The importance of Agriculture in Nigeria can never be over emphasized. The word “agriculture” comes from the Latin “ager,” which means “field,” and “colo,” which means “to cultivate.” Independently, and with a wide variety of taxa, agriculture emerged in several regions of the world. As autonomous centers of origin, at least eleven different Old and New World locations were involved. The way humans lived was altered by the advent of agriculture some 12,000 years ago.
The art and science of cultivating the soil, growing crops, and raising livestock are known as agriculture. It involves preparing plant and animal items for human consumption and distributing them to marketplaces. Most of the food and textiles in the world are produced by agriculture.
Farmland is primarily land that is used for agriculture, which is the planned and systematic exploitation of other forms of life, particularly the raising of cattle and the cultivation of crops for human food. It is frequently used interchangeably with cropland, agricultural fields, and pasture or rangeland.
The four different types of agriculture are intensive farming, subsistence farming, pastoralism, and shifting cultivation. Agriculture is the most pervasive activity despite its unpredictability. It is divided into different categories based on the crops grown, the quantity and intensity of cultivation, the amount of mechanization, the livestock combinations, and the distribution of farm products.
The agricultural industry is a crucial part of any economy because it not only employs a sizable number of the population but also ensures food security, which is unquestionably one of the less-acknowledged conditions for development. Any country with an agricultural sector that is still stagnant at the subsistence level will lag behind the rest of the globe, including countries like Nigeria.
Nigeria is a global leader in the production of a variety of agricultural products, including sorghum, cocoa beans, pineapples, and palm oil. After the United States, it is the second-largest sorghum producer in the world. In terms of palm oil and cocoa bean production, it comes in fifth. Nigerians cannot live without agriculture due to its benefits, it is the backbone of the country. Therefore lets discuss some importance of agriculture in Nigeria.
Importance of Agriculture In Nigeria
The backbone of the Nigerian economy is agriculture. Nigerians are unable to live without agriculture because of all of its benefits.
In Nigeria, where agriculture is the principal occupation of the majority of rural residents, it is conceivable to provide jobs for the general populace. To increase the workforce and contribute to the growth of the nation, it helps to provide jobs for a large number of unskilled and uneducated laborers, particularly in the northern portion of the nation. Agriculture employing the unemployed has helped in the reduction of hunger and has improved the lives of the farmers in the country by giving them a long-lasting source of income.
2. Poverty Eradication
In Nigeria, the agricultural sector has made significant contributions to reducing poverty and enhancing the quality of life for those who live in rural areas. Nigerians’ poverty rate increased from 70% and above in 2001 to 60% and above in 2010. In addition, the agricultural sector employed 60% of the citizens. Furthermore, it was found that jobs were created and income was generated which aided poverty reduction.
3. Economy Diversification
The Nigerian economy has become more diversified thanks to agriculture. The Nigerian government formerly neglected the agricultural sector, relying mostly on income from the oil sector. However, as oil prices began to fall, the government began to focus on the agriculture industry, which also helped to diversify the economy. Due to its enormous potential for job creation, economic diversification, and foreign exchange earnings, agriculture, which was previously ignored, has become a viable choice for diversification in Nigeria.
4. Source Of Food Supply
Every nation in the world, including Nigeria, depends heavily on agriculture for its food supply because it feeds all other areas of the economy. No citizen of a country can survive without food. Without agriculture, Nigerians will struggle to survive since the nation’s fundamental foods will have to be imported, raising the cost of food and ultimately making life tough for the average person. Nigeria has a large population, which means there is a great need for food. To supply this demand, the agricultural sector must be functional in Nigeria. The functionality of the agricultural sector in Nigeria has helped in a lot of ways in supplying food.
5. National Income Contribution
The agricultural industry in Nigeria has expanded during the past few years, making a significant contribution to the nation’s economic expansion. Since Nigeria is one of the nations that export the most agricultural products, it is one of the essential industries that significantly boost the nation’s GDP. In all other economic sectors, agriculture contributed 21.91% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product by the end of 2019.
6. Source Of Foreign Exchange
Nigeria is a significant exporter of agricultural goods to other countries. And Nigeria’s sole sources of foreign exchange are its oil and agricultural sectors. The nation produces a wide variety of agricultural goods, including soya beans, palm kernels, ginger, sesame seeds, and cocoa beans, all of which are sold to other nations and thus help to raise the nation’s overall GDP.
7. Improvements Of Medicine and Herbs
It is very important to be aware that some agricultural plants have medicinal properties and are used to treat illnesses in both people and animals. Some herbal plants, including roots, flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds, can be used both traditionally and industrially. The majority of synthetic medications come from plants.
8. Provision Of Raw Materials
Raw materials play a significant role in a nation’s economic health because they are so essential to production. Agriculture is the main source of raw materials for business in Nigeria. This includes sugar, cotton, jute fabric, edible and non-edible oils, and Tobacco. Agriculture also provides the basic resources that industries need to create a certain product.
9. Source Of Shelter
A long time ago, before technological advancement, the earliest Nigerians created their shelter through agricultural activities. Most prehistoric Nigerians used sticks and forest-sourced timber to construct their homes. In more recent times, refined woods and treated timber are used to construct beautiful homes in Nigeria.
10. Improvement Of Food Security
Food security refers to having constant physical and financial access to enough food to meet dietary requirements for a successful and healthy existence. A family is considered to be food secure if none of its members experience hunger or fear of it. The Nigerian agricultural sector has made significant contributions to increasing food security.
Nigeria’s economy is largely driven by agriculture, which has a significant impact on the nation. Nigeria’s prosperous economy is a direct result of its flourishing agricultural sectors and so the points mentioned above are some of the importance of agriculture in Nigeria.