Definition of agriculture


  • 1 Agriculture
  • 2 History of cultivation
    • 2.1 The evolution of agriculture
    • 2.2 Development of agricultural equipment and technologies
  • 3 main food crops
  • 4 References


Defined agriculture as ( the process of production of food, fodder, fiber, and fuel by breeding plants and animals ). Agriculture is linked to the evolution of the human race and its transformation from the life of mobility, dependence on hunting, and gathering wild plants to secure its food to a life of stability, and it is currently the most common profession, as it employs 42% of workers in the world. [1]

The origin of the word cultivation in the Arabic language dates back to the verb planted, meaning that the seeds were thrown into the ground, [2] while the origin of the English word (Agriculture) is from the Latin words: (Ager), and it means: field, and (Cultura), meaning: plowing, and indeed it was used The term was used in the past to refer to cultivation and plowing of land, but it has also expanded to include livestock raising. [1]

The history of agriculture

Primitive man relied on his diet for hunting, and for what he collected from wild plants, so he wandered from one place to another, and then people gradually began to settle in conjunction with their learning how to grow grains and root crops nearly 11,500 years ago, but the real interest in cultivation began only Just two thousand years ago, many people went to agriculture, and it is believed that the cause is due to climate change at that time. [3]

As people went to grow wild plants themselves, they also started domesticating and domesticating wild animals. Dogs were the first animals that were domesticated by humans and used for hunting, followed by sheep, goats, cows, and pigs that were hunted to obtain meat and leather, and after domestication they were used as milk, too. Butter, cheese, to aid in transportation, and plowing the land. [3]

With the development of agriculture , humans were able to produce food that was surplus to their needs, and they started storing crops for use in bad seasons, farmers established permanent villages near their fields, and commercial exchange began between these villages, and the most important civilizations that arose in fertile places of cultivation; Along the Nile in Egypt, and near the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq and Iran). [3]

Agriculture developed

In ancient times, humans relied on cutting down trees and plants and burning them to obtain agricultural lands. The use of fire in agriculture is one of the oldest agricultural practices known to the indigenous people of America to encourage the growth of some plants, such as: berries. , Stone, bronze, iron, and made of clay utensils for cooking and storing surplus food, and irrigation methods and systems developed, enabling farmers to cultivate in places that were not believed to be suitable for agriculture. [3]

Agricultural crops witnessed a great development as a result of practice and exchange of experiences between different peoples. Improved wheat appeared in South Asia and Egypt, and characterized by improved wheat by its strength and ease of disposal of its peels for use in making bread. The Romans transferred the cultivation techniques that they observed in Africa and Asia to Europe, and knew The Chinese Vietnamese rice , which was famous for its ripeness quickly, which allowed more than one crop to be cultivated in one agricultural season, and the open field system appeared in Europe, and under this system the land was divided into three sections; the first section is cultivated in the spring, and the Second in the fall, and the third section is left without cultivation to restore its fertility. [3]

Agricultural equipment and technologies developed

Among the most important developments in agricultural equipment and techniques are the following: [3]
  • Using the seed dispersing and planting machine that Jethro Tull made in England, instead of hand-sowing the seeds, this machine became widespread in Europe at the end of the eighteenth century.
  • The use of the cotton gin, a machine invented by the American Eli Whitney in 1794 AD to separate cotton fibers from his seeds quickly and easily.
  • The use of the grain harvest machine invented by Cyrus McCormick (Cyrus McCormick).
  • Using a horse threshing machine that facilitated the separation of grains and seeds from stems, invented by John and Hram Bates.
  • The use of the steel plow, invented by John Deere in 1837 AD, facilitated the preparation of harsh soils for cultivation.
  • Using the technique of Selective Breeding, which is intended to multiply plants and animals with desirable traits, such as: the Daisley-Leicester strain, an English sheep breed developed for quality meat and wool, and the studies of the world Gregor Mendel In transferring the desired genotypes in agricultural crops from one generation to another.
  • Follow the method of agricultural cycles, which includes growing a different crop each year, which increases soil fertility, and this method has been applied successfully to grow several agricultural crops, including: wheat, turnip, cattle, barley, and alfalfa.
  • The use of machines that run on gasoline and electricity in agricultural projects and animal husbandry, such as: tractors, water pumps, milking machines, and feeding equipment since the beginning of the twentieth century, which represented a qualitative leap in production.
  • Farmers' methods of controlling agricultural pests are developed, beginning with the use of chemicals to kill insects , rabbits, and mice that attack agricultural crops, weeds, and pathogens such as bacteria , viruses, and fungi.
  • Replacement of natural fertilizers such as manure, and the use of chemical fertilizers that contain the most important elements necessary for plant growth , such as: nitrates and phosphates, and given the negative effects of pesticides and chemical fertilizers on the environment and human health, a safer chemical alternative is being sought for use as fertilizers and pesticides.

Major food crops

Major food crops can be defined as foods that provide a large proportion of an individual's energy and nutrient needs, and among more than 50,000 edible plant species worldwide, there are only 15 vegetable crops that provide 90% of the energy energy consumed globally, Among these crops: [4]
  • Rice: Rice is the staple food of more than 1.6 billion people worldwide, and is among the largest rice producers in the world: China, India, Indonesia, and Brazil.
  • Corn: The first people to plant corn are the Maya and Aztec people in Central America, and among the most important current producers: The United States, which produces more than 40% of it in the world, in addition to China, Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina, and the popularity of corn, due to its numerous ways of consumption and ease Stored, and used to make corn chips for breakfast, and cornmeal from which tortilla is made , and the corn is eaten roasted, or boiled, and made of popcorn, and corn oil is extracted from it.
  • Wheat: Wheat was first cultivated in the Middle East. Currently, the largest wheat producers are China , India, the United States, Russia and France. Wheat is used to produce bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, vermicelli, and bulgur, among others.
  • Tubers and root vegetables: including potatoes , sweet potatoes (yams), cassava, which is the staple food of more than 500 million people in the world, and taro.

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