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Subject: Agricultural science
Topic: Meaning And Importance If Agriculture
Learning Objectives: By the end of the lesson, the learners should be able to:
- Define the term agriculture’
- State and explain the importance of agriculture.
IMPORTANCE AND DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURE IN WEST AFRICA
Meaning Of Agriculture
Agriculture is the science and art of growing crops and rearing of animals for man’s use. It also includes processing, storage and marketing of crops, animals and their products.
Importance Of Agriculture
Agriculture is of importance in the following ways:
- Food Supply: Agriculture provides food for the world growing human population. It is also source of feeds for animals which convert the feed into animal protein for human consumption. Food in the form of plant and animal products is one of the basic necessities of life and is needed for Healthy human living.
- Source Of Income: Farmers make money from sale of agricultural products such as yam, cassava, maize, farm animals and animal products. Agriculture therefore, provides a means of livelihood to farmers.
- Provision Of Employment: Agriculture provides employment for millions of people all over the world. Some of these people are directly involved in farming either at subsistence or commercial scale. Others are gainfully employed in agro-based industries. It also provides employment opportunities for scientists who conduct research into agricultural problems, traders and transporters who engaged in the distribution and marketing of agricultural products.
- Provision Of Raw Materials For Industries: Agriculture provides raw materials for many manufacturing agro-based industries. For example, soap industries make use of palm oil for soap making, textile industries use Cotton and wool for making clothes, leather industries utilize hides and skins for making shoes, bags, belts etc, beverage industries use cocoa beans, tyre industries make use of rubber latex for production.
- Provision Of Shelter: Agricultural and forest products such as timber are used for construction of buildings. Roofs of most buildings, doors and window shutters and frames are mostly made if timber.
- Foreign Exchange Earner: Agriculture provides the major export products in many countries, especially the less industrialized countries of Africa. Before the development of mining and petroleum, West African economics depended largely on the export of agricultural raw materials such as cotton, groundnut, palm produce, cocoa, coffee etc, for their foreign exchange earnings. The foreign currency so earned may be used for importation of machines, equipment, and materials needed for industrialization, technological and economic development.
- Rural Development: Some rural farming communities which engage in farming tend to attract the attention of relevant government agencies, traders, industrialists and other consumers of agricultural products since such communities serve as market centres for the products. As a result of this, amenities such as good roads, pipe-borne water, electricity, hospitals, schools, etc will be provided in such areas, hence leading to overall development of such places.
- International Relations: Some countries have aid programmes. By this, they send food to needy countries. Also, relief materials in form of food, clothing’s, etc are sent to displaced victims of war and natural hazards such as drought, flood, earthquake, landslide, etc. This practice tends to strengthen relationship among affected nations of the world.
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Take a quick test for this lesson
- Define Agriculture
- State and explain 8 importance of agriculture.
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