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INTRODUCTION TO AGRICULTURE: MEANING, BRANCHES AND IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Science

MEANING OF AGRICULTURE

Agriculture is the art and science (or management) that deals with the cultivation of crops and the rearing of animals for man’s use. This means, it refers to all the activities involving cultivation of soil for the production of crops and livestock management to the distribution and marketing of the plant and animal products.

 

The term, agriculture, is derived from two Latin words which are:

By this, agriculture means field cultivation. However, this is not a complete definition of agriculture since agriculture also has to do withanimal production.

EVALUATION QUESTION

  1. Define Agriculture.
  2. State the two Latin words from which the term Agriculture is derived from and their meanings.

 

BRANCHES OF AGRICULTURE

The branches of Agricultureinclude the following:

1.Animal Science/Animal Husbandry/Animal Production: Animal Science ensures the

efficient and effective management of farm animals. It ensures better animal productivity.

  1. Veterinary Medicine/Animal Health: Veterinary medicine providesa better

health management for farm animals.It ensures the control of pests, parasites and

diseases of farm animals.

  1. Soil Science:Soil science ensures the maintenance of soil fertility, better soil

classification and mapping. It also helps in erosion control, soil moisture conservation

and application of appropriate fertilizer for different soil types.

  1. Crop Production/Crop Science: Crop production helps in effective crop

management practices, development of better planting materials, correct crop spacing,

etc. The aspects of crop production include: Agronomy, Crop Pathology and Entomology.

  1. Agricultural Economics and Farm Management: It ensures the effective management

of agricultural resources, promotes agricultural marketing and good farm accounting.

  1. Agricultural Engineering: It promotes the mechanization of farm operations, development

of processing and storage equipment and also maintenance of farm tools and equipment.

  1. Agricultural Extension and Education: It promotes the training anddissemination

of agricultural information to farmers, and also link farmers to researchers.

  1. Forestry and Wildlife Conservation: It promotes the conservation of forest products,

wildlife and also creation of micro climate.

  1. Fishery: It promotes the production of fish, its management, processing and other fishing

Practices.

  1. Apiculture/Bee Farming: It promotes the production of honey for local consumption/uses.
  2. Heliculture/Snailry: It involves the production of snails for consumption as a source

of protein and minerals.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  1. Define these aspects of crop science:

(a) Agronomy  (b) Crop Pathology  (c) Enthomology

  1. State three functions of: (a) Veterinary Medicine (b) Agricultural Extension
  2. What are agro-based industries?

 

IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURE

  1. PROVISION OF FOOD: – Agriculture provides food such as maize, rice, yam, vegetables, fruits, meat, and milk, either in fresh form or processed form for man and farm animals.
  2. SOURCE OF MATERIALS FOR CLOTHING: Agriculture providesfibre and cotton for textile production. It also provides hides and skin for clothing, shoes, belts, caps, and bags.
  3. PROVISION OF MATERIALS FOR SHELTER AND FURNITURE:Agriculture provides timber for making building materials such as doors, windows, roofs, poles e. t. c. Timber is also used for making furniture such as shelves, cabinets, tables, chairs e. t. c.
  4. PROVISION OF INCOME: – Agriculture generates income for farmers and farm labour through sales of plants and animal produce and wages or salaries.
  5. EMPLOYMENT FOR THE WORKING POPULATION: – Agriculture and other agro-based industries provide employment for farmers, farm workers and other people who engage in agricultural finance and marketing.
  6. PROVISION OF RAW MATERIALS FOR INDUSTRIES: – Agriculture provides raw materials for agro-based industries (industries which depend on agriculture for their raw-materials). It provides cotton and wool for textile industries, cocoa, coffee, tea and kola nut for beverage industries, rubber latex for tyres and foams industries e.t.c.
  7. SOURCES OF FOREIGN EXCHANGE: – Agriculture contributes significantly to foreign exchange earning in Nigeria through the export of cocoa, coffee, groundnut, cotton, palm produce, timber e. t. c. to other countries.
  8. PROVISION OF MARKET FOR INDUSTRIAL GOODS:Finished products from agro-allied industries such as fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, agro-pharmaceutical drugs, farm tools, machines as well as storage and processing facilities are used in agricultural sector.
  9. DEVELOPMENT OF RURAL AREAS: – Agriculture brings about development in rural areas as social amenities such as good roads, electricity, pipe-borne water, schools and hospitals are provided where commercial agriculture exists.
  10. PROVISION OF FACILITIES FOF RECREATION AND TOURISM: – Agriculture leads to the establishment of game reserves. It also provides horse for horse racing and polo.

 

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  1. Outline five importance of agriculture.
  2. Give five examples of agro-based industries
  3. State five agricultural raw materials and the industries that use them.

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS

  1. What is Agriculture?
  2. List and define eight branches of Agriculture.
  3. What are agro-allied industries? State five examples of them.
  4. State five Agricultural raw materials and the industries that use them.
  5. State ten relevance of agriculture.
  6. Define these aspects of crop science:

(a) Agronomy  (b) Crop Pathology  (c) Enthomology

 

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. The two Latin words: “Ager” and “Cultura” means ___ and ___ respectively.
  2. animal/rearing B. cultivation/field C. field/cultivation  D. water/cultivation
  3. The study of insect pests is known as__ A. Agronomy B. Entomology C. Pathology
  4. Zoology
  5. The study of diseases attacking crops and animals is known as__ A. Agronomy
  6. Entomology C. Pathology      D. Zoology
  7. Which of these is the most important reason for practicing agriculture? A. Clothing
  8. Food C. Shelter D. Income
  9. All these are agro-based industries except….. industry A. soap B. textile  C. electronics
  10. paper

THEORY

  1. (a) Define Agriculture

(b) State ten importance of agriculture

  1. List and define ten branches of agriculture.

 

See also

LIVESTOCK MANAGEMENT

LIVESTOCK MANAGEMENT

ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY

REPRODUCTION IN FARM ANIMALS

REPRODUCTION IN FARM ANIMALS

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