The History and Importance of Agriculture

The History and Importance of Agriculture

Document details
Category: Science Essay
Subcategory: Biology
Words: 3173
Pages: 5

Plowing Up New Soil with World Agriculture Since agriculture began to be developed nearly 10,000 years ago, people throughout the world have discovered the food value of wild plants and animals, and domesticated and bred them (Early Civilization). Today, people go to the market or grocery store to pick up cereal, rice, bread, meat, fruit, vegetables, and olives. People hardly ever think of where the food generally comes from. Most of the food that is found in the grocery store wouldn't be possible without world agriculture. Farming used to be primarily a family enterprise and to a large extent still is in most countries. In the more developed areas, however, more efficient large-scale operations are overtaking the smaller family farms. These large farms usually specialize in one crop or one type of crop and often are run by giant parent cooperation's. Such farms are part if the current trend toward more controlled and cost-effective agriculture. The goal in agriculture has almost always been increased production and decreased labor (Early Civilization). In the early 1900s the American farm, for example, was run by the muscles of people of draft animals. Today machines of great size and complexity accomplish in hours what took many of those people and animals days to complete (Timelines of the Ancient World). There are still family farmers similar to those of the earlier era in the most industrialized nations, but they are becoming fewer every year. There are also small-scale systems in many emerging nations of the world. But the trend almost everywhere is toward larger farms that are mechanized and utilize the latest scientific agricultural methods to provide products more effectively. In the mid-1990s, 48 percent of the world's labor force was employed in agriculture. The distribution ranged from 61 percent of the economically active population in Asia to less than 23 percent in the United States and Canada. In Africa the figure was 60 percent in South...

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