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Lesson 10, Topic 1
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Agriculture (Components of Agriculture)

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Agriculture is simply defined as the production of crops and rearing of animals for man’s use. It is the deliberate effort made by man to till the soil, cultivate crops, and rear animals for food and other purposes. Agriculture is one of the most important sectors of the economy of many West African countries. It makes up about 60 – 70 percent of the working population of West African countries.

Components / Structure of Agriculture

1. Crop Production: This is the branch of agriculture which is concerned mainly with the cultivation of crops. Crop production is grouped into two major categories: Food crop and cash crop.

  • Food crops are cultivated mainly for consumption. Examples of food crops include rice, maize, groundnut, yam etc. 
  • Cash crops are cultivated mainly for sale examples are cocoa, orange, rubber, cotton,  palm oil, palm kernel, groundnut, etc.

2. Livestock Farming: This type of agriculture involves the rearing and processing of animals either for consumption or for sale. Livestock includes goat, sheep, pig, cattle, horses, donkeys, rabbits, snail, etc. These animals are reared for many purposes.

3. Forestry: This is concerned with the planting, tending, and managing of forests, including the use of their products. Most of the trees found in the forest are either growing naturally or planted for specific purposes. Some common trees usually found in forests are the iroko, obeche, mahogany, ebony, opepe, afara, teak, etc. A forest is important for the provision of food fuel, medical herbs, wildlife, foreign exchange, time, and pulp for making paper.

4. Fishing: It involves breeding and catching fishes from rivers for human consumption. Fishing constitutes a major occupation of riverine people. Fishing provides food, employment, income, and foreign exchange to many nations especially when fishes are exported to other countries.


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