The Meaning and Scope Of Agriculture


What is agriculture ?

The term “agriculture” is derived from two Latin words : ager, meaning field, and cultura, meaning cultivation. Literally, agriculture means field cultivation.


Today, however, the term is usually more broadly defined as the production of plants and animals which are useful to man. It covers not only the cultivation of the soil and the feeding and management of crops and livestock, but also the preparation of plants and animals

products for use by man, and the disposal of these products by marketing, because production is not complete until it gets to the final consumer.

Scope of agriculture

The main branches of agriculture include the following :

(1). Animal Science : This is the science involved in the production of animals(animal husbandry). It ensures the efficient and effective management of livestock, better productivity, better feeds for the growth of livestock. It also promote the development of new breeds of animals and helps to ensure  optimum meat and egg production .

(2).Veterinary Medicine : This is the science involved in providing a better health management of livestock. It ensures the control of pests and parasites of livestock and helps to control the diseases of farm animals. It also ensures the production of good vaccines for animal health care.

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(3).Agricultural Engineering : This is a branch of agriculture that promotes the mechanization of farm operations. It ensures the development of processing and storage equipment, the maintenance of farm tools and implements and the development of appropriate farm tools and implements. It also ensures the efficient and effective operation of irrigation and drainage in crop production.

(4).Soil Science : This is the science which ensures the maintenance of soil fertility and thus leading to an improvement in crop production output. It aids tillage operation of the soil and helps to apply appropriate fertilizer for different soil types. It also aids better soil classification and mapping and helps in erosion control methods.

(5).Crop Production : This is the science which ensures the efficient and effective crop management practices. It ensures better productivity of crops, optimum plant population, development of improved crops, healthy plant production and management of plant diseases, the control and management of crops pests, development of better planting materials, correct crop spacing and promotes optimum harvesting times.

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(6).Fishery : This is the branch of agriculture that deals with fish production, harvesting and marketing. It ensures better ways of fish management, promotes better fishing practices and fish processing and the provision of fish meal.

(7).Forestry And Wildlife Conservation : Forestry is the art of planting, tending and managing forests, including the utilization of their products and wildlife conservation is the preservation of animals that lives in the wild, for their continuous availability.  The basic duty of the forestry department is to conserve forest resources, that is wild animals, economic trees, soil and water. This is done by controlling the granting of permits to fell trees and the issuing of licenses for hunting. It is also responsible for the collection of revenue on forestry products.

(8).Agricultural Education And Extension : Education is a tool of liberation from ignorance, poverty and disease. If you educate people, you give them the potential to improve themselves. In the long run, any improvement in tropical agriculture must involve farmers’ education, which will enable them to increase their productive potential and raise their social status. Knowledge will make it possible for farmers to benefit from extension programmes.          Agricultural extension is a process whereby modern farming techniques and research findings are taken to the farmers through extension workers and, problems of the farmers are taken to research institutions for solution. Agricultural extension and education ensures the provision of support services to farmers, dissemination of agricultural information to farmers and links farmers to researchers.

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(9).Agricultural Economics and Farming Management : This branch of agriculture promotes agricultural marketing, good farm accounting, exposes farmers to sources of farm finance, teaches cooperative farming  and provides for adequate farm planning and budgeting.

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