Before going into details of importance of agriculture in Nigeria, it’s wise we look deep into what is agriculture or what agriculture encompasses. The reason for this is that to many people agriculture is just all about planting and harvesting. In fact, many don’t even know that rearing of livestock is equally part of agriculture.
But does agriculture ends in planting, harvesting and rearing of livestock? No is the answer. Recent study reveals that agriculture is about production, processing, promotion and distribution of agricultural products.
Therefore, in this post, the importance of agriculture in Nigeria listed here goes beyond Nigeria. In fact, it’s applicable to every nation of the world. This is because agriculture is the lifeline of every economy of the world.
No matter the stage of civilization the world is today, it all started with agriculture. Therefore, the importance of agriculture in Nigeria and world at large can’t be overemphasized.
The importance of agriculture goes beyond provision of food and raw material. Also it goes beyond providing employment opportunities to large percentage of Nigeria population. So below are the 10 importance of agriculture in Nigeria.
10 Importance of Agriculture in Nigeria
- Source of livelihood
- Serves as part of nation revenue
- Supply of food as well as fodder
- Boost international trade
- Leads to industrialization
- Major Source of raw material
- Provide foreign exchange resources
- Expand employment opportunities
- Encourage savings
- Boost food security
Let’s take a look at each of the importance of agriculture listed above as it affects Nigeria.
Source of Livelihood
Agriculture is the major employer of labour in Nigeria. In fact, over 70% of Nigerian populations are directly or directly live on agricultural related activities. The only reason agriculture employs this huge percentage of Nigerian population is because the non-agric sector has suffered neglect from governments. So, agriculture as major source of livelihood is not applicable to most developed countries.
Contribute to GDP
According to report from National Bureau of statistics, GDP from agriculture in Nigeria increased to 3789720.12 NGN Million in the second quarter of 2018 from 3487312.92 NGN Million in the first quarter of 2018. With this result alone, it is obvious that agriculture has been a major contributor to our national revenue
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Supply of Food as Well as Fodder
Both human and animal depends on agricultural product for food. Be you a vegetarian or not, all we consume comes from agriculture. Also, all that animals consume consumes come from agriculture.
Boost International Trade
Over 90% of non-oil products exported from Nigeria is agricultural product. For instance, Nigeria export cashew nut, hibiscus flower (sobo), sesame seed, ginger, moringa and many more in large quantities. All this are agricultural product.
Exporting of these agricultural product help Nigeria in balancing of its unfavorable trade balance as well saving foreign exchange.
Leads to Industrialization
Almost all industries in Nigeria largely depend directly or indirectly on farm produce. For instance, the textile industries in Nigeria works based on the cotton cultivated in Nigeria. The shoe industries in the eastern part of Nigeria depend on hide from the livestock in the northern part.
Proper harnessing of agricultural products and by-products will lead to rapid industrialization in Nigeria.
Major Source of Raw Materials
Serving as a major source of raw material is another importance of agriculture in Nigeria. The main source of raw materials to major industries such as cotton and jute fabric, sugar, tobacco, edible as well as non-edible oils is agriculture. Moreover, many other industries such as processing of fruits as well as vegetables and rice husking get their raw material mainly from agriculture.
Provide Foreign Exchange Resources
According to President Buhari’s media team, Nigeria realized N212.73b from agricultural export in 2016. That is a huge capital inflow to the Nigeria through agro product export. This means that agriculture is a real source of foreign exchange for Nigeria. In addition, National Bureau of statistic reveals that cashew nut in shell top the list of the agro product exported
Expand Employment opportunities
Another importance of agriculture in Nigeria is the ability to create indirect employment. Construction of irrigation schemes, farm drainage system and farm house are done by professional that are not farmers. Therefore, agriculture create an overall economic development of Nigeria
Source of Saving
Proper developing of agricultural sector in Nigeria will lead to high yielding and more sales for farmers. More sales will mean more money for the farmer, which will lead to savings. Farmers may even decide to re-invest their saving for expansion. This show that agriculture is a source of economic expansion for Nigeria
Boost Food Security
Mechanized agriculture leads to high yielding of crops and farm products in general. Sufficiency of farm product will ensure that every Nigeria eats 3 square meal in a day. That is exactly what the world mean by food security.
Food security can only be achieved through agriculture and its practices. That is why this importance of agriculture in Nigeria can’t be overemphasized.
Importance of Agriculture in Nigeria – Conclusion
Agriculture is a vital sector and very essential to the sustenance of Nigerian economy. It is quite unfortunate that with all these 10 importance of agriculture in Nigeria the sector suffer neglect.
Before the discovery of oil in Nigeria, agriculture was the main source of the country’s revenue. And the GDP and all economic indicators were very positive and encouraging. But today reverse is the case.
One great thing about agriculture is that it does not constitute health and environmental hazard like the oil and its exploration we are much interested on today. Therefore, we can benefit from all the importance of agriculture in Nigeria while living healthy.
A sustainable agricultural sector will ensure a sustainable growth of employment, which will lead to a healthy economy. Its surpluses will be used in developing other sectors for absorption of more work forces.