Agriculture is the set of skills and knowledge to cultivate the land. Human actions that transform the land to make it more suitable for growing crops. It is an activity ofimportance as the foundation for development and wealth of nations. The science that studies the practice of agriculture is agronomy.
The beginning of agriculture was in the Neolithicperiod (Stone Age), when the economy of human societies evolved from hunting and fishing to farming and agriculture. The first plants cultivated were wheat and barley. Its origins come fromprehistory and its development was shown in several cultures that practiced it. The reasons for the development of agriculture could be due to climate changes towards warmer temperatures, the scarcityof food, or the abandonment of large areas. Despite its advantages, agriculture was a reduction of the variety in the diet, creating a change in the evolution of the human species toindividuals more vulnerable and dependent than their ancestors.
Agriculture has a major impact on the environment. In recent years, agriculture has been affected by industry-wide problems. Thegrowth of large seed and chemicals companies and food processing companies concerned both the farmers and other people. The disastrous effect on agriculture has caused several previously fertileareas completely unfertile.
Some current problems in agriculture are:
• Pollution by nitrogen, phosphorus and magnesium in rivers, lakes and groundwater.
• Erosion of theland.
• Depletion of soil minerals.
• Contamination by pesticides in soil, water and air.
• Imbalances in the biota by the use of pesticides.
Many of these problems have taken away thenutrients in the soil, forcing people to plow new land which, gets destroyed too, creating a cycle that is destroying the environment. An example is the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.