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How the transition to food production impacted the life of the early farming man in Africa

English Longhorn Cattle, Cows, Cattle
One of the outstanding activities of the early farming man was the cultivation of crops. This means the food that was before now obtained from the wild could now be produced by man himself. The ability to produce his own food had a great impact on his lifestyle.

Shifting away from nomadic life
The ability to produce food influenced man’s decision to settle down and stop roaming about for food. Thus, man’s nomadic lifestyle was at the beginning of the end. This also came with the establishment of permanent places of abode for the man and his family.

Taming of animals from the wild
After putting an end to the nomadic lifestyle or drastically scaling it down, man still needed to provide meat for himself and his family. Man soon realized that he could bring home some of the animals he had used to hunt in the wild and raise them all by himself. This resulted in the decision domesticate animals such as goats, sheep, cat, rabbits etc.

As the early man made great strides in the production of food for himself and his family, he could soon produce more than he immediately needed. The early farming man could cultivate all his needs so he had acquired a taste for. He therefore had to procure the ones he could not produce on his own. He looked for people who had what he needed and were willing to accept what he had to give in return. This was the beginning of trade among the early farming men.

Demographic changes
There was a rise in the population of the early farming man after the transition to food production. Several reasons have been advanced for this phenomenon. Now that it was easy to produce food to feed larger families, it must have been felt that it was alright to have as many babies as possible. Also, in the absence of machines to facilitate work, human labour was needed. This encouraged having more children for more farm hands on the farms.

Production of handicrafts
The production of more food meant there was more leisure time that would otherwise have been used in hunting. With more leisure time, the early man soon developed the art of crafting items out of other things. He could now produce baskets, pots as utensils and as water containers. He also developed the ability to weave cloth to adorn his body. This greatly improved his lifestyle.

Development of social and political institutions
The shift to food production also eventually led to the formation of social and political institutions. Firstly, individuals formed families, then the families came together to form clans. Many clans also came together to form ethnic groups with well-defined social and political structures.

1. Outline six results of the change from hunting and gathering to food production in Africa.

2. a. Identify two ways in which the discovery of fire impacted the life of the early farming man.
    b. State any four results of the shift from hunter gathering to food production.

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