Agriculture involves the practice of farming, which includes the cultivation of the soil to grow crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products. Agriculture is the backbone of the society; the food comes from agriculture, the clothes come from wool which is obtained from animals, even the source of livelihood in the form of employment for others comes from agriculture.
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1. source of Livelihood
The main source of livelihood of many people is agriculture. The number of people who rely directly on agriculture as a mean of living is approximately 70%. In advanced countries, the ratio is small. Like in USA, the ratio is 4%, in Australia, it is about 16 %. This high proportion is because the non-agricultural activities have not been developed to absorb the rapidly growing population.
2. Agriculture supplies Food and Fodder
Agriculture provides fodder for livestock such as cows. Cows in return provide milk to the human beings. Agriculture also meets the food requirements of people. And since food is a basic need, agriculture then becomes a huge factor in peoples’ survival.
3.Source of raw materials
Agriculture is the source of raw materials to the leading industries such as textiles, sugar, tobacco, edible and non-edible oils. All these industries depend directly on agriculture. Industries dealing in fruits and vegetable processing, rice husking also depend on agriculture for their raw materials.
According to a UN [United Nations] survey, the industries with raw materials from agricultural products accounted for 50 percent of the value added and 64 percent of all jobs in the industrial sector.
4. Offers great employment opportunities
Agriculture provides jobs to people both directly and indirectly.
Direct jobs: Agriculture provides direct employment for farmers, daily wage workers. It also provides jobs for technicians operating machines like tractors, harvester, and farm cutting machines.
Indirect jobs: Agriculture provides indirect employment to scientists in seed production, manufacturers of pesticides, fertilizers and even farm machines.
With the fast-growing population and unemployment rate going high, agriculture is now becoming more significant because it provides more employment and thus improving the economy of a country.
5. It promotes International trade
Agriculture promotes international trade. Agricultural products such as tea, tobacco, coffee, rice comprise some of the major items of export that a country that depend on agriculture exports. If there’s smooth agricultural development, imports are reduced while export increases. This helps to reduce the country’s unfavorable balance of payment as well as saving on foreign exchange. This amount can be used to import other essential raw materials, machinery that is important for the economic growth of a country.
6. Economic growth
Agriculture promotes the economic growth because it provides job opportunities to many people and therefore improving their living standards. The rapid growth rate in agriculture sector gives progressive outlook and room for development. And consequently, it helps to create a proper atmosphere for the general economic development of the economy.