Agriculture is the production of crops and rearing of animals for man’s use. Agriculture can also be seen as man’s way of obtaining food from plants and animals alive. Over the years, man used to wonder the earth planting trees and seeds which carefully developed into fruits and some developed into edible food crops.
There are basically two types of agriculture which are namely commercial and substantial agriculture. Commercial agriculture as the name suggests is the process of growing plants and animals for the purpose of trade while substantial agriculture is the process of growing ( rearing) plants and animals for one’s immediate family use only. Commercial agriculture involves farming on a very large scale for trade while substantial agriculture is mainly on a small scale.
As the practice of growing plants and animals began to produce good result, a lot of people started acquiring farm lands to also practice the act. So far, the results have been generally appreciated, adopted and widely accepted.
Agriculture has been able to sustain the world’s population which is increasing by the day. With the production of food and at the event of technology, many food products have been transformed to different foods from the same crops or food. For example, tomato which was only used to make stew have now been used to make ketchup. Corn which was grounded and used to make native swallow have now been used to produce corn flakes which is now a cereal.
Business opportunities in Agriculture
There are numerous business opportunities in agriculture which everyone can partake in; not just to make profit but also to help in improving the agricultural sector and increase the gross domestic profit (National income). Some of these opportunities are:
- Poultry farming:
This is one of the most profitable business opportunity in the Agricultural sector. This is the rearing of domesticated birds like geese, chicken, ducks, turkey for their meat or egg for human consumption. This is a quick way to make good money because of the quick maturing of the birds. There is absolutely no need to bother one’s self on where to market their poultry produce because of the high demand for the meat and egg. The demand for poultry meat and egg is relatively high and as such, profit is sure and guaranteed.
- Aquaculture and fishery:
Aquaculture and fish farming is one of the businesses in agriculture that is underrated and overlooked. The demand for fish is relatively high because of its low cholesterol protein and its nutrient. Engaging in fish farming will bring in high profit because the demand for fish is exceeding the available supply. So don’t stress yourself about profit and the marketing strategy; millions are being made every day from aquaculture.
- Rice Farming:
Nigeria is the largest producers of Rice and largest consumers of rice in West Africa. Going in to the business of rice farming is going to be very successful not just because it is lucrative but also because it is a fast and sure way to make money from Agriculture. The profit from rice farming is much because as the largest producer of rice; the rice produced will be consumed not just in Nigeria but also in Africa and the world at large. Exporting rice to other countries will keep the business smooth and flowing and profit is high and guaranteed. Consumption of rice is very high so I advise you go into rice farming as soon as possible so that you won’t be left out of its profit.
- Livestock farming and livestock feed production:
Livestock farming is the rearing of livestock mainly for the purpose of producing egg, meat, milk and also their raw materials like wool, hides and skin, leather. Some of the livestock reared are cow, goat and sheep etcetera. Rearing of livestock is so far the most tedious but lucrative opportunity in the agricultural sector. The animals need to be properly cared for; the demand for meat (beef) is never ending. Meat is consumed on a daily basis and is used for cooking; making the food tasty.
Producing the feed for the livestock will also yield interest because you don’t have to worry about buying their feed and you can also sell their feed to other livestock farmers who engage only in the rearing of these animals.
The raw materials gotten can also be sold to other production industries in other sectors of the economy. As earlier stated above, you don’t need to worry about the marketing strategy because the demand for meat, egg, milk and raw materials is high. It is necessary to know that livestock farming and livestock feed production is tedious but yields high profit.
Benefits of Agriculture
Generally, the benefits and advantages of agriculture cannot be over emphasized as they are very visible in today’s society worldwide. One can go ahead to say that they are no disappointments when it comes to the production of food for consumption.
The benefits are numerous but I have briefly stated and explained a few below:
- Improves nutrition and health:
Agriculture has improved the nutrition and health of the people; many crops and cash crops are rich in Micronutrients. These crops have improved vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, iron and zinc which are necessary and good for growth. It helps the consumers to develop and grow well and as well it improves the diet of the consumer.
- Supply of food and source of livelihood:
It is commonly known that agriculture is the main source of livelihood in the world today. About 80% depend on agricultural produce as food supply. Cow provides milk for human consumption; it is also a source of meat for consumption. Other farm animals like goat, poultry birds and pig etcetera supply various food items for consumption. The poultry birds supply meat and egg, the goat is also a source of meat and the pig supply pork for consumption. Farm animals are usually reared for the farm produce.
- Economic development and contribution to national revenue:
Agriculture contributes greatly to the revenue of a nation. Many countries of the world depend on agriculture as a source of national income and economic development. It employs many people which results in economic development and tremendous increase in the national income level and as well leads to the improvement in the standard of living. It has helped to contribute generally to the economy of the country from the import and export of food. Many countries record a large export profit from the amount of food (crops) sold to other countries; this has helped to increase the country’s gross domestic profit.
- Creates employment opportunities:
Due to the fast growing population in developing countries, there is high rate of unemployment. Agriculture will provide more employment opportunities for the labour force. Some of these employment opportunities come from other agricultural activities in the agricultural sector. Some of these activities are drainage system, construction of irrigation schemes, rearing of plants and animals and so on.
- Source of raw materials:
Many industries get their raw materials from agriculture. Some of these raw materials are jute fabric, sugar, cotton, tobacco, hides and skin etcetera. Most of these raw materials gotten are used in production in other sectors of the economy.
- Farmers improve their communities:
This has been a positive development in agriculture is the rapid expansion of farmers markets, farmers market allow small farmers to interact directly with consumers. The food system remains with the local economy by being locally produced and eliminates the need for long distance transportation.
Other importance/ benefits of agriculture are briefly stated below:
- Consumers benefits from healthier food options and farmers benefits from new opportunities to sell their crops. Consumers and their children learn firsthand from farmers about products and how they are raised.
- Organic farmers work to improve soil fertility by rotating crop using crops and tilling the soil. These methods encourage biodiversity in crops maintain more natural environments and around farms and create habitats for flora and fauna.
- Sustainable farming methods creates better food diversity, preserve water with more efficient facilities and drought tolerant crop and encourage better livestock health through this farmers represent a front line to defend against the risk of climate change.
10.Agriculture has also helped to enhance social life and activities through the event of technology, grapes have been used to make wine which is served at events and also various foods made available at events.
Finally, the benefits of agriculture can only increase if more efforts are been channelled towards aiding the farmers with the few challenges weighing his production of foods. Farmers should be given enough capital to liquidate the process of agriculture and supported with various tools, implements and the right facilities.
With all these done, Agriculture will be the only solution to grow a healthy nation.