There are so many importance of agriculture in every country around the world today because civilization is also carrying agriculture along as most countries still have an economy that is dependent on agriculture – either in a small or big way.. Agriculture itself can simply be defined as the production of crops and livestock’s for man’s use. Food which is often regarded as the primary of man serves as a source of energy among other advantaged of food making it very necessary for mankind.
Aside being the main source for the production of food, agriculture also always plays an essential role in the economy of every country. Not only because of it tends to provide foods for the entire population of a country as earlier mentioned but agriculture helps to connects and interacts with all the related industries of that country.
A country is usually believed to be a social, political and economically stable nation if the agricultural sector is very stable, meaning that a country’s success is kind of determined by their agricultural sector.
However, it is a known fact that people in developing countries who are depend on agriculture for their living are always much poorer than those who work in other sectors of the economy and generally those who involve in agriculture sector are always represents a significant share of the total number of poor people in the countries where they live. Hence, there is a need to improve agriculture industry…. I am an agriculturist / farmer so this is me speaking from my personal experience…
Sometimes when I introduce myself to some people as a farmer and the first question most of them ask is repeating exactly what I just said, you will hear something like: ‘’You a farmer? But you don’t look like a farmer…. And that often leaves me to keep wondering how exactly farmers look or should look.
Sometimes I end up asking some of them, how exactly do farmers look or supposed to look? And they often answer me with one sentence ‘’Farmers are generally known as poor people and they generally appear poor’’…. Can you imagine that? So annoying
Therefore it is very important to improve agriculture sector because it create job opportunities for its citizens and not just a small percentage of job creation. In fact, agriculture is known as the backbone of the developing countries. It accounts for between 30% to 60% of the total GDP and employs about 70% of the total workers.
Apparently, there are huge amount of peoples involved in agricultural industry if compared to any other sectors in developing countries. In other words, agricultural sector is the major source of employment in most of the developing countries.
I guess this happens because the owner of the farm usually found that it is necessary to hire additional hands for the purpose to cultivate the lands successfully and to look after the livestock.
However, the increase of job opportunities is not only on farms but also in processing, advertising and packaging the agriculture product. Thus, if the agriculture sector is improving, it will definitely benefit the developing countries by decreasing its unemployment rate.
Now below are the importance of agriculture worldwide in details:
(1) Agriculture serves a Source of Livelihood
The main source livelihood of many people is agriculture. Approximately 70 % of the people directly rely on agriculture as a mean of living. This high percentage in agriculture is as a result of none development of non-agricultural activities to absorb the fast-growing population. However, most people in developed countries do not engage in agriculture.
(2) It Contributes to National revenue
Agriculture is the main source of national income for most developing countries. However, for the developed countries, agriculture contributes a smaller per cent age to their national income.
(3) It acts as a Source of Food and Fodder Supply
Agricultural sector provides fodder for domestic animals. Cow provides people with milk which is a form of protective food. Moreover, livestock also meets people’s food requirements.
Importance of Agriculture through Food Supply
Agriculture is the primary source of the food products we consume. For this reason, the substances within the food we eat is vital to us as human; these substances are – protein, carbohydrate, vitamins, mineral and fat.
Let me briefly talk about each of these food nutrients as they relate to the importance of agriculture to human.
Proteins are known to be an essential for human body. As a matter of fact, proteins are the building blocks of human body tissue; such as muscle, hair, etc.
Source of protein include Egg, fish, lean meat, poultry and dairy products like milk, yoghurt and cheese etc.
Carbohydrate are food nutrients necessary for the supply of energy to human and all living things. They consist of Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen.
Foods high in Carbohydrates are bread, pasta, beans, potatoes, rice, and cereals.
Fat is one of the major nutrients derived from agricultural produce. In fact, dietary fats are necessary to protect human organs and cell growth; additionally, they give our body energy and warmth.
Major source of dietary fat include meat, milk, cheese, butter, cream and baked products like biscuits and pastries etc.
As can be seen, the importance of agriculture in Nigeria and any part of the world cannot be ignored.
(4) Significance to the International Trade
Agricultural products like sugar, tea, rice, spices, tobacco, coffee etc. constitute the major items of exports of countries that rely on agriculture. If there is smooth development practice of agriculture, imports are reduced while export increases considerably.
This helps to reduce countries unfavourable balance of payments as well as saving foreign exchange. This amount may be well used to import other essential inputs, machinery, raw-material, and other infrastructure that is helpful for the support of country’s economic development.
(5) Marketable Surplus
The growth of agricultural sector contributes to marketable surplus. Many people engage in manufacturing, mining as well as other non- agricultural sector as the nation develops. All these individuals rely on food production that they might meet from the nation’s marketable surplus. As agricultural sector development takes place, production increases and this leads to expansion of marketable surplus. This may be exported to other nations.
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(6) Agriculture serves as a Source of Raw Material
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.
(7) Significance in Transport
Bulks of agricultural products are transported by railways and roadways from farm to factories. Mostly, internal trade is in agricultural products. Moreover, the revenue of the government, to a larger extent, relies on the success of agricultural sector.
(8) Foreign Exchange Resources
The nation’s export trade depends largely on agricultural sector. For example, agricultural commodities such as jute, tobacco, spices, oilseeds, raw cotton, tea as well as coffee accounts for approximately 18 % of the entire value of exports of a country.
This demonstrates that agriculture products also continue to be important source of earning a country foreign exchange.
(9) Great Employment Opportunities
Construction of irrigation schemes, drainage system as well as other such activities in the agricultural sector is important as it provides larger employment opportunities. Agriculture sector provides more employment opportunities to the labour force that reduce the high rate of unemployment in developing countries caused by the fast growing population.
(10) Economic Development
Since agriculture employs many people it contributes to economic development. As a result, the national income level as well as people’s standard of living is improved. The fast rate of development in agriculture sector offers progressive outlook as well as increased motivation for development. Hence, it aids to create good atmosphere for overall economic development of a country. Therefore, economic development relies on the agricultural growth rate.
(11) Source of Saving
Development in agriculture may also increase savings. The rich farmers we see today started saving particularly after green revolution. This surplus quantity may be invested further in the agriculture sector to develop the sector.
(12) Food Security
A stable agricultural sector ensures a nation of food security. The main requirement of any country is food security. Food security prevents malnourishment that has traditionally been believed to be one of the major problems faced by the developing countries. Most countries rely on agricultural products as well as associated industries for their main source of income.
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