For man to survive, there are certain necessities that greet his everyday life, bringing wants to keep him alive and to be comfortable. In this regard, it becomes expedient that his environment is ample enough in providing his daily needs or channeling means for him to access such needs. It is no gainsaying that one of the prime ways of sustaining a population is to have people internally venture into the production of their primary needs.
The basic needs of humans have been identified as food, clothing and shelter. This trio are to a large extent, products of agricultural inputs. Agriculture is the rearing and/or cultivation of animals, plants and other life forms for food, fibre, biofuel, drugs and other products used to sustain and enhance human life. Scholars have been able to identify the benefits of agriculture on micro- and macro-scale to include the primary, secondary and tertiary needs of man.
Firstly, agriculture as a source of food. Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is the prime need of humans and is very essential for survival. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals.
Secondly, as a source of clothing. Clothing is fibre and textile material worn on the body. The wearing of clothing is mostly restricted to human beings and is a feature of nearly all human societies. It can serve as protection from the odds of the weather, and can enhance safety during risk related activities such as hiking and cooking.
Thirdly, agriculture as a source of shelter. Shelter includes any structure or building that provides cover from weather or protection against danger.
Other benefits of Agriculture include as sources of income and foreign exchange, raw material for industries, creation of employment opportunities, energy and fuel as well as contributing to the aesthetic values of the environment. For a society to thrive, it must be self-sufficient in satisfying the basic needs of the people.
However, other than the basic needs of the people, other necessities and luxuries of humans contribute to the economic growth of the community. This can be well amplified and stabilized in a productive terrain. The increase in the market value of goods and services of an economy over time coupled with the sustained, concerted actions of policy makers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of the people born out of sufficiency of the community to provide for its people is very fundamental and should serve as the prime focus of leadership in any society.
This is a measure of ensuring that the welfare of a people is given utmost priority. By this, the people are empowered to provide for themselves and have the essential resources to meet their needs readily available and accessible.
A community where the land is tilled sustainably to provide for the present and future generation will thus have little level of dependence on neighbouring communities and would rather host the demands of others. This would enhance the people to have their hands on board to contribute to the growth of the state, the development of the nation and uplifting of the name and image of our society in diaspora. In this respect, the government and other agencies and organizations should contribute their quota in facilitating agricultural operations in the society. This would help empower the people and enrich the nation.
Necessity beckons that the people put in their might, skills, knowledge and experience in making use of the land resources available so as to improve the standard of living of all and sundry in the nation. Towards this, it is not out of place to choose leaders who have zeal, knowledge and understanding of the importance of agriculture in community building and are thus set to encourage local production of food and other agricultural produces.
ODEMUYIWA Suliat Abike (Iwalewa)