Agriculture has been the mainstay of any country in West Africa, especially Nigeria and Ghana. Agriculture, to be very honest, is not just about food production; includes animal husbandry, forestry, botany, horticulture, etc. The agricultural sector has long been the main economic backbone of most West African nations, most specifically Nigeria before the discovery of so-called liquid gold (crude oil).
It is a truism that man and animal cannot survive without food, clothing and shelter. We will see discuss here how agriculture has helped to offer the panacea to these. In this sense, it is appropriate to define what Agriculture means in such a way that a layman can understand it. It is defined as the art and science of producing crops and raising animals for the use of man. Some of its branches I mentioned earlier. The fact is that the impacts of agriculture in West Africa, to be quite frank, cannot be overemphasized. The sector offers employment opportunities in many different ways for people. Improve your standard of living; it provides raw materials for industries, most especially manufacturing industries; provision of shelter and clothing. Agriculture is also a viable source of foreign exchange.
One thing that puzzles me is that most of these West African countries, especially Nigeria, which prides itself on being one of the world’s agricultural giants, are now enjoying the euphoria of the past. The discovery of oil in Nigeria I will describe as a course in agriculture. Farming practices have been at an all time low; we no longer recognize that it is the basis for even the technological advances we pursue today. Nigeria, for example, has been blindfolded by oil fortunes; we depend so much on oil that we can’t even explore prospective areas. It is this over-reliance on oil that is creating major problems in Nigeria today.
The truth is that any nation that is interested in development must be ready to take agriculture very seriously. This is because it is the precursor that is needed for said nation to feature in future trailers. I hereby advise the Nigerian government to retrace its steps and give proper priorities to agriculture. You see, Nigeria has a lot of untapped potential in terms of natural resources. We have a large land mass in the northern part of the country and thick rainforest in the south. These are natural endowments that the country can take advantage of to obtain better results. With all these suggestions in mind, I believe that the country can diversify and maximize its potential towards further development and a better life for citizens.