Agriculture as a branch of the world economy plays a significant role in human life. Its main goal is to meet the population's needs for food and provide the industry with raw materials. From this article, you will learn the role of agriculture in Nigeria economic development.
Roles of agriculture
Let's highlight the main functions of agriculture contributing to the development of the economy:
- Creation of jobs. Particularly important is the fact that residents of rural areas are provided with jobs. Statistics of 2010 showed that 30% of the population were engaged in agriculture. This indicator is constantly growing.
- Another important role of agriculture is a source of foreign currency, the most important for most countries. This is mainly contributed by the export of cocoa and other cash crops.
- Diversification of the economy. As a result of the decline in oil prices, the current economic situation can be considered the most suitable time for diversification. Nigeria has enough natural and human potential. All that needed is a serious investment in agriculture.
- Food security. Foodstuffs, their production, distribution, exchange, and consumption are important parts of the functioning of the world system.
- Supplying other industries with raw materials. Cultivation of cotton, oil palm, and other plants promotes the development of other industries that depend on this raw materials. Also, wool and yarn are used in different industries.
State of agriculture in Nigeria and areas for growth
Importance of agriculture to Nigerian economy cannot be overemphasized.
- The increase of international investment in agriculture. Over the past fifty years, the number of multinational companies has grown. They have expanded their global influence in the supply of food, bio-fuels, timber and minerals. But at the same time, the quantity of real investments is less than the number of planned, discussed and highlighted in the media.
- Investors are mainly representatives of the private sector, but governments and public funds also participate. Investment companies in the private sector are often founded by the government or public investment funds. That’s why it’s difficult to separate them and assess the degree of involvement.
- Export grows in agriculture due to the increase in transportation opportunities.
- However, the reduction of the area and depletion of arable lands is the serious limitation. Soil fertility continues to decline in many areas due to a lack of nutrients (mineral or organic).
- The number of rural population is decreasing. There are more urban residents with each year.
- A combination of population growth, lack of technological development and inefficient distribution mechanisms led to a rapid reduction in the availability of natural resources to poor farmers.
It can be said that agriculture in Nigeria today does not bring all possible benefits. But with wise management, it can achieve better results.
Despite the decline in the share of agriculture in GDP, it continues to play a significant role in the development of the economy and society, provides a large number of jobs, produces food, raw materials, and contributes to food security, poverty reduction; it contributes to the development of trade and the economy as a whole.