The advantages of hunters and gatherers as well as the Nomads living a sedentary life came with new problems.
One of these problems was pollution. Pastoral Nomads lived in one area for a short period of time and then moved to another place. They therefore did not require any elaborate method of disposing the dead, excrements or even wastes of food and livestock. Those people who lived in very close quarters in the villages developed cultural practices of disposing their wastes so as to maintain a clean environment.
Another main challenge of this kind of living is the population growth. The hunters and gatherers who move from one place to another cannot have many children as they do not have enough time to care for them. On the other hand, the sedentary agriculturalists may have many children; this is perceived as an advantage since children will grow-up and help in the fields.
Epidemic diseases is another problem. This is related to the population growth that leads to problems in maintaining clean and healthy living conditions. Most of the human diseases could also be shared with the domestic animals. The clustering of human beings as well as animals leads to the increase of pathogens causing deadly diseases unknown before. Some of these diseases affected mostly the young people who were weak and had no strong immune system (Howard 2010).
The dependency on relatively few plants was also a major problem they encountered. Unlike the hunters and gatherers who collected food from several types of plants, these people relied on few plants which were adversely affected by the change of weather and rainfall or some diseases.
Weather patterns usually fluctuate; sometimes there was little or no rain. Agriculture involves betting whether the rain will favor the few plants that are grown. Agriculture therefore depended on the ecological cycles such as weather cycle. The hunters and gatherers collected food from various plants which grow during different seasons. Some are available at whatever season be it a dry, wet or cold season. This means that they could get food at whatever season. Agriculture therefore was more affected by the weather changes unlike the hunting and gathering.
They also depended on certain harvest times. The agriculturalists had to gather food for the year in about three harvesting times. Nothing was allowed to disrupt the harvesting time. Similarly, there was time for cultivating and planting. They also kept their produce in stores to use it during the whole year. The food was prevented from thieves, moisture, and pests. The stored food was measured in quantities while being used to ensure it remains for planting in the next season. Hunters and gatherers did not store food. The agriculturalists that tended to copy them would starve to death.
Agriculture requires a lot of labor during cultivating, planting, weeding, and also harvesting. For example, in Near East, growing of cereal requires a lot of physical labor in sowing and also harvesting time.
Some of these problems still exist in the modern life. Population growth, for example, has been a problem especially in slums and villages. This has come with its effects such as poor nutrition. This is because the parents may be unable to cater for the food to be consumed by the big family. Also this may lead to the problems in public health. In most countries, the populations do not get clean water sources. Water pollution comes as a result of inadequate sanitation. This may lead to spreading diseases such as cholera. The large population may also become the cause of pollution. This includes air pollution, land and water pollution. This is a result of increase in the amount of wastes (Berg 2013).
Farmers have also been relying on few crops, which are adversely affected by little or no rain. Others are prone to pests and diseases. This makes them suffer great losses and lack food to eat. Some of the farmers also grow the crops in seasons such that there is a period of cultivating land, planting and also harvesting.
Solutions to these problems
Some of the things that could be made to improve farming include:
Control of pests and diseases. The plants and animals are much affected by the pests and diseases. This should be prevented by spraying the plants and animals with the recommended products that control this. Animals should also be vaccinated with medicines to prevent the spread of diseases. The already infected ones could be removed from that area to prevent spreading of the disease.
Irrigation could be done to plants especially during the dry seasons. Farmers should have water reserves so that when the rain stops, they can water their plants. This prevents the drying of plants making them grow, hence food security is maintained (Linkedin 2013).
Farmers should plant new special kinds of crops, where they use the hybrid varieties of crops that are drought, pest, and disease resistant. They should also get plants that are fast to grow. This leads to increased yields hence increase in food production. Also, they should have domestic animals that produce high yields so that farmers do not overcrowd the animals in their farms. This prevents pollution and spreading of diseases.
New methods of farming, for example, using farm machines and tractors should be employed to refute the view that one should have many children to help in farming. This will help to control the population (Linkedin 2013). The farmers should also apply manure and fertilizers in their farms to increase the fertility hence get increased yields.
Role of Women
The role of women is not known for sure, but they were stereotyped to be a source of fertility. The role of child bearing and raising was very much emphasized. However, most of the times, they worked together with men. Women helped during hunting by assisting men in tracking the quarry down. Women were able to gather plants and small animals enabling them to make good use of the available sources of food (Lovgren 2006). When the food was scarce, women with the help of the children were occupied in various other activities like making clothes and houses for shelter. Women used certain tools such as the bone awls and needles to make clothes.
Female skeletons were found in Neandertal sites the same way as those of the male counterparts. There were also injured bodies of women that clearly showed that women used to do the same work as men did. This is enough evidence that women were not left at home. They joined their men in hunting and gathering exercise (Lovgren 2006).