Historically, agriculture was the fundamental development which gave rise to civilizations along with husbandries of domesticated animals and crops generating more food. This eventually led way to more stratified and heavily populated societies. Agriculture involves both farming and forestry and the study of agriculture is termed as agricultural science. The application of soil and plant sciences in order to increase crop productions is called agronomy. Even though, the field of agricultural employs more than one-third of world’s population, it only contributes less than five percent to the gross world product.
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The field of agriculture covers a wide range of techniques and specializations including numerous ways to make lands suitable for farming through digging of canals and channels for irrigation. The essentials of agriculture include the cultivation of crops on productive lands and livestock herding on rangeland or pastoral lands. In the previous century, a clear differentiation is established between intensive farming including industrial agriculture and the field of sustainable agriculture including organic agriculture.
The sharp increases in yields of cultivated crops have been largely due to modern day advancements in the field of agronomy, pesticides, plant breeding and various technological progresses. However, these advancements also have caused far-flung damage ecologically as well as to human health. For instance, selective breeding in animal husbandries like that of intensive pig farming have produced more meat but at the same time have caused health implications of the growth hormones, antibiotics and other associated chemicals in meat production. Such modern practices have also raised concerns regarding animal cruelty and animal rights violations.
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