Why Is Agriculture so Important?

agriculture-important Credit: Mark Edward Atkinson/Tracey Lee/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

The advent of agriculture is viewed as a turning point in the development of civilization. Instead of having everyone hunt and gather, cultures could have a small group of people grow the food needed to feed the entire population. After the implementation of agriculture, people in these cultures could focus on tasks other than hunting and collecting plants to eat.

People need to eat, and agriculture provides almost all of the food people demand. It also allows a small group of people to produce enough food for many more. Through the years, agriculture has become more and more efficient, and only a small percentage of the world's population works in the agriculture sector. Hybrid seeds and selective breeding, combined with fertilizer and pesticides, mean that modern yields are far larger than ever before. Genetically modified organisms allow for even larger yields.

Food security is an essential component of national security, and interruptions to the food supply can have disastrous results. As a result, nations invest heavily in ensuring that their farmland is protected if war breaks out. Experts in the agriculture field are also looking at ways to mitigate the harm global warming can cause. Moving farmland is expensive and logistically challenging, so many are researching plants that can thrive in higher temperatures.