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**Historical Development of Agriculture**
Agriculture began independently in different regions of the world.
– Wild grains were consumed over 100,000 years ago.
– Domestication of various crops and animals occurred in different parts of the world.
– Scholars have proposed hypotheses to explain the historical origins of agriculture.
– Ancient civilizations like Sumerians and Egyptians relied on agriculture.

**Types of Agriculture**
– Reindeer herding for Arctic and Subarctic peoples.
– Nomadic pastoralism in arid regions like Sahara and Central Asia.
– Shifting cultivation in areas with abundant rainfall.
– Subsistence farming for local needs, practiced in Monsoon Asia.
– Intensive farming for high productivity, common in developed countries.

**Technological Advancements in Agriculture**
– European agriculture transformed through exchange with Al-Andalus.
– Columbian Exchange introduced crops like maize and potatoes to Europe.
– British Agricultural Revolution advanced irrigation, crop rotation, and fertilizers.
– Modern agriculture saw mechanization, synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides.
– Genetically modified food is a recent mainstream technological development.

**Challenges and Issues in Agriculture**
– Around 40% of the world’s agricultural land is seriously degraded.
– Backlash against conventional agriculture led to organic, regenerative, and sustainable agriculture movements.
– Concerns about lower yield in organic farming and its impact on global food security.
Agriculture remains a hazardous industry with high risks of work-related injuries.
– Between 702 and 828 million people were affected by hunger in 2021.

**Workforce and Gender Roles in Agriculture**
Agriculture employed 873 million people in 2021, 27% of the global workforce.
– Women make up a significant share of the agricultural workforce worldwide.
– Immigrants help fill labor shortages in high-value agriculture activities.
– Women’s roles in agriculture are evolving, with changes in responsibilities.
– The gender gap in land productivity between female- and male-managed farms is 24%.

Agriculture (Wikipedia)

Agriculture encompasses crop and livestock production, aquaculture, fisheries, and forestry for food and non-food products. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities. While humans started gathering grains at least 105,000 years ago, nascent farmers only began planting them around 11,500 years ago. Sheep, goats, pigs, and cattle were domesticated around 10,000 years ago. Plants were independently cultivated in at least 11 regions of the world. In the 20th century, industrial agriculture based on large-scale monocultures came to dominate agricultural output.

As of 2021, small farms produce about one-third of the world's food, but large farms are prevalent. The largest 1% of farms in the world are greater than 50 hectares (120 acres) and operate more than 70% of the world's farmland. Nearly 40% of agricultural land is found on farms larger than 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres). However, five of every six farms in the world consist of fewer than 2 hectares (4.9 acres), and take up only around 12% of all agricultural land. Farms and farming greatly influence rural economics and greatly shape rural society, effecting both the direct agricultural workforce and broader businesses that support the farms and farming populations.

The major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers, fuels, and raw materials (such as rubber). Food classes include cereals (grains), vegetables, fruits, cooking oils, meat, milk, eggs, and fungi. Global agricultural production amounts to approximately 11 billion tonnes of food, 32 million tonnes of natural fibres and 4 billion m3 of wood. However, around 14% of the world's food is lost from production before reaching the retail level.

Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, and technological developments have sharply increased crop yields, but also contributed to ecological and environmental damage. Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry have similarly increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal welfare and environmental damage. Environmental issues include contributions to climate change, depletion of aquifers, deforestation, antibiotic resistance, and other agricultural pollution. Agriculture is both a cause of and sensitive to environmental degradation, such as biodiversity loss, desertification, soil degradation, and climate change, all of which can cause decreases in crop yield. Genetically modified organisms are widely used, although some countries ban them.

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