Agriculture is the creation of feed, food, and other products by methodical growing and harvesting of plants, animals, as well as, other forms of life. It plays a significant function in human civilization. Until the industrial insurgency, agriculture functioned as the mode of revenue for most people in different countries. The techniques of agriculture have continued to change with the advancement in global population.
On the other hand, animal husbandry is rapidly changing the financial system of several countries, therefore, contributing significantly in their economy. Livestock provides improved financial stability to the poor population. It generates immense employment prospects in livestock production. Global consumption of milk and meat continues to grow and, especially, in developing countries.
For the world’s poorest nations, the key to transitioning to a faster growing and more diversified economy is being able to reduce poverty. Agriculture has allowed such countries to make the first steps on to the prosperity ladder. It is almost impossible to achieve poverty reduction without primarily increasing agricultural productivity, (Valdés, & Bresciani, 2007).
In starting agriculture and animal husbandry in a small country, various agencies and government ministries should be involved in offering rural services. Some of these services involve those that would directly serve the would- be farmers, and those believed to be of national strategic importance. These services include those that support agricultural production like finances, marketing, extension services and transportation of the farm inputs. They also include those that offer general well being and sustenance of the population, such as, retail establishments, social services and clinics.
Provision of services is traditionally the liability of the government and other institutions, such as banks. Costs of starting up a farm are of key importance, and, therefore, financial institutions should chip in to offer credit facilities and enable the farmers to meet all expenses required in setting up their agricultural units. Services that directly encourage agricultural production and animal husbandry are connected to particular desires of individual farmers, as well as, their farms. Farmers would wish to have access to credit, agricultural implements, extension services, fertilizers, seeds and steady markets for their produce.
For a country to set up agricultural unit and animal husbandry, the development strategies must aim at realizing the connection between growths in the wider economy, and increasing of the agricultural productivity. Thus, some principles should be followed:-
Reflecting the stage of the country’s development – it is justifiable for a government to provide clear precedence to agriculture when devoting public money, then play a proactive role to facilitate and stimulate agricultural development to a more diversified economic growth.
Focus on market opportunities and demands because for poor countries like in Africa, domestic food markets are the most rapid developing sources of demand for agriculture.
Giving priority to strategies devised to conquer the most considerable obstacles to increased employment and productivity. In small countries, this may mean having to focus on small scale, and labor intensive farming.
Fill agricultural finance gap – a major obstacle to most poor farmers in small countries is limited access to finance, and especially short term seasonal credit. Financial providers are frequently reluctant to meet farmers’ credit needs, forcing them to seek alternative ways.
Conducting agricultural research – this involves availing technology and knowledge to farmers, in order to have access to any agricultural or animal husbandry information that could benefit them.
Access to land should be improved – in most countries, land remains inequitable, which reduce agriculture’s contribution to poverty drop.
Starting farming or animal husbandry also calls for an assessment of the population, and the type of agricultural or other activities undertaken in the region. In most poor states, critical challenges include access roads, water, marketing of the farmers’ inputs, and also credit facilities. Providing available markets for farmer’s products ensures that there is no waste of products, in addition to improving their lives, economically. Failure to have a ready market can result to putting pressure on the peasant farmers, through offering low prices for the products and goods harvested.
There is economic importance in providing means to start agriculture and animal husbandry, because an increase in agricultural productivity increases the sum of disposable income, and especially, in rural areas. Credit facilities for farmers help them to have access to agricultural items like seeds, fertilizer and also farm implements. Once they borrow from the financial institutions, they are required to pay progressively at reduced interest rates, once they sell their produce. Farming also generates more agricultural employment opportunities, therefore, reducing the relocation from rural to urban regions, (Wanmali, & Zamchiya, 1992).
Agriculture and animal husbandry are essential to a country’s efforts to minimize global poverty. Agriculture’s significance to poverty cutback goes beyond its direct influence on farmers’ earnings. It is evident that improving agriculture and animal husbandry benefits millions of people in a country through cheap and plentiful food, higher incomes, employment and other developments.
Valdés, A., & Bresciani, F. (2007). Beyond food production: The role of agriculture in poverty reduction. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Wanmali, S., & Zamchiya, J. M. (1992). Service provision and its impact on agricultural and rural development in Zimbabwe: A case study of Gazaland District. Washington, D.C: Dept. of Physical Planning, Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, Government of Zimbabwe, International Food Policy Research Institute.
Kjeldsen-Kragh, S. (2007). The role of agriculture in economic development: The lessons of history. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School Pr.