History of Agriculture

Topics: Agriculture, Sustainable agriculture, Irrigation Pages: 19 (6536 words) Published: June 21, 2011
Grand Anicut dam on river Kaveri (1st-2nd Century CE) is one of the oldest water-regulation structures in the world still in use.[1] Indian agriculture began by 9000 BCE as a result of early cultivation of plants, and domestication of crops and animals.[2] Settled life soon followed with implements and techniques being developed for agriculture.[3][4] Double monsoons led to two harvests being reaped in one year.[5] Indian products soon reached the world via existing trading networks and foreign crops were introduced to India.[5][6] Plants and animals—considered essential to their survival by the Indians—came to be worshiped and venerated.[7] The middle ages saw irrigation channels reach a new level of sophistication in India and Indian crops affecting the economies of other regions of the world under Islamic patronage.[8][9] Land and water management systems were developed with an aim of providing uniform growth.[10][11] Despite some stagnation during the later modern era the independent Republic of India was able to develop a comprehensive agricultural program.[12][13]

|Contents | |[hide] | |1 Early history | |2 Vedic period – Post Maha Janapadas period (1500 BCE – 200 CE) | |3 Early Common Era – High Middle Ages (200–1200 CE) | |4 Late Middle Ages – Early Modern Era (1200–1757 CE) | |5 Colonial British Era (1757–1947 CE) | |6 Republic of India (1947 CE onwards) | |7 See also | |8 Notes | |9 References |

[edit] Early history

Wheat, barley and jujube were domesticated in the Indian subcontinent by 9000 BCE.[7] Domestication of sheep and goat soon followed.[2] This period also saw the first domestication of the elephant.[7] Barley and wheat cultivation—along with the domestication of cattle, primarily sheep and goat—was visible in Mehrgarh by 8000-6000 BCE.[3][14] Agro pastoralism in India included threshing, planting crops in rows—either of two or of six—and storing grain in granaries.[3][15] By the 5th millennium BCE agricultural communities became widespread in Kashmir.[3] Zaheer Baber (1996) writes that 'the first evidence of cultivation of cotton had already developed'.[14] Cotton was cultivated by the 5th millennium BCE-4th millennium BCE.[16] The Indus cotton industry was well developed and some methods used in cotton spinning and fabrication continued to be practiced till the modern Industrialization of India.[17] A variety of tropical fruit such as mango and muskmelon are native to the Indian subcontinent.[5] The Indians also domesticated hemp, which they used for a number of applications including making narcotics, fiber, and oil.[18] The farmers of the Indus Valley grew peas, sesame, and dates.[18] Sugarcane was originally from tropical South Asia and Southeast Asia.[19] Different species likely originated in different locations with S. barberi originating in India and S. edule and S. officinarum coming from New Guinea.[19] Wild Oryza rice appeared in the Belan and Ganges valley regions of northern India as early as 4530 BCE and 5440 BCE respectively.[20] Rice was cultivated in the Indus Valley Civilization.[21] Agricultural...
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