Agricultural revolution refers to a period which was marked by improvement in technology and an increase in the productivity of crops which occurred during the 18th and the 19th centuries in Europe. According to the historians, they labeled the first agricultural revolution to refer to the transition that took place and involved shifting from hunting and gathering society to the one that involved stationery farming. After some time after the first revolution, another revolution occurred whereby European agriculture left past practices on agriculture and introduced new methods of cultivation. The new techniques introduce involved new and advanced methods of crop rotation, new ways of livestock utilization also entered, and this led to increased yields, a greater variety of wheat and vegetables and the ability to support a lot of livestock. The agricultural revolution impacted positively on the society as the society was better nourished and it acted as a source of employment for many people. The enclosure act which was passed in Britain gave the rich the ability to buy vast acres of land for agriculture, and small scale farmers were pushed out to work in cities, which later led to industrial revolution.
Effects of Agricultural Revolution
Due to the increased food supply that resulted from the agricultural revolution, the population of England and Wales multiplied. The rise in population was because people were well fed and were healthy, and hence they would reproduce easily. However, as the agricultural revolution continued to exist and the Enclosure Act was passed, whereby the rich would buy land from the small scale farmers, migration started to occur. Although this migration meant that agricultural labor would reduce, it led to the development of the industrial revolution. Hence it can be said that the agricultural revolution was the main reason that led to the industrial revolution.
Effects of agricultural revolution on population
Generally, the agricultural revolution led to a positive impact on society since it increased due to food availability. As agricultural revolution grew and an improvement in the farming technology took place, the farming practices led to an increase in output in a small area of land, and this led to the rise in production per person. Because the production increased, it meant that fewer people had to work to provide food for the population and this led to specialization, whereby people took the roles where they were best suited. Specialty made people exploit new working environments, and it led to fewer deaths because nobody would die because of famine or hunger as there was enough food.
Developments in the agricultural revolution
Significant events and innovations took place during the farming revolutions, and this included, crop rotation which was marked by the Norfolk-course rotation which led to an increase in the crop and livestock yields by increasing the soil fertility and reduction of following. Additionally, the system of enclosure was introduced whereby the small strips of land that were owned by small scale farmers were bought6 by wealthy farmers. Enclosure system allowed easy control of the property and improved security, which later led to increased productivity. Moreover, the infrastructure was developed, which made it easy for the farmers to transport their produce to the markets. Improvement in infrastructure included the development of better roads, the expansion of the existing roads and the inland waterways, and the construction of railroads that led to the decrease in the costs incurred in transport.
Urbanization of Agriculture
Many efforts have been made to keep agriculture alive even in the urban areas. One of the efforts includes small commercial enterprises where the model called Small Plot Intensive farming (SPIN), is used by farmers whereby they borrow land from the urban people and grow foods with high nutritional values and fast-growing crops. Additionally, the development of peri-urban agriculture is also a significant step in urban agriculture. This method involves the growing of plants on the fringes of the towns. However, this has faced challenges because people latter buy these lands for industrial development.
Moreover, the use of rooftop growing and vertical farms are also significant developments in urban agriculture. Rooftop growing is used where there is little space for farming to take place, and this practice is used in Toronto and Vancouver. Additionally, vertical farms refer to farming places that have been built in cities, and these do not rely on any outside inputs apart from the waste matter and the water produced by the city people.
It is evident that the agricultural revolution led to many positive impacts which outdo any adverse effects that may have resulted. The revolution increased the food output in the areas, and this improved the health status of the people. The improvement in health led to increased productivity and fertility which led to increased population, hence providing a lot of workforce for the communities. The deaths that may have occurred due to famine and starvation also decreased because the food was readily available. The development of the enclosure system during the revolution, made the small scale lose their land. Enclosure system also later led to positive impacts because it made the farmers move to urban areas to look for employment and this led to the industrial revolution. A lot of developments have also been made on agriculture since that time and even the introduction of urban agriculture which includes SPIN, vertical farms and rooftop farming. Crop rotation has also sure been implemented which included the Norfolk-course rotation, and these have increased the production.
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