In the current world, agriculture remains one of the most significant factors controlling
the world's economy, since people buy food daily to sustain themselves, not forgetting that
agriculture also provides employment and acts as a source of raw materials to several finished
products essential for comfortable living. However, it is essential to note that agriculture has not
always been there since man's first existence, and it has developed over time to attain its complex
state that we enjoy its results today.
Before agriculture set in, there was the Mesolithic and Paleolithic stage. Leaving a
majority with the question of where the early man during the two periods obtained food.
According to Sampson 2019, the Preceding stages date back around 15,000 years Before Christ
(BC), where a man had evolved to a more cognitive creature hence, able to gather edible fruits
and herbs as well as hunting animals for food. Hunting and gathering were possible due to man's
ability to make tools known as microliths used as spearheads for hunting and burins to skin
animals and gather fruits and herbs.
Hunting and gathering continued for a while since the world's population then was
relatively small. According to Kaiser et al. 2012, historians give a rough estimate of only ten
million people on the earth's surface during the Mesolithic era compared to a current population
of seven billion people. Therefore, there was enough from nature to satisfy everyone in different
communities without much struggle. However, it is also important to note, agriculture has played
a role in the progressive increase of the world's population.
Beginning of Agriculture.
Agriculture began roughly 12000 years ago during the commencing of the Neolithic
period—a period when man created tools out of polished stones that caused a strong impact in
agriculture. Tools included polished celts that got fixed to wooden handles and used for tilling
hard grounds to enable farming. In line with Aanen, 2013, it is believed that the beginning of
agriculture occurred immediately after the ice age era since agriculture was impossible to
practice before due to ice coverage on land. However, the postulation raises doubt since there
existed warm interglacial periods during the ice era, but still, man never practiced agriculture.
Nonetheless, it is reasonable to answer the query by the idea that man's intelligence increased
overtime via evolution; hence, it is logical to assume that man's predecessors could not
understand how to conduct agriculture during the warm interglacial periods.
Therefore, resulting in historians seeking an alternative answer to what triggered the
beginning of Agriculture. After thorough research and basic reasoning, historians concluded
some rigid answerers that are more convincing. The first being a decrease in gathered herbs and
fruits due to the rapid increase in population, which still required food to sustain themselves.
Moreover, hunted games reduced due to competition from carnivorous animals and animals
shifting from their habitats due to natural calamities and climate change (Aanen, 2013). Thus
forcing the early man to seek an alternative in simple agriculture of domestication of animals and
farming of edible crops.
The spread of Agriculture.
For agriculture to thrive, most communities settled along the rivers, which proved useful
since most lands along rivers were fertile to produce a reliable harvest for people. Moreover,
proximity to waterways was advantageous since it enabled easy irrigation of crops to ensure a
higher chance for germination of crops in the fields (Boivin, 2018). With an enhanced mental
capacity, the early man was able to identify crops such as cereals that were perdurable, thus
being stored for long without spoilage. Consequently, increasing food security among the
increasing population. On the other hand, the early man began by domesticating a dog, which
was essential during the last stage of hunting but later changed the role to helping man graze and
guard domesticating livestock that provided man with milk and meat as a supplement source of
During the Neolithic period, agriculture attained popularity rapidly since it had more
privilege than just being a source of food. On some occasions, animals reared by man got
skinned to make clothing from the skins, later on leading to the idea of growing cotton processed
to make refined clothing. Concurrently, agriculture led to the rise of trading activities. During the
first stages of trading, a majority indulged in barter trade. But as time went by, money was
invented, leading to the rise of some kingdoms due to economic power that resulted from having
lots of agricultural products to sell and enough food produce for self-sustaining of the
Besides, agriculture grew from small-scale farming to large scale due to available land
and population to offer suitable labor. Hence, gaining popularity to many. Consequently, food
production in plenty led to a subdivision in work since man was now not living to secure food
but could venture into other activities to attain a livelihood. To secure the large farms that
provided food led to the development of other duties such as military jobs, which came in handy
with the rise of various kingdoms that had to bring about governments for a civilized ruling of
With the development of agriculture, we cannot fail to acknowledge some simple
inventions that later led to the idea of creating some complicated agriculture facilities used today.
After a drastic increase in food production due to extensive farming input, people had to devise
methods of storing the harvested crop in preparation for harsh climatic seasons when they could
not attain much from farms. According to Giri & Hedayetullah, 2020, the early man in the
Neolithic period learned how to build raised granaries to preserve their food, which has led to
better methods to store excess food in the current world. Hence, it would be logical to believe the
same idea of food storage by early man led to the invention of refrigerators and cold rooms in the
current world via technology.
It is important to note that, despite the progressive growth of agriculture, it began
independently in different states. A common trace being the Levant, where strong cities such as
Mesopotamia emerged. With the gradual embracing of agricultural activities, the practice spread
over the years since it proved to be a reliable source of food and came along with several other
privileges. Indeed, we oblige our gratitude to the early man in the Neolithic period for being
thoughtful enough to devise farming as a mode of sustaining life since it has undisputedly been
useful to date.
Aanen, D. K. (2013). The dawn of darwinian agriculture. Evolution, 67(4), 1231-
Boivin, O. (2018). The first dynasty of the Sealand in Mesopotamia. Walter de Gruyter GmbH
& Co KG.
Giri, U., & Hedayetullah, M. (2020). Text book of agricultural heritage. Scientific Publishers.
Kaiser, E., Burger, J., & Schier, W. (2012). Population dynamics in prehistory and early
history: New approaches using stable isotopes and genetics. Walter de Gruyter.
Sampson, A. (2019). Palaeolithic and mesolithic sailors in the Aegean and the Near East.