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Agriculture was developed at least 10,000 years ago,[1] and it has undergone significant developments since the time of the earliest cultivation. Evidence points to the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East as the site of the earliest planned sowing and harvesting of plants that had previously been gathered in the wild. Independent development of agriculture is also believed to have occurred in northern and southern China, Africa's Sahel, New Guinea and several regions of the Americas. Agricultural practices such as irrigation, crop rotation, fertilizers, and pesticides were developed long ago but have made great strides in the past century. The Haber-Bosch method for synthesizing ammonium nitrate represented a major breakthrough and allowed crop yields to overcome previous constraints.

In the past century, agriculture has been characterized by enhanced productivity, the replacement of human labor by synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, selective breeding, and mechanization. The recent history of agriculture has been closely tied with a range of political issues including water pollution, biofuels, genetically modified organisms, tariffs, and farm subsidies. In recent years, there has been a backlash against the external environmental effects of mechanized agriculture, and increasing support for the organic movement and sustainable agriculture.

Contents

Early history

Scholars have proposed a number of theories to explain the historical development of farming. Most likely, there was a gradual transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies after a lengthy period during which some crops were deliberately planted and other foods were gathered in the wild. Although localised climate change is the favoured explanation for the origins of agriculture in the Levant, the fact that farming was 'invented' at least three times elsewhere, suggests that social reasons may have been instrumental. When major climate change took place after the last ice age (c.11,000 BC), much of the earth became subject to long dry seasons.[citation needed] These conditions favoured annual plants which die off in the long dry season, leaving a dormant seed or tuber. These plants tended to put more energy into producing seeds than into woody growth. An abundance of readily storable wild grains and pulses enabled hunter-gatherers in some areas to form the first settled villages at this time.[citation needed]

The Oasis Theory was proposed by Raphael Pumpelly in 1908, and popularized by Vere Gordon Childe who summarized the theory in his book Man Makes Himself[2] This theory maintains that as the climate got drier, communities contracted to oases where they were forced into close association with animals which were then domesticated together with planting of seeds. The theory has little support from contemporary scholars, as the climate data for the time does not support the theory.

The Hilly Flanks hypothesis, proposed by Robert Braidwood in 1948, suggests that agriculture began in the hilly flanks of the Taurus and Zagros mountains, and that it developed from intensive focused grain gathering in the region.[citation needed]

The Feasting model by Bryan Hayden[3] suggests that agriculture was driven by ostentatious displays of power, such as throwing feasts to exert dominance. This required assembling large quantities of food which drove agricultural technology.

The Demographic theories were proposed by Carl Sauer[4] and adapted by Lewis Binford[5] and Kent Flannery. They describe an increasingly sedentary population, expanding up to the carrying capacity of the local environment, and requiring more food than can be gathered. Various social and economic factors help drive the need for food.

The evolutionary/intentionality theory, advanced by scholars including David Rindos[6], is the idea that agriculture is a co-evolutionary adaptation of plants and humans. Starting with domestication by protection of wild plants, followed specialisation of location and then domestication.

Neolithic era

Sumerian harvester's sickle, 3000 BC, made from baked clay.

Identifying the exact origin of agriculture remains problematic because the transition from hunter-gatherer societies began thousands of years before the invention of writing.

Anthropological and archaeological evidence from sites across Southwest Asia and North Africa indicate use of wild grain (e.g., from the ca. 20,000 BC site of Ohalo II in Israel, many Natufian sites in the Levant and from sites along the Nile in the 10th millennium BC). There is even evidence of planned cultivation and trait selection: grains of rye with domestic traits have been recovered from Epi-Palaeolithic (10,000+ BC) contexts at Abu Hureyra in Syria, but this appears to be a localised phenomenon resulting from cultivation of stands of wild rye, rather than a definitive step towards domestication.

Previously, archaeobotanists/paleoethnobotanists had traced the selection and cultivation of specific food plant characteristics in search of the origins of agriculture. One notable example is the semi-tough rachis (and larger seeds) traced to just after the Younger Dryas (about 9500 BC) in the early Holocene in the Levant region of the Fertile Crescent. However, studies have demonstrated monophyletic characteristics attained without any sort human intervention, implying that what some may perceive as domestication among rachis could have occurred quite naturally.[7] In fact, the timescale insisted upon for rachis domestication (approx. 3000 years) coincidentally has been demonstrated to directly coincide with the statistically-generated timeframe numerically modeled that would be required for monophyly to be reached if a population were simply abandoned and left to only natural demands, implying that if any sort of human intervention had occurred at all then the timescale insisted upon should be considerably shorter (than 3000 years).[7]

It was not until after 9500 BC that the eight so-called founder crops of agriculture appear: first emmer and einkorn wheat, then hulled barley, peas, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas and flax. These eight crops occur more or less simultaneously on PPNB sites in the Levant, although the consensus is that wheat was the first to be sown and harvested on a significant scale.

At around the same time (9400 BC), another study argues, parthenocarpic fig trees appear to have been domesticated.[8] The simplicity associated with cutting branches off fig trees and replanting them alongside wild cereals owes to the basis of this argument.[9]

By 7000 BC, sowing and harvesting reached Mesopotamia, and there, in the fertile soil just north of the Persian Gulf, Sumerians systematized it and scaled it up. By 6000 BC farming was entrenched on the banks of the Nile River. About this time, agriculture was developed independently in the Far East, probably in China, with rice rather than wheat as the primary crop. Maize was first domesticated, probably from teosinte, in the Americas around 3000-2700 BC, though there is some archaeological evidence of a much older development. The potato, the tomato, the pepper, squash, several varieties of bean, and several other plants were also developed in the New World, as was quite extensive terracing of steep hillsides in much of Andean South America. Agriculture was also independently developed on the island of New Guinea.[10]

In Europe, there is evidence of emmer and einkorn wheat, barley, sheep, goats and pigs that suggest a food producing economy in Greece and the Aegean by 7000 BC.[11] Archaeological evidence from various sites on the Iberian peninsula suggest the domestication of plants and animals between 6000 and 4500 BC.[11] Céide Fields in Ireland, consisting of extensive tracts of land enclosed by stone walls, date to 5500 BC and are the oldest known field systems in the world.[12][13] The horse was domesticated in Ukraine around 4000 BC.[14]

In China, rice and millet were domesticated by 8000 BC, followed by the beans mung, soy and azuki. In the Sahel region of Africa local rice and sorghum were domestic by 5000 BC. Local crops were domesticated independently in West Africa and possibly in New Guinea and Ethiopia. Evidence of the presence of wheat and some legumes in the 6th millennium BC have been found in the Indus Valley. Oranges were cultivated in the same millennium. The crops grown in the valley around 4000 BC were typically wheat, peas, sesame seed, barley, dates and mangoes. By 3500 BC cotton growing and cotton textiles were quite advanced in the valley. By 3000 BC farming of rice had started. Other monsoon crops of importance of the time was cane sugar. By 2500 BC, rice was an important component of the staple diet in Mohenjodaro near the Arabian Sea. By this time the Indians had large cities with well-stocked granaries. Three regions of the Americas independently domesticated corn, squashes, potato and sunflowers.

Bronze age

Agricultural scene from Ancient Egypt.

By the Bronze Age, wild food contributed a nutritionally insignificant component to the usual diet. If the operative definition of agriculture includes large scale intensive cultivation of land, mono-cropping, organized irrigation, and use of a specialized labour force, the title "inventors of agriculture" would fall to the Sumerians, starting ca. 5,500 BC. Intensive farming allows a much greater density of population than can be supported by hunting and gathering, and allows for the accumulation of excess product for off-season use, or to sell/barter. The ability of farmers to feed large numbers of people whose activities have nothing to do with agriculture was the crucial factor in the rise of standing armies. Sumerian agriculture supported a substantial territorial expansion which along with internecine conflict between cities, made them the first empire builders. Not long after, the Egyptians, powered by farming in the fertile Nile valley, achieved a population density from which enough warriors could be drawn for a territorial expansion more than tripling the Sumerian empire in area.[citation needed]

In Sumer, barley was the primary crop; wheat, flax, dates, apples, plums, and grapes were grown as well. Mesopotamia was blessed with flooding from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, but floods came in late spring or early summer from snow melting from the Anatolian mountains. This, along with salt deposits in the soil, made farming in Mesopotamia difficult.[15] Sheep and goats were also domesticated, kept mainly for meat and milk, butter and cheese being made from the latter. Ur, a large town that covered about 50 acres (20 hectares), had 10,000 animals kept in sheepfolds and stables and 3,000 slaughtered every year. The city's population of 6,000 included a labour force of 2,500, cultivated 3,000 acres (12 km²) of land. The labour force contained storehouse recorders, work foremen, overseers, and harvest supervisors to supplement labourers. Agricultural produce was given to temple personnel, important people in the community, and small farmers.[citation needed]

The land was plowed by teams of oxen pulling light unwheeled plows and grain was harvested with sickles in the spring. Wagons had solid wheels covered by leather tires kept in position by copper nails and were drawn by oxen and the Syrian onager (now extinct). Animals were harnessed by collars, yokes, and headstalls. They were controlled by reins, and a ring through the nose or upper lip and a strap under the jaw. As many as four animals could pull a wagon at one time. The horse was domesticated in Ukraine around 4000 BC, and was in use by the Sumerians around 2000 BC.[citation needed]

Classical antiquity

In classical antiquity, Roman agriculture built off techniques pioneered by the Sumerians, transmitted to them by subsequent cultures, with a specific emphasis on the cultivation of crops for trade and export. Romans laid the groundwork for the manorial economic system, involving serfdom, which flourished in the Middle Ages. The farm sizes in Rome can be divided into three categories. Small farms were from 18-88 iugera (one iugera is equal to about 0.65 acre). Medium-sized farms were from 80-500 iugera (singular iugerum). Large estates (called latifundia) were over 500 iugera.[16]

The Romans had four systems of farm management: direct work by owner and his family; slaves doing work under supervision of slave managers; tenant farming or sharecropping in which the owner and a tenant divide up a farm’s produce; and situations in which a farm was leased to a tenant.[16] There was a great deal of commerce between the provinces of the empire, all the regions of the empire became interdependent with one another, some provinces specialized in the production of grain, others in wine and others in olive oil, depending on the soil type.

Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, Muslim farmers in North Africa and the Near East developed and disseminated agricultural technologies including irrigation systems based on hydraulic and hydrostatic principles, the use of machines such as norias, and the use of water raising machines, dams, and reservoirs. They also wrote location-specific farming manuals, and were instrumental in the wider adoption of crops including sugar cane, rice, citrus fruit, apricots, cotton, artichokes, aubergines, and saffron. Muslims also brought lemons, oranges, cotton, almonds, figs and sub-tropical crops such as bananas to Spain.

The invention of a three field system of crop rotation during the Middle Ages, and the importation of the Chinese-invented moldboard plow[citation needed], vastly improved agricultural efficiency. After 1492 the world's agricultural patterns were shuffled in the widespread exchange of plants and animals known as the Columbian Exchange. Crops and animals that were previously only known in the Old World were now transplanted to the New and vice versa. Perhaps most notably, the tomato became a favorite in European cuisine, and maize and potatoes were widely adopted. Other transplanted crops include pineapple, cocoa, and tobacco. In the other direction, several wheat strains quickly took to western hemisphere soils and became a dietary staple even for native North, Central and South Americans. Agriculture was a key element in the Atlantic slave trade, Triangular trade, and the expansion by European powers into the Americas. In the expanding Plantation economy, large plantations producing crops including sugar, cotton, and indigo, were heavily dependent upon slave labor.

Regional histories

China

The unique tradition of Chinese agriculture has been traced to the pre-historic Xianrendong Relics and Diaotonghuan Relics (c. 12 0000 BC-7500 BC).[citation needed] Chinese historical and governmental records of the Warring States (481 BC-221 BC), Qin Dynasty (221 BC-207 BC), and Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD) eras allude to the use of complex agricultural practices, such as a nationwide granary system and widespread use of sericulture. However, the oldest extant Chinese book on agriculture is the Chimin Yaoshu of 535 AD, written by Jia Sixia.[17] Although much of the literature of the time was elaborate, flowery, and allusive, Jia's writing style was very straightforward and lucid, a literary approach to agriculture that later Chinese agronomists after Jia would follow, such as Wang Zhen and his groundbreaking Nong Shu of 1313 AD.[18] Jia's book was also incredibly long, with over one hundred thousand written Chinese characters, and quoted 160 other Chinese books that were written previously (but no longer survive).[18] The contents of Jia's 6th century book include sections on land preparation, seeding, cultivation, orchard management, forestry, and animal husbandry.[19] The book also includes peripherally related content covering trade and culinary uses for crops.[19]

For agricultural purposes, the Chinese had innovated the hydraulic-powered trip hammer by the 1st century BC.[20] Although it found other purposes, its main function to pound, decorticate, and polish grain that otherwise would have been done manually. The Chinese also innovated the square-pallet chain pump by the 1st century AD, powered by a waterwheel or an oxen pulling a on a system of mechanical wheels.[21] Although the chain pump found use in public works of providing water for urban and palatial pipe systems,[22] it was used largely to lift water from a lower to higher elevation in filling irrigation canals and channels for farmland.[23]

Papua

Ancient Papuans are thought to have begun practicing agriculture around 7000 BC. They began domesticating sugarcane and root crops. Pigs may also have been domesticated around this time. By 3000 BC, Papuan agriculture was characterised by water control for irrigation.[24]

India

Wheat, barley, and jujube were domesticated in the Indian subcontinent by 9000 BCE; Domestication of sheep and goat soon followed.[25] Barley and wheat cultivation—along with the domestication of cattle, primarily sheep and goat—continued in Mehrgarh culture by 8000-6000 BCE.[26][27] This period also saw the first domestication of the elephant.[25] Agro pastoralism in India included threshing, planting crops in rows—either of two or of six—and storing grain in granaries.[27][28] By the 5th millennium BCE agricultural communities became widespread in Kashmir.[27] Cotton was cultivated by the 5th millennium BCE-4th millennium BCE.[29]

Archaeological evidence indicates that rice was a part of the Indian diet by 8000 BCE.[30] The Encyclopedia Britannica—on the subject of the first certain cultivated rice—holds that:[31] A number of cultures have evidence of early rice cultivation, including China, India, and the civilizations of Southeast Asia.

Irrigation was developed in the Indus Valley Civilization by around 4500 BCE.[32] The size and prosperity of the Indus civilization grew as a result of this innovation, which eventually led to more planned settlements making use of drainage and sewers.[32] Archeological evidence of an animal-drawn plough dates back to 2500 BC in the Indus Valley Civilization.[33]

Mesoamerica

In Mesoamerica, the Aztecs were some of the most innovative farmers of the ancient world and farming provided the entire basis of their economy.[citation needed] The land around Lake Texcoco was fertile, but not large enough to produce the amount of food needed for the population of their expanding empire. The Aztecs developed irrigation systems, formed terraced hillsides, and fertilized their soil. However, their greatest agricultural technique was the chinampas, or artificial islands, also known as "floating gardens". These were used to make the swampy areas around the lake suitable for farming. To make chinampas, canals were dug through the marshy islands and shores, then mud was heaped on huge mats made of woven reeds. The mats were anchored by tying them to posts driven into the lake bed and then planting trees at their corners that took root and secured the artificial islands permanently. The Aztecs grew corn, squash, vegetables, and flowers on chinampas.

Incas

The Andean civilizations were predominantly agricultural societies; the Incas took advantage of the ground, conquering the adversities like the Andean area and the inclemencies of the weather. The adaptation of agricultural technologies that already were used previously, allowed the Incas to organize the production a diversity of products of the coast, mountain and jungle, so them could be able to redistribute to villages that did not have access to other regions. The technological achievements reached to agricultural level, had not been possible without the workforce that was at the disposal of the Sapa Inca, as well as the road system that was allowing to store adequately the harvested resources and to distribute them for all the territory.

Islamic world

From the 8th century, the medieval Islamic world witnessed a fundamental transformation in agriculture known as the "Muslim Agricultural Revolution" or "Arab Agricultural Revolution". Because of the trade routes established by Muslim traders across the Old World during the "Afro-Asiatic age of discovery" or "Pax Islamica", this enabled the diffusion of many crops, plants and farming techniques across the Islamic world, as well as the adaptation of crops, plants and techniques from beyond the Islamic world.[34] These techniques included crop rotation, irrigation and pest control. Some have referred to the diffusion of numerous crops during this period as the "Globalisation of Crops"[35] ,which, along with increased mechanization of agriculture, led to major changes in economy, population distribution, vegetation cover,[36] agricultural production and income, population levels, urban growth, the distribution of the labour force, linked industries, cooking and diet, clothing, and numerous other aspects of life in the Islamic world.[34]

As early as the ninth century, an essentially modern agricultural system became central to economic life and organization in the Arab caliphates, replacing the largely export-driven Roman model. The cities of the Near East, North Africa and Moorish Spain were supported by agricultural systems which included irrigation based on knowledge of hydraulic and hydrostatic principles, some of which were continued from Roman times. In later centuries, Persian Muslims transmitted cultural elements, including advanced agricultural techniques, into Turkic lands and western India.

The Muslim agricultural revolution was based on the development of a sophisticated system of irrigation using machines such as norias, water mills, water raising machines, dams and reservoirs. With such technology they managed to greatly expand the exploitable land area. Application of a scientific approach[37] and accumulated knowledge from other regions to farming lead to improved farming techniques.[37] Farming manuals were widely produced, detailing where, when, and how to plant and grow various crops. Reformed land ownership rules and labourers' rights, combining the recognition of private ownership and the rewarding of cultivators with a harvest share commensurate with their efforts also improved agricultural practices.[38]

The introduction of new crops transforming private farming into a new global industry exported everywhere,[34] including Europe, where farming was mostly restricted to wheat strains obtained much earlier via central Asia. Spain received what she in turn transmitted to the rest of Europe; many agricultural and fruit-growing processes, together with many new plants, fruit and vegetables. These new crops included sugar cane, rice, citrus fruit, apricots, cotton, artichokes, aubergines, and saffron.[citation needed] Others, previously known, were further developed. Muslims also brought to that country lemons, oranges, cotton, almonds, figs and sub-tropical crops such as bananas and sugar cane. Several were later exported from Spanish coastal areas to the Spanish colonies in the New World. Also transmitted via Muslim influence, a silk industry flourished, flax was cultivated and linen exported, and esparto grass, which grew wild in the more arid parts, was collected and turned into various articles.

Britain

Between the 16th century and the mid-19th century, Great Britain saw a massive increase in agricultural productivity and net output. New agricultural practices like enclosure, mechanization, four-field crop rotation and selective breeding enabled an unprecedented population growth, freeing up a significant percentage of the workforce, and thereby helped drive the Industrial Revolution. By the early 1800s, agricultural practices, particularly careful selection of hardy strains and cultivars, had so improved that yield per land unit was many times that seen in the Middle Ages and before.

The 18th and 19th century also saw the development of glasshouses, or greenhouses, initially for the protection and cultivation of exotic plants imported to Europe and North America from the tropics. Experiments on Plant Hybridization in the late 1800s yielded advances in the understanding of plant genetics, and subsequently, the development of hybrid crops. Increasing dependence upon monoculture crops lead to famines and food shortages, most notably the Irish Potato Famine (1845–1849). Storage silos and grain elevators appeared in the 19th century.

Industrialization

With the rapid rise of mechanization in the late 19th and 20th centuries, particularly in the form of the tractor, and later the Combine harvester, farming tasks could be done with a speed and on a scale previously impossible. These advances, joined to science-driven innovations in methods and resources, have led to efficiencies enabling certain modern farms in the United States, Argentina, Israel, Germany and a few other nations to output volumes of high quality produce per land unit at what may be the practical limit. The development of rail and highway networks and the increasing use of container shipping and refrigeration in developed nations have also been essential to the growth of mechanized agriculture, allowing for the economical long distance shipping of produce.

While chemical fertilizer and pesticide have existed since the 19th century, their use grew significantly in the early twentieth century. Until the development of chemical fertilizers, Guano was widely used as a fertilizer, though expensive. The Haber-Bosch method for synthesizing ammonium nitrate represented a major breakthrough and allowed crop yields to overcome previous constraints. It was first patented by German chemist Fritz Haber. In 1910 Carl Bosch, while working for German chemical company BASF, successfully commercialized the process and secured further patents. Norman Borlaug and other scientists began developing crops for increased yields in the 1940s in Mexico. Their work lead to the Green Revolution, which applied western advances in fertilizer and pesticide use to farms worldwide, with varying success. Other applications of scientific research since 1950 in agriculture include gene manipulation, Hydroponics, and the development of economically viable biofuels such as Ethanol.

Though the intensive farming practices pioneered and extended in recent history generally led to increased outputs, they have also led to the destruction of farmland, most notably in the dust bowl area of the United States following World War I. As global population increases, agriculture continues to replace natural ecosystems with monoculture crops. Since the 1970s, western farmers and consumers have become increasingly aware of, and in some cases critical of, widely used intensive agriculture practices. This growing awareness has led to increased interest in such areas of agriculture as organic farming, permaculture, Heirloom plants and biodiversity, the growth of the Slow Food movement, and an ongoing discussion surrounding the potential for sustainable agriculture.

Agricultural revolutions

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=agricultures-sustainable-future
  2. ^ Childe, Gordon. (1936) Man Makes Himself (Oxford University Press).
  3. ^ Hayden, Brian (1992). "Models of Domestication". in Anne Birgitte Gebauer and T. Douglas Price. Transitions to Agriculture in Prehistory. Madison: Prehistory Press. pp. 11–18. 
  4. ^ Sauer, Carl, O (1952). Agricultural origins and dispersals. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 
  5. ^ Binford, Lewis R. (1968). "Post-Pleistocene Adaptations". in Sally R. Binford and Lewis R. Binford. New Perspectives in Archaeology. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company. pp. 313–342. 
  6. ^ Rindos, David (December 1987). The Origins of Agriculture: An Evolutionary Perspective. Academic Press. ISBN 978-0125892810). 
  7. ^ a b Robin G. Allaby, Dorian Q. Fuller, and Terence A. Brown, "The genetic expectations of a protracted model for the origins of domesticated crops," in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (Sep. 16, 2008). Vol. 105, No. 37, pp. 13982-13986. [1] doi: 10.1073/pnas.0803780105
  8. ^ Mordechai E. Kislev, Anat Hartmann, and Ofer Bar-Yosef, "Early Domesticated Fig in the Jordan Valley," in Science Magazine (June 2, 2006). Vol. 312, No. 5778, pp. 1372-1374. [2] doi: 10.1126/science.1125910
  9. ^ Science Magazine (Dec. 15, 2006). Vol. 314, No. 5806, p. 1683. Authors' critical response to commentary on study. doi: 10.1126/science.1132636
  10. ^ Denham et al. (19 June 2003) "Origins of Agriculture at Kuk Swamp in the Highlands of New Guinea". Science 301(5630):189-193.
  11. ^ a b Southern Europe, 8000–2000 B.C. | Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  12. ^ Ceide Fields Visitor Centre, Ballycastle, County Mayo, West of Ireland
  13. ^ Ceide Fields - UNESCO World Heritage Centre
  14. ^ Anthony, David W. (2007). The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  15. ^ historylink101
  16. ^ a b White, KD (1970), Roman Farming (Cornell University Press)
  17. ^ Needham, Joseph (1986). Science and Civilization in China: Volume 6, Part 2. Taipei: Caves Books Ltd. p55-56.
  18. ^ a b Needham, Volume 6, Part 2, 56.
  19. ^ a b Needham, Volume 6, Part 2, 57.
  20. ^ Needham, Joseph (1986). Science and Civilization in China: Volume 4, Physics and Physical Technology, Part 2, Mechanical Engineering. Taipei: Caves Books, Ltd. p184
  21. ^ Needham, Volume 4, Part 2, 89, 110.
  22. ^ Needham, Volume 4, Part 2, 33.
  23. ^ Needham, Volume 4, Part 2, 110.
  24. ^ Encyclopedia Britannica, "Melanesian cultures"
  25. ^ a b Gupta, Anil K. in Origin of agriculture and domestication of plants and animals linked to early Holocene climate amelioration, Current Science, Vol. 87, No. 1, 10 July 2004 59. Indian Academy of Sciences.
  26. ^ Baber, Zaheer (1996). The Science of Empire: Scientific Knowledge, Civilization, and Colonial Rule in India. State University of New York Press. 19. ISBN 0791429199.
  27. ^ a b c Harris, David R. and Gosden, C. (1996). The origins and spread of agriculture and pastoralism in Eurasia: Crops, Fields, Flocks And Herds. Routledge. 385. ISBN 1857285387.
  28. ^ Possehl, Gregory L. (1996). Mehrgarh in Oxford Companion to Archaeology, edited by Brian Fagan. Oxford University Press.
  29. ^ Stein, Burton (1998). A History of India. Blackwell Publishing. 47. ISBN 0631205462.
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  31. ^ "rice". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/502259/rice. 
  32. ^ a b Rodda & Ubertini (2004). The Basis of Civilization--water Science?. International Association of Hydrological Science. 279. ISBN 1901502570.
  33. ^ Lal, R. (August 2001), "Thematic evolution of ISTRO: transition in scientific issues and research focus from 1955 to 2000", Soil and Tillage Research 61 (1-2): 3–12 [3], doi:10.1016/S0167-1987(01)00184-2 
  34. ^ a b c Andrew M. Watson (1974), "The Arab Agricultural Revolution and Its Diffusion, 700-1100", The Journal of Economic History 34 (1), p. 8-35.
  35. ^ FTSC The Globalisation of Crops
  36. ^ Andrew M. Watson (1983), Agricultural Innovation in the Early Islamic World, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 052124711X.
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  38. ^ Zohor Idrisi (2005), The Muslim Agricultural Revolution and its influence on Europe, FSTC.

Further reading

  • Brown, Jonathan. Agriculture in England: A Survey of Farming, 1870-1947 (1987)
  • Cohen, M.N. The Food Crisis in Prehistory: Overpopulation and the Origins of Agriculture (1977)
  • Dovring, Folke, ed. Land and labor in Europe in the twentieth century: a comparative survey of recent agrarian history . 1965. 511 pp
  • Federico, Giovanni, Feeding the World: An Economic History of Agriculture 1800-2000 (2005) 416pp. highly quantitative
  • Gras, Norman. A history of agriculture in Europe and America, (1925). free online edition
  • Grew, Raymond. Food in Global History (1999) online edition
  • Habib, Irfan. Agrarian System of Mughal India (2nd ed. 1999).
  • Heiser, Charles B. Seed to Civilization: The Story of Food (1990)
  • Kerridge, Erik. "The Agricultural Revolution Reconsidered." Agricultural History, 1969 43:4, 463-75. [ http://www.jstor.org/stable/4617724 in JSTOR] in Britain, 1750-1850
  • Ludden, David, ed. New Cambridge History of India: An Agrarian History of South Asia (1999). excerpt and online search from Amazon.com; also online edition
  • McNeill, William H. "How the Potato Changed the World's History." Social Research 1999 66(1): 67–83. Issn: 0037-783x Fulltext: Ebsco, by a leading historian
  • McNeill, William H. "The Introduction of the Potato into Ireland," Journal of Modern History 21 (1948): 218–21. in JSTOR
  • Mazoyer, Marcel, and Laurence Roudart' A History of World Agriculture: From the Neolithic Age to the Current Crisis, New York: Monthly Review Press, 2006, ISBN 1583671218, Marxist perspective
  • Mintz, Sidney. Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History (1982)
  • Prentice, E. Parmalee. Hunger and history: the influence of hunger on human history (1939). online edition
  • Reader, John. Propitious Esculent: The Potato in World History (2008), 315pp a standard scholarly history
  • Salaman, Redcliffe N. The History and Social Influence of the Potato, (1949)
  • Slicher van Bath, B. H. The agrarian history of Western Europe, AD 500-1850
  • Tauger, Mark. Agriculture in World History (2008)
  • Thirsk, Joan, et al. The Agrarian History of England and Wales (8 vol 1978)
  • Williamson, Tom. Transformation Of Rural England: Farming and the Landscape 1700-1870 (2002)

United States

  • Cochrane, Willard W. The Development of American Agriculture: A Historical Analysis (1993)
  • Fite, Gilbert C. American Farmers: The New Minority (1981)
  • Gras, Norman. A history of agriculture in Europe and America, (1925). online edition
  • Gray, L.C. History of agriculture in the southern United States to 1860 (1933) Volume I online; Volume 2 online
  • Hart, John Fraser. The Changing Scale of American Agriculture. U. of Virginia Press, 2004. 320 pp.
  • Hurt, R. Douglas. American Agriculture: A Brief History (2002)
  • Mundlak, Yair. "Economic Growth: Lessons from Two Centuries of American Agriculture." Journal of Economic Literature 2005 43(4): 989-1024. Issn: 0022-0515 Fulltext: in Ebsco
  • Robert, Joseph C. The story of tobacco in America (1949) online edition
  • Russell, Howard. A Long Deep Furrow: Three Centuries of Farming In New England (1981)
  • Schafer, Joseph. The social history of American agriculture (1936) online edition
  • Schlebecker John T. Whereby we thrive: A history of American farming, 1607-1972 (1972)
  • Weeden, William Babcock. Economic and Social History of New England, 1620-1789 (1891) 964 pages; online edition

External links








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