC to 1700 AD, reaching its height near 1000 AD and then getting static thereafter. They were mainly located throughout Europe, Middle East, Southeast Asia.

- This period is chiefly characterized by expansion of agriculture and irrigation and consolidation of agricultural methods. The use of fertilizers in the form of natural manures to boost production was a major breakthrough of this period.

4. Scientific Agriculture

- By 17th century AD, the world was seeing a rapid rise in its population. This was also the age of imperial expansions in Asia, Africa, Americas and oceanic countries.

These led to exploration of new methods and practices in agriculture and resulted in increased attention on commercial form of agriculture that was based solely on profit than subsistence purposes. - Agriculture trade assumed global proportions and many new economies thrived on specialized production of one or other agricultural products.

- There were also many new inventions in irrigation, sowing, and harvesting techniques. New variants of seeds and plants are manufactured in laboratories and genetically modified to suit particular consumption and commercial needs.