I would never have dreamt of   achieving my mission   if my parents were not involved in farming. In our family, we would prepare the land for the growing of food and cash crops using basic farm implements like hoe and bush machete. The produce from the food crops was mainly   for our home consumption and the surplus if any was sold in the local market to generate some income.  The cash crops like coffee and cotton were grown for generating income to meet the basic necessities of the family. The basic necessities of the family included clothing, school fees, medical, salt, soap and sugar among other things. Our family also kept a few cows and goats as a way of saving cash to meet unplanned future expenditure and not for home consumption. However on big occasions like Easter and Christmas, the head of the family would order the killing of one of the goats or cows for home consumption.  We all grew up on the farm healthy because we were   consuming fresh and good food from the farm.   I was able to receive good education because of the income our family earned from farming. Farming was therefore important at the time I was growing up and it is still important today for the following 5 reasons;

Food

I remember when I was growing up we could supplement our farm food output with some   foods from the bush through gathering and hunting. The gathering and hunting was however not reliable as many times we would come back empty handed. The reliable supply for our family food remained the farm.  It is also important to note that all the food consumed by world population of over 7 billion people comes from farming activities. Without farming   the various food stuffs you see on the shelves of the supermarkets and food markets would not be in sustainable supply. The hunger we are experiencing in some parts of the world is mainly due to the inadequate supply of food from the farming activities. Farming is therefore the only reliable source of food supply for the growing world population. Farming creates a lot of    certainty in the supply of food.

Improves health of people

The farmers produce various food products which contain various food nutrients which are necessary for the healthy world population.  The food nutrients contained in the farm food products are many and the following are the key ones;

  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Vitamin
  • Fats
  • Sugar
  • Fibre
  • Salts

Without consuming the farm food with above food nutrients, we would end up with unhealthy world population that cannot effectively contribute to the development of the economy.

Raw materials

Most of the factories in the economy of every country are involved in processing various products to meet the ever increasing human demand for finished products. The factories are able to operate because of using raw materials from farming activities. The major raw materials provided through farming include the following among others;

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Cotton
  • Raw foods stuffs including fruits
  • Sugarcane
  • Timber
  • Animals, fish and poultry

Without adequate supply from farms many factories   in our economy would not operate optimally, if they operate at all. The impact on the world economy would be disastrous if farm supplies were not able. The farming activities therefore provide an important source of raw materials to the many factories in the economy.

Creation of jobs

When I was growing up, the formal economy could not provide jobs for all the people and is still not able to do it in today’s modern economy. Many of us were gainfully employed on the land. The few factories which were near our home were involved in processing of crops like coffee, cotton, groundnut and simsim which were in demand for the export market. Farming activities creates job for many people. They get involved in preparing the land for planting and weeding, caring, harvesting   and transporting of the crops.  Many people are also gainfully employed in farms involved in animal husbandry including poultry. Without farming   activities the people working in factories involved in processing farm raw materials would be unemployed. Most people in the rural areas would also be unemployed. The impact would great   as some of them do not have access to land to grow food for their own consumption.  Farming activities therefore provide employment opportunities for both the rural and urban population.

Income earner

At farm level, the farmer produces food and other products for own consumption with the surplus to sale on the market. There are also commercial farmers who mainly produce for the market. The farmers are therefore able to earn income from their farm produce that enable them to meet the necessities of life. The balance of the income is saved for investment. Many people are also gainfully employed in many factories that are involved in the processing of raw materials from farms. The investors in the factories are also able to earn income when they sale their products. The country also gains from farming activities through earning foreign exchange when farm products are exported.

ByJohn Muhaise Bikalemesa

Email: johnmuhaisebikalemesa@yahoo.com