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Factors of Agriculture in Nigeria

Agriculture is the growing of crops and the rearing of animals for food, trade and industry. It is the largest sector of the economy of Nigeria. Factors Of Agriculture in Nigeria: Factors of Agriculture in Nigeria include physical factors, economic factors, social and cultural factors.

1. Physical Factors
These can be further subdivided into: climatic, soil, relief and vegetation.
*. Climatic factors: Insolation is important for photosynthesis and transpiration.
Temperatures affect plant growth and development. A minimum temperature of 6 degree is required before germination and plant growth can take place. The factor is not very important in Nigeria as the temperature is high throughout the year. Rainfall provides the water needed for cultivation. The amount and distribution of rainfall determines what kinds of crops can be grown and where they can be growni. For example, tree and root crops are grown in the forest region because of the heavy rainfall there, while cereals are grown in the savanna areas with less rainfall.
*. Soil Factor: Different soil types are suited for different crops. For example, clay soils are better for rice and sugar cane, while loamy soils are better for cotton and groundouts, etc. Soils are the sources of organic and inorganic nutrients which make the crops grow healthy and nutritious.
*. Relief: The effect of relief is indirect. It affects crops production through its influence on temperature, rainfall and soil drainage. It also determines the regions of lands where mechanization of agriculture can be practised. Relief, like climate, is very important factor of agriculture in soil erosion and soil conservation.
*. Vegetation: Vegetation provides humus which supplies organic nutrients to crops. Humus also provides water to crops and helps in building soil particles.

2. Economic Factors:
Economic factors of agriculture include the factors of marketing, transportation, labour, capital and technology.
*. Marketing: The large population of Nigeria provides a ready market for many of the agricultural products.
*. Transportation: This helps in the transportation of agricultural inputs (e.g., fertilizers) and agricultural products. The most commonly used modes are roads, railway and water transportation. But, poor access roads to farm is still a major problem in Nigerian agriculture.
*. Labour: Labour from the people, especially in the rural areas is the most important means of crop production. Most farmers depend on family labour, but many also make use of hired labour, tenant farmers and share-croppers.
*. Capital: Capital in the form of money is needed to pay for clearing, cultivating, wedding, etc and combine harvesters has increased the production of food.

3. Social and Cultural Factors:
*. Land Tenure System: Communal land ownership is a great problem to large-scale agricultural production.
*. Conservatism: Because many farmers are illiterate, they tend to oppose innovations of modern technology and the use of improved seeds, fertilizers and tractors.