Agriculture has been the mainstay of any West African Country, especially Nigeria and Ghana. Agriculture, to be very candid, is not only about food production; it includes rearing of animals, forestry, botany, horticulture and so on. The agricultural sector for a very long time has been the major economic backbone of most West African nations, very specifically Nigeria before the discovery of the so called liquid gold (crude oil).
It is a truism that man and animal cannot survive without food, clothes and shelter. We shall see discuss here how Agriculture has assisted in proffering panacea to these. In this regard, the proper thing to do is define what Agriculture means in such a manner that a lay man can understand. It is defined as an art and science of producing crops and rearing of animals for man use. Some of its branches I mentioned earlier on. The fact is the impacts of Agriculture on West Africa, to be very candid cannot be over-emphasized. The sector provides employment opportunities in many different ways for people. It improves their living standard; it provides raw materials for industries, most especially the manufacturing industries; provision of shelters and clothing. Agriculture is also a viable source of foreign exchange.
One thing that baffles me is that most of these West African countries especially Nigeria that prides itself as one of the Agricultural giants in the world now bask in the euphoria of the past. The discovery of oil in Nigeria I will describe as a curse to Agriculture. The practices of Agriculture have been at the lower ebb; we no longer recognize that it is the bedrock of even technological advancements that we run after today. Nigeria for instance has been blindfolded by the oil fortunes; we are so much dependent on oil that we cannot even explore prospective areas. It is this over dependence on oil that is creating major problems in Nigeria today.
The truth is 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 such nation to feature in future advancements. I will hereby advise Nigerian government to retrace its steps back and accord the appropriate priorities to Agriculture. You see, Nigeria has a lot of untapped potentials in terms of natural resources. We have vast land mass in the northern part of the country and the thick rain forest in the south. These are natural endowments that the country can harness for better results. With all these suggestions in mind, I believe the country can be able to diversify and maximize its potentials towards greater developments and better life for citizens.