MEANING OF AGRICULTURE
Agriculture can be defined as the production of crops, animals, fishes and forest resources for the consumption and other benefit of human. It is a dominant occupation which employs about 65-70% of the total population of West Africa.
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COMPONENTS OF AGRICULTURE
Agriculture is made up of the following-
- Live stock
- Crop production
This involves rearing of domestic animal, e.g pigs, cattle, horses, donkeys, goats, sheep, e.t.c. Most of these animals are reared to satisfy domestic consumption.
It concerns the preservation of economic trees or plant. Also, it involves the extraction of various forms of resources associated with forest e.g furniture, plywood, boat, manufacturing of papers, electric pools, e.t.c.these are some of the things we derive from plant preservation.
It involves cultivation of various crops. Crops are divided into two categories: food crops and cash crops.
- Food Crops: these are majorly for consumption e.g maize, rice, beans, coco yams, yam, tomatoes, corn, millet e.t.c.
- Cash Crops: these are meant for sale either locally or export. E.g cocoa, palm oil, rubber, palm kernels, cotton, groundnut, e.t.c.
This involves breeding and catching of fishes from the rivers for human consumption. it constitutes major occupation of people that reside in the riverine area.
SYSTEM OF AGRICULTURE
Systems of agricultural production include:
- Plantation farming
- Peasant farming
- Cooperative farming
- Mechanized farming
It involves the use of large estate of land permanently planted with economic or commercial crops. Examples of crops planted on plantation farming include: sugar, cotton, rubber, sugar cane, tobacco, e.t.c. In plantation farming, land could be owned by the government, private individual, or corporate bodies.
This is also known as subsistence agriculture. It involves cultivation on a small scale (acres of land). Land in this situation is often owned communally and they employ mainly their own family labour. The size of land used by peasant farmers is majorly determined by the size of their family members and their family land. Rudimentary farming equipment such as cutlasses, axes, hoes, e.t.c.which are crude in nature are usually used in peasant farming.
In this nature of farming, farmers come together to form a sort of association or union. This form of union is adopted in other to obtain loans and aids from government, in order to hire or purchase farming equipments.
This involves the extensive use of machine and other types of advanced mechanical devices in agricultural production. It ensures large scale production because the use of human labour is replaced with that of machines. E.g. harvesters, ploughs, tractors. e.t.c. this form of farming has not been popularized in west Africa.
IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURE IN WEST AFRICA
- Source of raw materials
- Provision of food
- Provision of employment
- Creation of market for industrial product
- Source of income
- Source of Labour for industries
PROBLEMS OF AGRICULTURE IN WEST AFRICA
- Lack of medical facilities
- Use of crude implement
- Lack of credit facilities
- Lack of storage facilities
- Poor transportation
- Problem of land tenure system
- Pests and diseases
- Natural disaster
SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEMS OF AGRICULTURE
- Granting of credit facilities to farmers
- Improvement of transportation system
- Discouraging migration
- Mechanization of agriculture
- Effective control of pest and diseases
- Provision of medical facilities
- The use of research
- Use of irrigation
- Control of erosion
GENERAL EVALUATION QUESTIONS
- What is trade by barter?
- Highlight the problems posed by trade by barter.
- What is partnership?
- Explain the function of money as the i store of value ii measure of values
- Give three reasons why primary production pre-dominates in developing countries.
- Define agriculture.
- State the three component of agriculture
- Define mechanized farming
- List and explain two component of agriculture.
- List seven problems of agriculture
- List and explain three ways of how to solve the problems of agriculture in west Africa.
- Use of crude implement is a problem of ____ (a) transportation (b) agriculture (c) politics (d) environment.
- Which of these is a component of Agriculture? (a) education (b) fishing (c) cutlass (d) tractor.
- Subsistence agriculture is another name for (a) mechanized (b) plantation (c) peasant (d) cooperative farming.
- Rubber and cotton are examples of ____ crops (a) food (b) cash (c) plantation (d) consumer.
- Poverty is a problem of agriculture (a) false (b) true (c) none (d) indifference
- What do you understand by the term Agriculture
- List and explain seven importance of Agriculture in West Africa.