This article is extracted from the review of literature of the research project, order for complete project.
The term “Agriculture” has been subjected to
different definitions by various experts. As a result Ighodo (1984:
20) defined agriculture as the art and science of the cultivation of
crops and rearing of animals for man’s use. He also emphasized that
agriculture is also the production of fibres for industries, processing
of farm produce, packaging and marketing of farm products. This
definition is quite embracing as it covers all activities that ensure
man’s survival. However, the aspect of research and training that is
so vital in production was conspicuously missing in the definition.
In order to fill this gap, Ogwuma (1985: 5-8) defines agriculture
as production of field crops, forestry, fishing and livestock, research
and training of extension workers.
Production is only complete when it gets to the final consumers.
It is in response to this economic doctrine that Anyanwu (1987:102)
defined agriculture as involving cultivation of land, raising and
rearing of animals for the purpose of providing food for man, feed for
animals and raw materials for industries. It involves forestry,
fishing, processing and marketing of these agricultural products.
Komolafe (1985), Adegoye (1985) and Adubi (2000) defined
agriculture as the cultivation of soil for crop production and of
looking after animals to produce better meat and other food products and
also a process by which farm products are sold.
Simon Kuznet (1973) defined economic growth as a long term rise in
the capacity to supply increasingly diverse economic goods to its
population. It entails a sustainable rise in national output which is a
manifestation of economic growth.
To Anyanwu (1997), the role of agriculture in transforming both
the social and economic framework of an economy cannot be
over-emphasized. In effect, it has been the main source of gainful
employment from which the nation can feed its teeming population,
providing the nation’s industries with local raw materials and as a
reliable source of government revenue.
According to Adegoye and Dittah (1985),
agricultural output can increase the level of income of farmers and the
people. They said what constitutes the level of agricultural output
will vary with the stage of economic development of a country.
For a purely subsistence economy, agricultural
development will occur but not like in a fully developed economy. If
there is enough food for the people and a marketable surplus is
produced, it will increase the income of the peasants. The increased
income generated would so provide means for them to purchase other
necessities of life, which they cannot produce themselves. By this
means, the standard of living of the peasants will improve and
unemployment, underdevelopment will be reduced.
They stated that a fully developed economy,
especially in agricultural sector, means increase in the production of
export crops with an improvement in the quantity and grades of such
export crops. For a country that has started to industrialize,
agricultural output will be said to have acquired growth if agriculture
can supply enough raw materials to the agro-allied industries.
Reynolds (1975: 215), revealed that agricultural development can
promote the economic development by increasing the supply of food
available for domestic consumption and releasing the labour needed for
industrial employment. According to him, agricultural development can
promote economic development of underdeveloped countries in four
i) By increasing the supply of food available
for domestic consumption and releasing labour needed for industrial
ii) By enlarging the size of the domestic market for the manufacturing sector.
iii) By increasing the supply of domestic savings and
iv) By providing foreign exchange earned by the agricultural exports.
Omawale and Rodriguez (1975) opined that for most
developing countries, agriculture has been assigned an important role
in national development. To them, agriculture has been seen as a
means of reducing dependence on certain importations, containing food
price increases, earning foreign exchange, absorbing many new entrants
to the labour market and increasing farm incomes at times of severe
unemployment and rural poverty.
According to J. C. Anyanwu, A. Oyefusi, H. Oaikhenan and F. A.
Dimowo (1997), the role of agriculture in transforming both the social
and economic framework of an economy cannot be over-emphasized. It is a
source of food and raw materials for the industrial sector, it is also
essential for expansion of employment opportunity, for reduction of
poverty and improvement of income distribution, also for speeding up
industrialization and easing the pressure on Balance of Payment. In
effect, it has been the source of gainful employment from which the
nation can feed its teeming population, providing the nation’s
industries with local raw materials and as a reliable source of