We all know the importance of agriculture to our community. If not, this article will take you through all the importance of agriculture. While some may call it farming, many other scholars refer to it as agriculture. The truth is agriculture is the way forward in Nigeria.
I came across an article on the importance of agriculture in Nigeria; so I decided to look more into the topic.
Before going deep on our topic of the day, let us look briefly into the definition of the topic.
So, what is agriculture?
By definition, it is:
The process of producing food, feed, fiber and many other desired products by the cultivation of certain plants and the raising of domesticated animals (livestock) - according to sciencedaily.com.
Also, wikipedia define it as:
The science and art of cultivating plants and livestock.
Roles of agriculture in Nigeria Economy:
Let's highlight the several functions of agriculture contributing to the development of Nigeria economy:
1. Employment: Agriculture is creating jobs; especially to the residents of rural areas. The latest statistics from the Nigeria National Bureau of Statistics showed that over 30% of the population in the country were engaged in agriculture. This indicator is constantly growing compared to previous years. In Nigeria, the main occupation of many is agriculture; although, the discovery of crude oil has made many to abandon this occupation.
2. Source of foreign currency: As you may be aware, international trading is important to all country; therefore, agriculture in Nigeria help with this aspect.
How does it act a source of foreign currency?
When a country export her product or sell them to other country, these countries will pay the seller with the most acceptable international currency. For example, Nigeria export cocoa and other cash crops in exchange for money.
3. Diversification of the economy: Nigeria is known as one of the major exporter of crude oil; but as a result of the decline in oil prices, the current price of crude oil is not profitable any longer. Therefore, diversifying into agriculture and its production is considered to be the best at this stage.
4. Food security: Agriculture is important as a source of livelihood; that is to say, it is the main source of the food we eat. Without it, our existence will not have been possible.
Foodstuffs, their production, distribution, exchange, and consumption are important parts of the functioning of the world system.
5. Source raw materials: In addition, fruit juice processing, rice husking, vegetable processing and few others depend on these raw materials; in other words, the importance of agriculture can be felt in the manufacturing sector too. Cultivation of cotton, oil palm, and other plants promotes the development of other industries that depend on this raw materials. Also, wool and yarn are used in different industries.
As shown above, the contribution of agriculture to Nigeria economy is very important.