Importance of Agriculture in Nigeria – Nigeria is a country in West Africa. Although it is known as an oil producing nation, Agriculture has been a great means of livelihood for majority of the population and has also contributed immensely to the growth of the economy. The Agricultural sector in Nigeria can be divided into; Crop Farming, Forestry, Fish Farming and Animal Husbandry. According to Fao.org, between January and March 2021, the Agricultural sector in Nigeria contributed to 22.35% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Despite the fact that Subsistence Agriculture still dominates in Nigeria, the sector currently accounts for 47% of gainful employment of the citizens.
The role of Agriculture in the lives of the people of Nigeria and its economy makes it important for the nation to properly address most of the challenges that this sector is currently facing leading to low productiivity. Some of these challenges includes; Land tenure system, Irrigation, Low level of technology, Insecurity, Lack of implementation of policies and so many others. When all thes are properly addressed the Agricultural sector in Nigeria will boom and become more advantageous to the people and nation at large. Have you been asked to “List and explain 10 Importance of Agriculture in Nigeria? Then, you will surely see what you are looking for here.
10 Importance of Agriculture in Nigeria
1. Provision of food and Eradication of Hunger
The Agicultural sector plays an important role in supplying relatively cheap food to the urban areas where inadequate food availability leads to rising food prices. It does not only eradicates hunger in particular but also poverty in general. The development of rural Agriculture has been found to be very effective for the supply of adequate and affordable food. With the daily increasing population of Nigeria, food supply becomes a major problem. It is pertinent to note that if not for Agriculture, most families in Nigeria would not have been able to afford at least a 2-square meal. The food imported in Nigeria is not also affordable for most families. Subsistence farming which is the main type of farming in Nigeria helps such families to provide foods at least for their families.
2. Contribution to Employment
Due to the poor performance of Nigerian’s economy, a lot of the contry’s labour force are engaged in Agriculture. The industrial sector has been unable to increase or even sustain its employment. In a developing country like Nigeria, where the high cost of education has made a good number of its citizens to to become drop outs, those with no certificates often resort to Agriculture as a source of livelihood. Even those with good certificates who are unable to secure a white collar job are also venturing into Agriculture as their source of livelihood. It is not suprising to note that the Agricultural sector in Nigeria have taken a lot of people who would have been rooming about in the street off the street.
3. Supply of Raw Materials to the Industrial Sector
The Agricultural sector in Nigeria is crucial for the supply of relatively cheap raw materials. The Agricultural sector possesses great potential as a source of inputs for building sector, railway construction and road and bridge construction. A lot of planks and wood can be used in housing, for railway sleepers, for formwork in bridge construction and trees can be used for hedges and dividers for dual-carriage highways. Low-cost housing units can explore the use of planks and forestry products in sourciung for cheap roofing, windows, floors, decking and internal walls. The textile industry in Nigeria mostly relies on cotton from farmers. Other beauty and food production industries relies on the produce of farmers.
4. Contribution to Foreign Exchange Earnings
The Agricultural sector in Nigeria contributes to foreign exchange through exports of products. Despite the fact that Nigeria is known as an oil producing nation which is facing a decline in recent years, the country is resorting to Agriculture as a means of diversification of foreign exchange earnings. Nigerian Agricultural export products includes; Sesame seeds, fermented Cocoa, Cotton beans, Cashew Nuts, Ginger and Frozen Shrimp. Agriculture contributes to 22.35% of the country’s GDP.
5. Source of Agro Tourism
It is interesting to note that the Agricultural sector also acts as a source of tourist centre in Nigeria. Over the years, foreigners and indigenes are paying visits to such areas like; Obudu Mountain Resort, Ngwo Pine Forest, Yankari National Park, Oban hills, Coconut Beach, Millennium Park, Kainji National Park and so many others. Income from these areas adds to national income and a source of job opportunities for so many people.
6. Agriculture provides investment opportunities
A lot of people are now investing heavily in Agriculture. It does not matter whether you are a farmer or not. You can choose your area of investment interest such as food and crop production, processing and distribution. This yields income to the investors because food is needed for survival, and as the conutry’s population increases, oppoutunities in this area increases too.
7. Agriculture acts as Source of Medicine Plants
Some Agricultural crops are medicinal. They are used as medicines to control human and animal diseases. Some of the parts of these crops such as the whole plants, flowers, roots, stems, leaves and seeds can be used. The parts of these plants may be processed furthermore for industrial use.
8. Maintaining Balance in the Enviroment
With the increasing rate of human activities which poses harm to the environment, Agricultural activities such as afforestation acts as a check to environmental hazards such as erosion and excessive wind control. Some trees are planted as windbreaks in such areas and some farmlands prevents excessive erosion. Also, some species of animals would have gone into extinction if not because of wildlife conservation.
9. Contributes to income generation to the transportation sector
Bulk of Agricultural produce in Nigeria are transported from one state to the other. For Instance, the Northern part of Nigeria that is known for its large Agricultural produce transports their produce to the other parts of the country. This generates revenue for the transportation sector in the country.
10. Agriculture acts as a source of saving for farmers
The income realized from the sale of Agricultural products by farmers are saved and invested in other sectors of the economy. This ensures the development of other sectors thereby adding to the growth and development of the nation.
The Importance of Agriculture in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. This sector is very important to not only the government but also to every citizen. When you are asked to list and explain 10 importance of Agriculture, you will find what you are looking for here.