AGRICULTURE: The Panacea for Economic Downswing

The Agricultural sector plays a strategic role in the process of economic development of a country. It has already made a significant contribution to the economic prosperity of advanced countries and its role in the economic development of less developed countries is of vital importance.

However, in our part of the world, the picture that is painted of Agriculture is not encouraging enough for youths to get involved in this sector. It has been so reduced to a system that has to do with hoes, machetes, cutlasses, and diggers; when in reality, there is more to it.

Agriculture plays a very important role in the development and well being of any economy; it is the backbone of the economy system of the country. For many years, agriculture has been the source of essential food production, it goes beyond crop farming, spanning into forestry, fruit cultivation, dairy, poultry, fishery, bee keeping, piggery, snails etc. Modern day Agriculture has evolved into processing, marketing, value-chain addition and crop distribution.

From the above, Agriculture can be referred to as the production, processing, promotion and distribution of agricultural products. Apart from providing food and raw materials, it also provide employment opportunities to a very large percentage of a country’s population. Therefore, the importance of Agriculture towards economic development and mainstay of an economy cannot be over emphasized.

It is seen that increased agricultural output and productivity tend to contribute substantially to an overall economic development of the country, it will be rational and appropriate to place greater emphasis on further development of the agricultural sector.

In this section, we shall be looking at few ways that this sector makes its contribution to economic development in several ways.

The agricultural sector is significant in economic development through the provision of food and raw materials to non-agricultural sectors of the economy. By creating demand for goods produced in non-agricultural sectors, by the rural people on the strength of the purchasing power, earned by them on selling the marketable surplus. By providing investable surplus in the form of savings and taxes to be invested in non-agricultural sector. By earning valuable foreign exchange through the export of agricultural products, providing employment to a vast army of uneducated, backward and unskilled labour. As a matter of fact, if the process of economic development is to be initiated and made self-sustaining, it must begin from the agricultural sector.

Continues in Pt. 2.