Importance of Agriculture towards the Development of Nigeria Economy
Nigeria economy is blessed with series of natural resources, yet they suffer in the midst of plenty. Nigeria has a high poverty rate in comparison with other African countries despite its higher GDP.
Currently, Nigeria has over 80% of it’s land arable but unfortunately less than 40% of the land is cultivated despite the country's teaming population and level of unemployment.
Hence, the need to reform the agriculture sector cannot be over emphasize as stated in a recommendation by Fatokun, I.A (2009) in his thesis titled Globalization and Sustainable Development (A Case Study of Nigeria).
In an attempt not to waste too much words, agriculture is important to Nigeria economy development in the following areas:
A shift in monoculture economy i.e. diversifying from over reliance on crude oil especially at a time when the price plummet which is becoming to tell on the economy.
Provision of food and raw materials through development of agriculture to the Nigeria teaming population and the development of the manufacturing sector respectively. Which in turn will also discourage heavy dependence on importation.
Agriculture sector is also capable of reducing the country's level of unemployment on the account that the sector is labour intensive.
Agriculture will also curb the effect of rural-urban migration which will help to decongest the urban areas and make life easier for people both in the rural or urban area.
Agriculture will also help the government to make more effort in developing the degrading infrastructural facilities throughout the nation in attempt to ease movement of goods from one location to the other, likewise for preservation of Agricultural output.
Development of the Agriculture sector will also help in improving other sectors and thereby curbing the level of the existing corruption in the country.
The list of the importance of Agriculture to Nigeria economy is endless. Therefore, the bulk of the work lies in the hands of the government and would be entrepreneurs to take advantage of the enormous benefit that is in the Agriculture Sector.
The reason is simple, it will attract Foreign Direct Investment, it will reduce poverty, it will also reduce the country level of unemployment, it will reduce government reliance on crude oil, it will also help to strengthen the Naira against Dollar through Favorable Balance of Payment, the railway lines could also be revamped to ease movement of Agriculture produce and people alike.
In general, development of Nigeria Agriculture sector may also help to reduce the level of corruption in the country.