Types of Agriculture in Nigeria

Agriculture in Nigeria is flourishing tremendously. This is so because Nigeria has fertile soil, different climatic conditions, a zealous workforce and a large expanse of land. All these factors favours crop farming, fishery, livestock production and other sections of agriculture. Little wonder most raw materials used in the manufacturing sector are gotten from agriculture. In this article, the different types of agriculture in Nigeria would be looked into extensively.

Types of Agriculture in Nigeria

The types of agriculture in Nigeria would be discussed below:

  • Subsistence Agriculture

Subsistence Agriculture is a type of agriculture that focuses on the farmer and his family. In subsistence agriculture, the planting of crops and rearing of animals is done on a small scale. Because subsistence agriculture is small-scale, farmers who don’t have the resources to hire the newest form of farm inputs and technologies engage in it. 

The harvest of this practice is usually low. Therefore, the farmer can only cater to his immediate family from the produce. He can also give leftover produce to his neighbours. 

Subsistence agriculture is cheap and very cost-efficient. This practice also serves as a source of employment and income for the farmer. The disadvantages of subsistence agriculture include poor yield and single-family produce.

  • Commercial Agriculture

Commercial agriculture is an agricultural practice that involves the cultivation of commercial crops and trees for commercial purposes. Commercial agriculture is also known as industrialized agriculture. 

This type of agriculture requires a large expanse of land in order to produce large quantities of crops. Crops commonly planted in commercial quantities include coconut, rubber, maize, cocoa, oil palm, cassava, yam, and so on. 

Commercial agriculture requires improved farm inputs and technology. This type of agriculture promotes the production of raw materials for the manufacturing sector. Commercial agriculture promotes food security in the country. 

Commercial agriculture also has disadvantages. This includes destroying natural forests, and it also promotes the high use of fertilizer which is not healthy.

  • Mixed Farming 

Another type of agriculture in Nigeria is mixed farming. In mixed farming, the cultivation of crops and rearing of animals is done simultaneously. Mixed farming involves the planting of different varieties of crops. 

Mixed farming practices require a sufficient amount of water whether through rainfall or artificial water supply. This agricultural practice involves continuous production. The waste gotten from the animals reared is used as manure for the crops so as to promote massive yield. 

The drawback of mixed farming is that farm maintenance is difficult due to the different agricultural activities taking place at the same time. Mixed farming also requires high proficiency. 

  • Pastoral Farming

Pastoral farming is another type of agriculture in Nigeria. This agricultural practice involves the rearing of animals in cold regions that are not suitable for crop cultivation. It is usually done in areas where the land is dominated by weeds and grasses.

Pastoral farming is usually done in the northern part of Nigeria. Land erosion usually occurs due to overgrazing. Animal manure is also used as fertilizer.

  • Shifting Cultivation

Shifting cultivation is a type of agriculture that is common in regions where land is abundant. In shift cultivation, farmers plant crops on a particular land for a period of time. When the fertility of land decreases, the farmers then leave the land for a while and allow weeds to grow. This singular act boosts the overall fertility of the soil after three to five years. 

After a period of time, the farmer then comes back to the land after it has recovered its fertility. The advantages of shifting agriculture in Nigeria include the reduction of pest infestations. In this practice, there is no need for fertilizer application. While the disadvantages of shifting agriculture include the reduction of forest land, and the need to shift land over and over. Another disadvantage is that this practice does not produce a great yield.

  • Arable Farming

Arable farming is a type of agriculture that involves the cultivation of crops only and not the rearing of animals. Arable farming aims to eradicate famine as the cultivation of crops provides food for man. 

This type of agriculture can be practiced on both large and small scales. It involves the cultivation of annual crops such as vegetables. The harvest is usually bountiful. One of the disadvantages of arable farming in Nigeria is that it has high crop maintenance costs. Another disadvantage is the problem of weed and pest control.

  • Intensive Farming

Intensive farming is mostly practiced in areas that have high rainfall. Intensive farming is usually done on a large scale. It, therefore, plays a role in the national economy.

For instance, cocoa is commonly cultivated for intensive purposes. It serves as raw materials for beverages and can also be exported to other countries as a foreign exchange thereby providing government revenue.

Advantages of intensive farming in Nigeria include high yield and easy farm supervision. The disadvantages include poor conditions of livestock destroying the forest. It also increases the use of fertilizer and chemicals. 

  • Nomadic Agriculture

Nomadic agriculture is commonly practiced in the northern part of Nigeria. In this type of agriculture, nomads migrate with their animals in search of pastures, food and water from one location to the other.

The type of animals involved in nomadic agriculture include cattle, goats, sheep, and donkeys. The advantages of nomadic agriculture in Nigeria include a reliable food supply. While the disadvantages of nomadic agriculture include the danger of hunters and robbers, high risk of disease, and unstable food supply.

  • Plantation Farming

Plantation farming involves the cultivation of tree crops such as plantains, coconuts, sugar cane, rubber, groundnut, etc. In Nigeria, plantation farming is commonly practiced in the southern part of Nigeria due to the abundance of rainforest land.

  • Crop Rotation

Crop rotation involves the rotation of crops in the same land during different planting seasons. In crop rotation, the soil has the potential to recover its lost nutrients and fertility during the previous harvest season.

Crop rotation decreases the incidence of environmental factors and the effects they have on crop productivity. The advantages of crop rotation in Nigeria include improved soil fertility, massive harvest, reduced soil erosion, and reduction in pest, weed, and disease infestations.

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