Food is a basic need that needs continuous production since time immemorial. The ancient civilization recognized the importance of food security, leading to slow developments of the forms of production that ultimately led to intensive agricultural processes. All across the globe, anthropologists have uncovered prime evidence of archaic food production tools, meant to reduce the workload on the human labor. The rise of elaborate domestication of new plant species, as well as animals, have played a big role in the growth of these communities, even contributing to new forms of technology that eventually changed the dependence on human labor in agriculture today. The current use of terracing, fertilizers, and irrigation have humble beginnings that stretch over three millennia. Different regions of the world benefitted from agrarian revolution, especially the Eurasian continents that were well suited for the spread of intensive farming (Bates 148).
Development of Intensive Agriculture
The agricultural improvements were obviously caused by numerous reasons, chief among them being population pressures, market elements including trade as well as political organizations that advocated the specialization of labor for increased production rates and efficiency. It means that without these aspects, the pace of agrarian revolution would take a different stance today. The rise in food production is credited with increasing the energies of the populace, thus creating more avenues for stronger militaries and human resources. It means the subsequent generation benefitted from good genes, creating taller and robust communities that would easily defend their territories as well as expand the reach of their empires. African, Eurasian, and Mesoamerican continents were filled with prosperous agricultural societies, which increased the interactions through barter trade. The food was a precious commodity thus could be exchanged with valuable metals that would, in turn, produce farming implements and weapons.(Bates 146).
It is worth noting that intensive forms of agriculture deplete the earth’s resources while changing the chemical and physical characteristics of soils. This situation is not helped by archaic modes of production, which increased the erosion rates and loss of the crucial top soil that is filled with nutrients. The slump in agricultural yields during the middle ages is directly related to land degradation, which contributed to new forms of agriculture such as mixed farming as well as crop rotation to reduce desertification and the wanton destruction of forests (Bates 145).
Organization of Energy
The archaic farmers understood that the way they acquire, channel, organize and consume energy is directly related to the quantity of yields. However, it is interesting to note that different communities consume different levels of energy, primarily from human labor and machines. Human labor has been utilized in agricultural societies since time immemorial, forced by the nitty-gritty processes involved in production. For instance, rice farming in Asia is wholly dependent of human labor. The more these factors of production are realized, the more skilled individuals become, leading to more efficient use of human labor, especially through simple tools and implements. It is worth noting that human energy involves high costs, since these individuals have basic wants that need to be satisfied before working productively. Food, clothing and shelter needs to be in plenty to extract more energy fromhuman labor (Bates 150).
The rise of increased yields offered farmers extra incomes, which changed their ways of life. These individuals could begin other economic activities, such as commerce that forces them to seek markets in populated areas. It presents a rural to urban migration, where commercial activities reduce the amount of individuals interested in farming. These diverse metropolitans have a wide range of individuals from all over, thus needing a different form of communication that in the end alters the cultural attributes of individuals.on a darker note, commercial activities have led to the manipulation of ignorant farmers, who receive low returns for all their production activities. It presents an increasing disparity in income levels, ironically exacerbating poverty in rich agricultural lands (Bates 154).
- Bates, Daniel. Cultural Anthropology. USA: Allyn& Bacon, 1996. Print.