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Agriculture: Know the Past and the Future

February 23, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 261

Agriculture has been the most integral means of livelihood since the beginning of time. This involves not only the cultivation of plants and vegetation but also animal farming. Crops has been and still is the man's main food source. Its vast history can be traced back to thousand of years ago, surpassing various eras and numerous climate changes.

Primeval Origins and Middle Ages

Agriculture has long been depicted in ancient cave drawings and has appeared in countless manuscripts. The earliest of civilizations started near rivers because of the water it supplies and the nutrients it supplies the land. Egypt and India were believed to possess the most fertile of lands fit for sowing, no wonder it was named the Cradle of Civilization. By the 7000 BC, agriculture reached Egypt. This paved waves for ancient Sumerians to developed agricultural techniques such as irrigation and land cultivation in order to increase production. Even the Greeks have a figure for it, Demeter, as the great Olympian Goddess of grain and bread. It portrays man's source of sustenance. Such she is one of the most revered of all gods. Around the 1500s, colonists started their voyage and participated in the global exchange of crops such as potato, cocoa bean and tobacco. Spices from the New World were brought back to the Old. Soon this barter system improved to fabric, pottery and even jewelry.

Different Production Practices

Today, almost the same concept of agricultural techniques are being practiced with the slight difference of more advanced machinery and scientific processes. Pest control is one of the most practiced because of the abundance of destructive insects and diseases that affect the crops. Pesticides are one of the fastest ways of pest control yet are discouraged because of the chemicals that can cause fatal effects to humans when ingested. Plowing the soil is also both a form of pest control and nutrient enhancer. It prepares the land for planting. Other nutrient management techniques include the use of fertilizers and compost, crop rotation and proper irrigation.

Organic vs Inorganic

The demand for organic food has greatly increased over the years. People are more conscious about what they eat and in turn become more aware of how their food is grown. Organic foods are foods that are grown and maintained without any chemical pesticides or genetic modification. In grocery stores, Organic produce are usually labeled "All Natural" or "100% Organic". The demand for agriculture will no doubt increase still as the years progress. Until humans find another source of sustenance free of any agricultural content, this will forever stand as our means of living.

Maya Bustos is a Filipino freelance writer with a green thumb. She dreams that Filipino farmers would have a fair share of the pie for their work. If you want to know more about agriculture, please read her other articles at Parfund Philippines

Source: EzineArticles
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