Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities. After gathering wild grains beginning at least 105,000 years ago, nascent farmers began to plant them around 11,500 years ago. Pigs, sheep and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Plants were independently cultivated in at least 11 regions of the world. The major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers, fuels and raw materials (such as rubber). Food classes include cereals (grains), vegetables, fruits, oils, meat, milk, fungi and eggs.
Subsistence Farming is practiced to satisfy family or local needs alone, with little left over for transport elsewhere. It requires small capital/finance, and employs the use of crude/traditional tools such as hoes and machetes by family or unskilled labor, with limited or no use of agro-chemicals (pesticides and herbicides). Mixed cropping is mostly practiced with varieties of unaltered crops and animals.
- Extensive Farming is a system that uses small inputs of labor, fertilizers, and capital, relative to the land area being farmed. It is a common practice in places of extreme age and poverty of the soils, where yields per hectare are very low, but the flat terrain and very large farm sizes mean yields per unit of labor are high. Large-scale growing of wheat, barley, cooking oils and other grain crops is common, and often supplemented with sheep and cattle repeatedly moved to fresh forage.
Intensive/Industrial Farming is cultivation to maximize productivity, with a low fallow ratio and a high use of inputs: water, fertilizer, pesticides/herbicides, plant growth regulators, and automation. The system is supported by extensive, ongoing innovation in agricultural machinery, genetic science, economies of scale, logistics, and data collection and analysis. Mono-crops are common place, as are large numbers of animals raised on limited land or in concentrated animal feeding operations, which in concentrated feed is brought to seldom-moved animals.
This theme is for games that significantly involve farming: cultivating, growing and harvesting crops, and tending animals. Many of these games involve gathering these items as food, to be sold, or as ingredients in other processes.
Games that simply involve food items, but not the farming of them, should reference the "Food / Cooking" theme.
This theme is NOT related to the video gaming concept of "farming"; regularly spawning monsters for XP and gold.