Agriculture is as old as the early man. The earliest man practiced fruit gatherings and hunting of animals, which they used as food. The early man and his family fed on wild animals, roots, leaves and fruits collected as they wander from place to place. The type and quantity available at the time required irregular, uncertain and subject to the conditions they found themselves they continued with their nomadic life until they could no longer carry their families about.
The beginning of agriculture and the early farming tools.
As families increased, a more settled form of agriculture became inevitable. As they settled for a
long time in a place, they discovered that some of the seeds of fruits thrown around their dwelling place germinated, grew and produced the same fruits of their kinds. They started to cultivate the land, sowed seeds, took care of the growing crops, harvested them, and made use of them. Also, captured young animals were tamed. They grew and gave birth to young ones, fed them and later killed them and used them as meat. The tools used by the early man for cultivating crops include wooden sticks with burnt ends and sharp edges. While the tools used for hunting animals include stones, bow and arrows strong sticks and ropes.
In the history of Agriculture four stages are very pronounced. These are :
i. Hunting and gathering stage:The early men went about gathering fruits ,leaves, roots of wild plants and hunting wild animals in other to obtain daily food.They used primitive tools likes stones,bows and arrows , traps and ropes.It is a very dangerous way to obtain food.
ii. Subsistence Farming stage:The primitive man found out that whenever he threw away seeds of recognized useful plants around his house, the seeds grew into new and useful plants He also found that he could capture some young animals or their pregnant mothers and look after the young ones when they were born.This is the beginningof crop and animal farming to take care of their family
iii. Cash crop production stage:As time went byprimitive man learn how to grow his crops and rear the animals in a better way.He began to produce cash crops.
iv.Commercial Farming stage: This is the stage when men started producing crop and animals on large scale not only for family needs but also for sale.
· Explain the Origin of agriculture?
· How were the early men surviving before the cultivation of crops started?
· Mention some of the food they were eating.
· How did planting of crops start?
· How were the animals tamed by early farmers?
· What were the tools of early farmers?
· Mention the four stages in the development of Agriculture
Sub–Topic 2: Improvement of Agriculture from Primitive to modern Agriculture.
The men were usually out for hunting while the women helped to prepare the gathered crops and dressed the animals for food. As man increases in knowledge and technology, better-improved crops and animals were produced. Also, improved farming equipments such as cutlasses, spade, hoes and wheelbarrows replaced the primitive tools. More improvement being made gave rise to machines such as tractors, bulldozer, modern implements, etc that are now used these days.
• Explain how primitive agriculture grew to modern farming methods and improved farm machines
Sketch two primitive tools and two improved metals tools used by the early man.
• Intensive Agricultural Science for J.S.S. 1, 2 & 3 by E. U. Okoro.
• Essentials of Agricultural Science for J.S.S. & Colleges by Earnest ChukwudiAnie.
• Agricultural Science for JSS (Upper Basic Education) by L. A. Are et al.
• Prescribed Agricultural Science for J.S.S. by S. E. Omoruyi et al.