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Conceptualizing theory of rise of Agriculture

Conceptualizing theory of rise of Agriculture
History Botany Neolithic India – 3
HISTORY of BOTANY in Indian Subcontinent -8
By: Bhishma Kukreti M.Sc. {(Botany), B.Sc. (Honours in Botany), Medical Tourism Historian)}
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In this chapter, it will be discussed how agriculture started and the causes of starting of agriculture will also be discussed.
For understanding the knowledge gained by human beings of Neolithic age of India about plant science and applied plant science it is essential to understand the reasons for rising agriculture and how there was rise of agriculture. .
Harris (1989) offers acceptable model /theory about hunting-gathering verses agriculture. Harris offers four stages of rising agriculture by human beings.
Wild Plant –Food Procurement Stage – In this first stage the hunter gatherers used to burn vegetation occasionally, they gather useful plants and fruits and protect them. In this stage there was reduction in human energy and this did not change environment drastically. The wild plant food procurement marks the departure of scavenging strategies (Harlan 1995).
Wild Plant Food Production Stage – This second stage is important stage towards agriculture. In the wild plant food –production stage, the human beings carried out maintaining the wild plant population and carried out both planting and sowing of wild plants also weeding. Seeds from selective plants from decided or desirable characteristics were propagated at new habitats. Some seeds were stored after harvesting for future uses.
Cultivation with systematic tillage- In this stage the land is cleared and the food producing activities of second stage were intensified. Definitely by that stage, the composition and structure of vegetation were significantly transformed.
Agriculture (fourth stage) – this stage was energy intensified stage.
Olsson (2001) offers the four reasons for starting of agriculture –
Environment changes
Population pressure
Cultural influences
External factors as evolution and learning.

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References
1-Harris D.R. (1989).An evolutionary continuum of people –plant interaction. In Harris D.R. and C.C. Hillman (Eds) Foraging and Farming :The evolution of Plant Exploitation London. pp 11-26 Unwin Hyman
2-Harlan J.R. 1995, The Living Fields: Our Agriculture Heritage Cambridge University Press.
Olsson Ola (2001) The Rise of Agriculture Working paper in economic 57 of Department of Economic, Goteborg University (September 2001)
Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti, bjkukreti@gmail.com , Mumbai India, June 2019
HISTORY of BOTANY in Indian Subcontinent will be continued in next chapter
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