The roles of government in the development of agriculture include the following:
(i) Provision of credit facilities to farmers:
This role of government in the development of agriculture is carried out by the granting of loans through agricultural banks.
However, the loans granted to farmers are repayable. Subsidies are the credit facilities, which also form part of the assistance given to farmers by the government. These subsidies may be given through the provision of inputs at reduced prices. Subsidy is non-repayable.
(ii) Provision of extension services:
The role of government in the development of agriculture is also effected through the provision of extension services. The trained extension workers meet with the farmers to disseminate new farming techniques, in order to improve their outputs. This also helps to educate the farmers on the ways to adopt the new ideas and accept the innovation with cooperation.
(iii) Rehabilitation of feeder roads:
The government also promotes agricultural development through the rehabilitation of feeder roads, which are the major links between the rural communities and the urban centres to promote the effective transportation of farm produce to the urban centres where the harvested farm produce are in high demand. The government undertakes the construction of bridges from one place to another in order to link the rural communities.
(iv) Provision of land:
The government usually promotes the development of agriculture through the provision of land to prospective investors and commercial firms that are ready to invest in agriculture. This helps to solve the problem of land availability, which is a major factor, which constrains farmers to a low level of agricultural production of subsistence agriculture. Commercial agriculture normally requires large hectares of land, large capital, skilled persons. It is preferred by the populace than subsistence agriculture.
(v) Building of modern storage facilities:
The government in recent times have been involved in the provision of an effective storage system through the building of modern storage facilities, to reduce the problem of wastage of harvested agricultural crops. This is carried out through the construction of large silos for storage of grains, thus promoting the availability of the stored grains for future use and preventing acute shortage of agricultural crops over a long period.
(vi) Establishment of marketing boards:
The government helps in the development of agriculture through the establishment of marketing board in order to standardise the marketing of agricultural produce supplies by farmers. This activity regulates the marketing of produce directly to the multinational firms. Agricultural crops such as cocoa, cotton, and rubber are some of the produce that the government normally helps to regulate and control their prices, in order to effect stability in the economy. Incessant fluctuation of prices to the detriment of farmers is thereby averted.
(vii) Increase cultivation of crops:
The government helps to boost agricultural production through the large scale cultivation of certain agricultural crops in order to increase their availability to the firms. The abundant supply of agricultural crops can only be achieved through the participation of the government in the cultivation of valuable crops that can earn revenue locally, and even foreign exchange, through export of produce.
(viii) Formulation and implementation of agricultural policies:
The government normally plays a vital role in the development of agriculture through the formulation of agricultural policies meant to boost agricultural production in the country. These policies are implemented for the benefit of farmers. However, agricultural policies face the problem of poor implementation by the government. The government is able to formulate such agricultural policies through the services of trained agriculturists, in order to achieve better results from the process.