Agriculture is the mainstay of any economy in the world. In an ideal system, agriculture is the sector that provides food for its people, increase the standard of living of its populace and the only sector that serves as raw materials to growing industries and has the highest number of employment in the country.
In Nigeria for instance, over 70% of the population are gainfully employed in agriculture. You can imagine how bad it would be without agriculture. Besides, hunger, starvation, unemployment and other economic woes would be the order of the day making the citizens and our industries to suffer without agriculture.
What steps should the government take to promote the importance of agriculture in Nigeria? The following steps should be taken.
- To conserve our foreign earnings: On yearly basis, millions and billions of dollars are spent on the importation of some agricultural items like rice, beans, wheat, flour, sugar and other countries agricultural products in Nigeria. The promotion of agriculture in Nigeria therefore will boost food for our people and reduce foreign spending.
- Unemployment rate will be reduced in the country as many Nigerians will be employed in the agricultural sector. For instance agriculture is responsible for over 70% employment in Nigeria today.
- There will be enough food to feed the growing population as well as agricultural raw materials to serve our industries in the country. The Itakpe iron ore with large deposits of (iron ore) as raw materials is supposed to serve the Ajaokuta Steel Complex in Kogi State, is a good example.
- The promotion of agriculture in Nigeria will also help to attract foreign investors into the country. This will increase and expand the number of industries, create jobs for our teaming youths in the country and increase foreign earnings.
- The promotion of agriculture in Nigeria will also help to discourage rural urban drift and encourage the youths to go into agriculture. For instance, fishery, rice farming, cassava planting and others will remove the teaming youths from the streets. Again, crime waves will drop to it barest minimum, giving way to social, economic and political development in Nigeria.
However, to achieve all of the above, the following should be observed.
- Mechanized Farming: The government of Nigeria should embark on mechanized farming as it is practiced in most countries of the world. We should move from paper agriculture to real practical farming by cultivating large hectares of land. This will bring about increase in food production, feed our growing industries, generate employment and earn local and foreign earnings for our country.
- Agriculture should be made compulsory for all whether in science or Arts discipline. This will help to promote agriculture in schools for large scale production of food for our teaming populace. It will also make school leavers and graduates to become vocationally trained and independent.
- The government should also come up with incentives for farmers in the form of grants, provision of modern farming equipments and fertilizers should be given freely or at a reduced rate to encourage young able-bodied men and women to go into agriculture.
- The government should as well set up bank of agriculture. This will be purely a financial institution to grant interest free loan to farmers and youths in the country. This will in no small way promote agriculture in Nigeria.
In conclusion, we must rise up to the challenges presently faced by our country in agriculture and adopt the above measures so that the country can experience breakthrough in our economic, social and political development in Nigeria. We all, must be involved in the nation building.
Readers should please see the above work as a guide or technique in answering WAEC and NECO question of this kind or any related topic.