What is agriculture?

We explain what agriculture is and what are the purposes of this human activity. In addition, the types of agriculture that are carried out.

  1. What is agriculture?

Agriculture is the human activity tending to combine different procedures and knowledge in the treatment of land , with the aim of producing foods of plant origin, such as fruits, vegetables, vegetables, cereals, among others.

Agriculture is an economic activity that is within the primary sector , and it includes all those acts performed by man , aimed at modifying the surrounding environment , to make it more suitable and thus generate greater soil productivity , and obtain food both for direct consumption or for subsequent industrial treatment generating added value.

Agriculture itself had its first boom in the Stone Age, in the Neolithic period , although its beginnings recede to prehistory , developed independently by various cultures . The men who until that moment in a nomadic way, relied on an economy based simply on hunting, fishing and gathering, began to work the land, giving birth to agriculture and obtaining their first crops such as wheat and barley, and incorporating livestock as another fundamental activity for the sustenance of life in society .

The adoption of agriculture meant structural changes within the societies that incorporated it, since the greater availability of food allowed population growth , and made possible the development of a sedentary life, becoming increasingly complex societies, with a greater division of work, new rules of coexistence , and with greater development of artisanal and commercial activities.

Farming carried out indiscriminately and irresponsibly can have a very serious impact on the environment. In recent decades, there has been a worrying growth in intensive production at the industrial level , and in the use of different chemicals and fertilizers that alter the natural processes of growth in food and its impact on the health of consumers .

  1. Types of agriculture

Industrial agriculture consists in the production of large volumes of food.

Different types of agriculture can be classified taking into account different analysis criteria :

By production volumes :

  • Subsistence farming.  Its objective is to obtain a low level of production, with the sole purpose of feeding a stable and reduced community of people, therefore it does not produce great wear on the ground.
  • Industrial Agriculture It consists of the production of large volumes of food from the soil, typical of industrialized and developing countries. This practice has the objective not only of guaranteeing the satisfaction of the needs of the community but also to commercialize the surplus, as is the case with exports of agricultural food abroad.

Because of the importance of water in production :

  • Irrigation  In this type of agriculture, an irrigation system provided by the farmer, using natural or artificial methods , is essential .
  • Of Secano.  The necessary humidity for the production is supplied by the rains and by the ground, without intervention of the farmer.

According to the means of production used and their performance :

  • Extensive Agriculture The objective taken into account is not so much the economic revenue but the care of the soil, since wide areas of land are used but low production levels are obtained.
  • Intensive agriculture. Mass production is sought in a small space of soil, being harmful to the environment. It is generally used in industrialized countries.

According to the technique used and its objective :

  • Industrial Agriculture  This form of production aims to obtain huge quantities of food, with a view to its commercialization.
  • Ecological agriculture.  This form of agriculture has as a priority the non-alteration of the environment and the care of the soil, using appropriate methods and technologies .
  • Traditional Agriculture  It is characterized by using indigenous techniques and procedures of a given region, extending over time and being part of the culture of the place.

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