In Mesopotamia, which today is part of Iraq, food production began around 8000BC having
been introduced by settlers from the Iranian plateau.
Jarmo in the Kurdish foothills represents the earliest stage of Agriculture.
As men went hunting and gathering, the women
they left behind may have experimented with wild grasses that grew around their compound
until they found out and grew the edible plants, paving the way for organized agriculture
THE FOLLOWING FACTORS THAT FACILITATED AGRICULTURE IN MESOPOTAMIA
- Use of water from the Tigris and Euphrates for irrigation. At first, Sumer in southern Mesopotamia was unsuitable for farming as it had very little rain. But the Sumerians skilfully dug canals to channel water from the two rivers to summer, boosted by the Shadoof or Bucket method of irrigation.
- The rich fertile silt was deposited on the lower Tigris and Euphrates river valleys and soils in the region, which were mostly fertile.
- Good leadership by, among others, Sargon the great and Hamurabi the law giver.
- Invention and use of farming implements like the ox-drawn plough and the seed-drill in place of digging sticks and stone hoes fastened with sticky earth onto a short wooden handle for tilling the land as well as baked clay sickles, baskets and pots in reaping and storing the harvest.
- The fact that region was endowed with indigenous crops and animals like wheat, dates, figs, olives, vines, palms, onions, melons, cucumber, ducks, pigs, geese, horses, cattle, sheep, goats, a variety of vegetables, and a variety of grains.
- Heavy rains in the Zaggiroes mountains, which caused the much needed floods on the Euphratese and Tigris river valleys.
- Reclamation of more land for agricultural purposes by skilfully draining and directing water through dykes, ditches, and canals from swampy land to dry land, making both cultivable.