A personal account of the historical evolution and development of agricultural systems. Through agriculture human communities have established a situation in which they are relieved of the need to spend a greater part of their time in pursuit of the necessities of existence. Sir Joseph argues that a rising standard of living has depended historically on the ability of agriculture to release manpower to other more industrial pursuits and with its own reduced human resources to feed the increased urban population. This is a process that has gone on since agriculture began and which continues today.
All who are concerned professionally or otherwise with the problem of feeding the world's population will find this a stimulating account. It has the conviction of personal experience. The author hopes that many of his views will gain assent or at the very least generate debate on important issues.
First published in 1972.