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By B. Chandrasekaran; K. Annadurai; E.Somasundaram

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The Earth’s plates are in constant, but very, very slow motion. 3–10 cm) per year!! This does not seem like much, but over millions of years it adds up to great distances of movement. In 1912, Alfred Wagener introduced the ‘Continental Drift Theory’, which states that the continents have moved, and is still moving today. Scientists believe these plates have been moving for millions of years. In fact, 250 millions years ago the Earth’s seven continents were all grouped together into a super continent (one huge landmass) called ‘Pangea’.

There is every possibility of the output becoming larger with the expansion of irrigation facilities, fertilizers availability, rural electrification, etc. But it should be very clearly understood that the highly fluctuating monsoon and the consequent ups and downs in food output can always spell danger. Naturally, efforts, should continue to keep the population in check to take full advantage of increase in agricultural production. 6 AN INTRODUCTION TO AGRONOMY The word agronomy has been derived from the two Greek words, agros and nomos having the meaning of field and to manage, respectively.

Susruta (C. ) records over 750 medicinal plant species. The oldest book, RigVeda (C. ) mentions a large number of poisonous and non poisonous aquatic and terrestrial, and domestic and wild creatures and animals. Puranas mention about 500 species of plants. The science of arbori-horticulture had developed well and has been documented in Surapala’s Vrikshayurveda. Forests were very important in ancient times. From the age of Vedas, protection of forests was emphasized for ecological balance. ) mentions that superintendent of forests had to collect forest produce through the forest guards.

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