The Neolithic revolution's most significant effect was the birth of agriculture. How important is agriculture in our society today?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Unless we learn to synthesize food out of basic organic molecules, farming will always be of supreme importance (at least in physical terms) to our society.  We may not think that agriculture is important today, but it still is.

In a modern economy, agriculture can seem to be somewhat irrelevant.  A very small proportion of the population engages in agriculture.  Agriculture accounts for a very small percentage of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).  For these reasons, farming can come to seem rather unimportant.

However, this is not really an accurate impression.  The people of every society in every time and place will need to eat.  At this point, food can only be produced by agriculture.  This means that our very existence as a society depends on agriculture.

Of course, our society no longer revolves around agriculture.  It is not very important to us in cultural or social terms.  The whole of society is no longer obsessed with what the weather will be like and how that will affect the crops.  The rhythms of our lives are not attuned to the needs of the farm.  However, agriculture is still vitally important to our physical survival.

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