5 Importance of Agriculture in Nigeria are listed and explained herein. This is to bring to mind the indispensability of agriculture in Nigeria.
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Prior to the oil boom of the 1960s, Agriculture was the mainstay of the Nigerian Economy, i.e. the economy of Nigeria was what one could refer to as agrarian.
The years that followed the oil boom made agriculture suffer inadequate attention from the Nigerian government and other stakeholders who were beginning to shift their focus to oil exploration and the wealth it was bringing to the country.
In recent times, the government has been clamoring and indeed sending a clarion call to the Nigerian nationals to return to agriculture and prioritize it because of the need to diversify the economy.
Have you been wondering why agricultural development is fast becoming the singsong of present and recent past Nigerian governments? Then, this article is a sit-through-it for you, because it will expound on the importance of agriculture in Nigeria.
Importance of Agriculture in Nigeria
Below are the Importance of Agriculture in Nigeria:
1. Food Security
The main policy thrust of the latest Agricultural policy of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) is to achieve food security.
Food security is simply the ability of a country or population to produce its foods and consumables without having to import food.
The step taken by the federal government to ban the importation of rice some years ago was aimed at increasing local production of this staple food, as a part of the measures to achieve food security. No country can be food secured without a concrete agricultural development plan.
2. Creation of Jobs
With the ever-increasing number of unemployed and underemployed people in Nigeria, agriculture has what it takes to absorb a very high percentage of these jobless people in both on-farm productions and along the value-addition chain such as storage, processing, packaging, marketing, and distribution.
Many agribusinesses abound, and the juiciest reality of these businesses is the rather small capital that is needed to start and run them.
3. Provision of raw materials for agro-allied industries
Agro-allied industries and firms are such as utilize agricultural products as raw materials and make them into the finished products which they sell.
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Firms that produce leather bags, belts, and shoes, for instance, are agro-allied because they use animal hides, skins, and fur for production. Agriculture is, therefore, what feeds their industries and keeps them in the market through a constant supply of the needed raw materials for production.
4. Diversification of the economy
The Nigerian economy rests on oil explorations and the recent price fluctuations of oil due to the discovery of healthier and more eco-friendly alternatives for power rather than fossil fuels are biting hard on our economy.
It is for this reason that the government is encouraging everyone to make investments in agriculture while giving incentives to investors and farmers such as lower tax rates and duty-free importation of agricultural machinery.
Considering how well our economy fared before the oil boom, it is not disputable that agriculture has what it takes to keep our economy from sinking.
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5. Source of foreign exchange
The export of cash crops such as cocoa, tobacco, rubber, etc. is a very vital source of foreign exchange which has a high potential of making the Nigerian economy more vibrant.
It is for this reason that the colonial masters invested a lot in the production of these crops. If more is done to meet the exportation standards of these cash crops, Nigeria and indeed Nigerians have a lot to gain from its returns.