What is agriculture: characteristics, types and importance

What is agriculture and characteristics

The human being needs to supply the entire population with enough food. Much of this food comes from the earth by combining different procedures and knowledge that have been acquired over thousands of years. The objective of agriculture is to produce food of plant origin such as fruits, vegetables, cereals, vegetables, among others, combining all these knowledge and procedures that are known about the treatment of the land.

In this article we are going to tell you what is agriculturetheir characteristics and the different types that exist.

What is agriculture

characteristics of agriculture

characteristics of agriculture

Agriculture is an economic activity of the primary sector. It encompasses all behaviors that aim to change the surrounding environment to make it more suitable, thus generating higher soil productivity. In addition, it obtains food for direct consumption or subsequent industrial processing, resulting in added value.

Agriculture first flourished in the Neolithic of the Stone Age, although its origins date back to prehistoric times and were developed independently by various cultures. Until then, people who depended on an economy based solely on hunting, fishing and gathering in the form of nomadism. They began to work the land, produce agriculture and obtain their first crops, such as wheat and barley, and use livestock as another basic when they stopped being nomads. Livestock, like agriculture, It was a fundamental economic activity to sustain life in society.

Importance of agriculture history

what is agriculture

what is agriculture

The adoption of agriculture means structural changes within those societies that incorporate it. This is due to the fact that the increase in the food supply increases the population and enables the development of a sedentary life. Society becomes increasingly complex, the division of labor is greater and the new norms of coexistence. There is also a greater development of artisan and commercial activities. All this translates into a prosperous evolution of societies. Keep in mind that, once the main cities are covered with food, a society can prosper and become more complex.

However, it must be borne in mind that agriculture must be planned in a sustainable way. Farming indiscriminately and irresponsibly can have a very serious impact on the environment. In recent decades there has been a worrying increase in intensive industrial production. All this translates into a strong use of different chemicals and fertilizers that modify the natural growth process of food and its impact on consumer health. Given the high demand for food and the obligation to have a guarantee of supply, genetic engineering has been forced to develop different ways to optimize plant growth.

Through scientific theory and natural selection, those specimens that develop better genes are chosen to optimize all the gains. Cultures are becoming more and more sophisticated since those species that have better organoleptic characteristics and that they are more resistant both to adverse environmental conditions and to pests and diseases commons of agriculture. Therefore, we can see in supermarkets different varieties of fruits and vegetables with very good colors and incredible quality. To all this is added the application of fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, etc. Which help to further optimize growth. When you plant a tomato species, for example, that has not been treated industrially, you can see that the quality is not the same since it is a more “natural” product.


technologies to sow

technologies to sow

We know that industrial agriculture has as its main objective the production of large volumes of food based on plant products. However, there are many types of agriculture depending on the characteristics, the final objective and the origin of each one of them. We are going to see what are the different types of agriculture that exist and their main characteristics. They will be divided based on some characteristics. The first milestones will be based on the volume of production they generate:

  • Subsistence farming: the main objective of this agriculture is to maintain a low level of production. The sole purpose is to feed a stable community and it will reduce the number of people. As it is such a low production, it does not usually cause great soil wear.
  • Industrial agriculture: is one that consists of the production of large volumes of food from the ground. It is typical of those industrialized and developed countries that not only guarantee the satisfaction of human needs, but also intend to commercialize the surplus to export food to other countries.

Other types of agriculture are based on the importance of water during the production process. These are the following:

Other types of agriculture depending on the means of production used and their performance are the following:

  • Extensive agriculture: the objective of extensive agriculture is not so much the economic performance, but the care of the soil. This is because larger areas of erosion land are used and have lower levels of production. The main advantage of extensive agriculture is that the soils are not damaged and it does not have such a great impact.
  • intensive agriculture: the main objective is the mass production of food in a fairly small space on the ground. This type of culture is detrimental to the environment since it ends up wearing down the quality of the soil and causing it to lose its fertility. It is generally used in all the most industrialized countries.

Finally, depending on the technique used in the main objective, there are other types of agriculture:

  • Industrial: This form of production aims to obtain large quantities of food to be able to market both locally and to export surpluses.
  • Ecological agriculture: its priority is not to alter the environment and to minimize impacts. The care of the soil must be a priority and, for this, appropriate methods and technologies are used.
  • Traditional agriculture: It is characterized mainly by using indigenous techniques and procedures of a certain region. All these techniques spread generation after generation thanks to the culture of the place.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about what agriculture is and its characteristics.

What is agriculture: characteristics, types and importance

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