So you think Agriculture was always in existence?

Daniel Ifeanyi Ojinaka for Thrive Agric.

Why agriculture is man’s greatest invention of all time. Yes, agriculture was invented. Read on!

Have you ever imagined a day when you wake up in the morning and there are no grocery stores or supermarkets or restaurants in your city? Well, no problem, right? You would probably go out in search of food traditionally like in the olden days. Truth be told, in today’s world, with the current population of people to feed, this traditional method doesn’t even come close to providing enough food.

Farming is absolutely essential for the survival of humans today.

Farming is absolutely essential for the survival of humans today.

But what really is farming?

To better understand farming, let’s take a look back at the old traditional method of sourcing food. It’s called foraging. Foraging means hunting and gathering of resources for sustenance. Foragers select resources they need and use them with little or no processing. Farmers, on the other hand, are different, they select a particular species of crop or livestock and attend to them very carefully, keep them in a protected environment and nurture them over a period of time on a farm.

But Humans are not the only ones that practice this act.

Take, for example, In the ocean, certain species, like shrimps and gobies, will clean fish. They remove parasites, dead tissue, and mucous or the example of the dogs that supply protection and companionship and the humans provide food and shelter.

Another example is the relationship between goby fish and shrimp, the shrimp digs a burrow into the sand and both organisms live there. Because the shrimp is almost blind, the goby fish will touch the shrimp when a predator is near.


In biology, this kind of relationship is referred to as Symbiosis but when humans are involved in this act of rearing or careful nurture of plants or animals it is called Agriculture or farming.

When humans consciously began the practice of agriculture/farming, the species they attended to began to evolve significantly due to the fact that farming required humans selecting the most nutritious, healthy grains or livestock. Over thousands of generations, new species began to surface because of these actions of careful selection.

Humans too also evolved, as they procreated, we began to see some genetic changes over time but these changes were not as much as they changed psychologically, socially or culturally. New development began to emerge, Humans learned new techniques of farming, as a result, they discovered that they could grow much more crops on a unit piece of land than they did before.

Boom! That might have been the greatest discovery of all times because that changed a lot of things. It meant that humans didn’t have to move from place to place in search of food for survival through the usual nomadic way. They began settling in several towns and villages.

So in conclusion, One of the major factors that made humans after 200,000 years of living as foragers decided to pay more attention to the practice of Agriculture was overpopulation.

During the palaeolithic era, when a particular settlement got overpopulated, an easy way out was for people to migrate to a new settlement. But after the settlements of the Americans in about 15,000 years ago, there were no more large areas to migrate to and so it became necessary or important for advancement in agricultural practices to produce more yields.

Other factors affected the importance of Agriculture including Climate Change but that is another topic for another post.

Today’s population is over 7 billion, by 2050, this population is expected to quadruple. Have you imagined what Agriculture will look like then?

You can click here to read our last post on the future of agriculture