Importance of Savanna Vegetation in Nigeria

Savanna vegetation in Nigeria is of great importance. This particular region is usually dominated by grasslands and surrounded by forests. In Nigeria, savanna vegetation provides food, jobs, and clothes and serves as a home for wildlife, amongst other importance. In this article, the importance of savanna vegetation will be looked into extensively.

Importance of Savanna Vegetation in Nigeria

The importance of savanna vegetation in Nigeria will be discussed below:

  • Savanna Vegetation Provides Food for Both Humans and Animals

Since a large portion of the savanna vegetation is dominated by grasses, this serves as a quality food for animals. These grasses are easily digested by the animals. Farmers allow their animals to freely graze the savanna in search of food. Also, during the dry season, the leaves of the woody species are cut for the feeding of the cattle. These ruminant animals eat the leaves of shrubs and trees. The seeds also provide dry season food for many animals.

Thus, trees in the savanna considerably contribute to the food and forage supplies in Nigeria. The savanna vegetation promotes crop farming for human consumption. The crops grown in this region are maize, millet, rice, groundnuts, sorghum, beans, and so on. These crops serve as food for man. Another form of food gotten from the savanna is meat.

  • Savanna Vegetation Provides Wood for Various Construction

Few savanna trees are adequate for the production of wood used for construction. The only way to get this kind of wood in the savanna region is in the areas near the forests. Savanna woodland supplies the wood used for house construction.

The wood obtained from the savanna trees is also used to make farm tool handles. This wood is also used to make domestic utensils and tools. The wood is also used for fencing and in the construction of yam storage barns in rural areas. The wood obtained from the savanna trees is also used for boat making.

  • Savanna Vegetation Helps in Job Generation

Savanna vegetation provides jobs for lumbermen and hunters. These lumbermen cut down trees present in the savanna for money. Hunters also make money from the region because hunting of animals favours the Savanna due to the presence of wild animals thereby providing jobs for hunters and also improving the livelihood of the lumbermen and hunters.

Another occupation people can indulge in the savanna region is beekeeping. People can rear bees for honey production and make cool money from selling the honey. Farming is another occupation that can be done in the savanna region. People can either take part in commercial cattle rearing or subsidence or semi-commercial pastoral farming.

Because of the agriculture that takes place in the savanna region, like the farming of rice, groundnut, millets, and other crops, there has been a development of processing and manufacturing industries such as milk processing plants, grain mills, cotton ginneries and other factories. The development of these mills has greatly helped in creating jobs for people in the region.

Other employment opportunities available in the savanna include tour guides in tourist sites, fishing, oil extraction, wildlife conservationists and so on. Hence, the savanna plays a vital role in the sustainability of the livelihoods of several rural households who depend on the savanna for their resources as a means of earning a living.

  • Savanna Vegetation Provides Fuel Wood

Many Nigerian households make use of fuel wood which is also known as firewood as a major energy source. They use it in cooking their family meals. Food vendors also make use of this fuel wood. In many regions, fuel wood remains the main source of energy for cooking and heating.

There has been an increase in the demand for fuel wood due to the increase in the price of petroleum products. The poor can barely afford petroleum products due to their high cost. This has made the use of fuel wood very efficient.

Savanna vegetation is home to the trees used for the production of fuel wood. Charcoal burning and wood extraction have strived due to the existence of woodland. This has made it to be of great importance to Nigeria.

  • Savanna Vegetation Provides Herbs for Medicines

The plants present in the savanna region are primary sources of herbs used for medicine. These herbs are used in the treatment of various forms of human sickness as well as health conditions. According to statistics obtained from the World Health Organisation, a great percentage of the Nigerian population patronize herbal medicine.

  • Savanna Vegetation Provides Habitats For Animals

The savanna vegetation serves as a natural habitat for various species of wildlife. Since the savanna region is an ecosystem dominated by grasses, it serves as a perfect environment for animals to live in, most especially grazing animals. These animals live together in the open area covered with scattered trees and bushes, and grasses.

The savanna is home to a wide range of animal species. These. animals include herbivores, carnivores and omnivores.

  • Savanna Vegetation Attracts Tourism

Savanna vegetation serves as a site for tourist attractions. Tourism is an important human activity associated with the savanna vegetation in Nigeria. This particular region offers tourists the opportunity to observe and film the exotic environment. These tourists also take pictures of the fascinating nature.

Tours within these natural reserves offer tourists the opportunity to observe the animals in their wild state. Thus, savanna vegetation plays an important role in the tourism industry of Nigeria thereby generating revenue.

  • Savanna Vegetation Serves as a Source of Revenue Generation

Savanna vegetation makes a significant contribution to the economy of the country through the revenue generated from the wildlife industry, timber industry, tourism industry, and commercial livestock farming.

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