What is the Agricultural Revolution & Its impacts?

What is the agricultural revolution or the Agrarian Revolution?

The agricultural revolution is also known as Agrarian Revolution. The evolution of agriculture is based on three broad phases which are:

Pre-Agricultural Period marked by Paleolithic Diet (no farming, just hunting)

Agricultural Period marked by the start of cultivated food.

Technological Advancement Period marked by the induction of technology in agriculture. This is regarded as the Agricultural Movement.

What is the Agricultural Revolution
What is the Agricultural Revolution

Agricultural revolution can be further classified into five time periods as mentioned in Table. Among these time periods, the Scottish & British Agrarian Revolutions are rendered as Real Agricultural Revolutions

What is the Agricultural Revolution & its Impact on Environment?

The Agricultural Revolution has resulted in continuous environmental degradation, particularly of soil, vegetation, and water resources. some of the major environmental impacts in recent times include:

Soil organic matter level has declined and the use of chemical input has intensified.

Newly introduced crop varieties have necessitated the use of fertilizers and irrigation resulting in water contamination by nitrate and phosphate and changes in the groundwater table.

The scope for increase productivity lies in further intensification which is crucially dependent on more energy-intensive inputs.

Declining nutrient-use efficiency, physical and chemical degradation of soil, and inefficient water use have been limiting crop productivity.

The use of monocultures, mechanization, and excessive reliance on chemical plant protection have reduced crop, plant, and animal diversity in recent years.

The large geographical area faces soil degradation (water-logging, salinity, and alkalinity) which threatens food security in the future

The water table has risen and patches of salinity have started to appear at farm level

Thus, the agricultural revolution had an impact on water quality, pollination, nutrient recycling, soil retention, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity conservation.

This revolution also introduced a broad range of pollutants. Major environmental trends resulting due to agricultural revolution include water scarcity, nutrients overloading, and biodiversity loss, ocean exploitation, climate change, and habitat change.


Depending on the agricultural practice and location, there are several possible negative effects of modern agriculture. One example is found in farming operations practiced without proper knowledge and care, which become a threat to ecosystems and species. According to World Wildlife Fund, as the demand for food rises there are more and more intensive single-crop farms, leading to loss of biodiversity.

When natural vegetation is removed and converted to agricultural land, erosion occurs and carries away fertile soil. The use of fertilizers and pesticides can lead to Ground-Water Source Pollution. Using genetically uniform varieties damages the genetic diversity of food, meaning less adaptation and survivability potential. Hence, agriculture affects food supplies and ecosystems and should be practiced with care and attention.


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