importance of agriculture to the economy

person in brown shorts watering the plants

Agriculture is defined as the science and art of growing crops and rearing livestock

Importance of agriculture

  • Provision of employment opportunities
  • Earns a country foreign exchange through exports
  • Provides raw materials for industries
  • Stimulates the development of infrastructure
  • Provides income to farmers and raise their living standard
  • Provides market for industries products e.g. farm input and machinery

Factors that influence Agricultural activities

Climatic factors

Different crops for example require varying limits of rainfall, humidity and temperature.

Temperature affects crops maturity, ripening of fruits and determines soil moisture content as well as influences the rate of photosynthesis and transpiration.

Crops such as cocoa, oil palm require high relative humidity.


Crops like tea, coffee do well in higher altitude about 1525m while rice, cotton, sugarcane require lower altitudes.

Lowland eases cultivation and mechanization of agriculture.


Different crops require different types of soil in terms of mineral composition and drainage.

Biotic factors

The presence of and/ or absence of parasitic plants, insect pests and disease largely influence the type of agriculture.

Social factors

The type of farming practiced depends on the culture of the farmers concerned e.g. Systems of land ownership and inheritance have led to uneconomical subdivision of land limiting extensive farming.

Religion e.g. pigs not kept /eaten by Muslims, Hindus and Jews

Traditional diet – some crops are traditionally grown e.g. bananas
–Uganda, yams –Nigeria.

Certain cultures limit use of modern technology in farming.

Economic factors

Such as operational costs of agriculture, marketing expenses, price fluctuations, government policy (subsidies), and international agreements on a quota system.