Agriculture is the science of cultivating plants and crops, as well as breeding livestock to provide food and other valuable resources, to meet human requirements and generate income. Farmers that raise plants or animals come up with the greatest techniques for raising crop quality and output while making sure animals are treated humanely.
One of the key things that keep our civilizations running is agriculture, which has existed since the dawn of human civilization.
Students who study agriculture will improve their ability to plan, design, and carry out projects, as well as projects in agronomic engineering related to the production of plants and animals. Students will also learn how to create cutting-edge techniques for producing seeds and plant breeding while utilizing the specialized technologies that are required.
History of Agriculture
The advent of agriculture made it possible for the human population to increase many times more than what could be supported by foraging and hunting. There were at least 11 different places of genesis for agriculture, which independently emerged in various regions of the world and contained a wide variety of species. Since at least 105,000 years ago, wild grains have been harvested and consumed. At the Sea of Galilee, emmer, barley, and oats were being grown in the Paleolithic Levant 23,000 years ago. Mung, soy, and azuki beans were also domesticated in China between 11,500 and 6,200 BC, with rice showing signs of domestication as early as 5,700 BC. Between 13,000 and 11,000 years ago, Mesopotamia was where sheep were first domesticated. Some 10,500 years ago, cattle were domesticated from wild aurochs in what is now modern Turkey and Pakistan. Since wild boars were first tamed some 10,500 years ago, pig production began in Eurasia, which includes Europe, East Asia, and Southwest Asia. Together with beans, coca, llamas, alpacas, and guinea pigs, the potato was domesticated in the Andes of South America between 10,000 and 7,000 years ago. Around 9,000 years ago, New Guineans cultivated sugarcane and certain root vegetables. Around 7,000 years ago, sorghum was domesticated in the Sahel region of Africa. By 5,600 years ago, cotton had been independently cultivated in Eurasia and Peru. By 6,000 years ago, wild teosinte in Mesoamerica was bred into maize.
In 3500 BC, humans first domesticated horses on the Eurasian Steppes. Many theories have been put forth by academics to account for the historical beginnings of agriculture. The Natufian culture in the Levant and the Early Chinese Neolithic in China are two examples of communities that underwent the transition from hunter-gatherer to an agrarian society. Analyses of these societies show that there was an initial period of intensification and rising sedentism. After that, previously harvested wild stands began to be planted, eventually becoming domesticated.
Types of Agriculture
- Pastoralism: Taking care of domesticated animals is called pastoral work. Nomadic pastoralism is the practice of herding animals from one location to another in search of pasture, forage, and water. In the Sahara, Central Asia, and a few locations in India, this style of farming is practiced.
- Shifting Cultivation: A tiny patch of forest is cleared for shifting cultivation by cutting and burning trees. For a few years, crops are grown on the cleared ground until the soil loses its fertility, at which point the region is abandoned. The procedure is repeated on a different plot of land. This kind of agriculture is primarily used in regions with high rainfall, where the forest regenerates quickly. Northeast India, Southeast Asia, and the Amazon Basin all adopt this method.
- Subsistence Farming: With little left over for transportation, subsistence farming is done to meet only the necessities of the family or the immediate area. In South-East Asia and Monsoon Asia, it is heavily practiced. Over 60% of the world’s arable land was farmed by 2.5 billion subsistence farmers in 2018.
- Intensive Farming: Input usage is high and the fallow ratio is low in intensive farming, which cultivates land to maximize yield (water, fertilizer, pesticide, and automation). It is mostly used in wealthy nations.
Branches of Agriculture
Agronomy, horticulture, agricultural engineering, agricultural economics, and animal sciences are the five primary sections of this degree that you might concentrate on.
Principles of agronomy, farm management and operation, the basics of soil science, the production of food animals, agribusiness, crop management, animal diseases, and other topics are covered in class curricula.
Please Note: Jobs like an agricultural consultant, farm manager, rural practice surveyor, soil scientist, agronomist, and agricultural scientist are available to graduates in the field of agriculture.