First of all, the farm provides goods that are necessary to the farmer and his family.
The farm provides food for all the family, food such as yams, cassava, maize, okra, pimento, millet, rice, bananas, groundnuts, goat meat or mutton, chicken, and so on.
The farmer and his family eat the food produced by his farm. This is what is called farm consumption.
Even now a farmer and his family buy little food. They eat the millet or the yams grown on the farm, the meat of sheep and chickens raised on the farm.
But more and more modern farms supply produce that is sold.
The farmer and his family need money, for nowadays, in the modern world, you cannot get shorts or a shirt without money; you cannot get a cooking pot or a bicycle without money.
To get all these goods, to meet his family's needs, the farmer must sell a lot in order to get more money.
· The farm sells food products to tom people.
Nowadays there are many people living in towns. These town people do not till the land. They have to buy everything they eat. Even in the villages there are people who do not till the land, such as teachers, nurses, dealers. Farmers must provide food products for all the people who do not work on the land. Farmers earn money by selling millet, cassava, rice, meat. With this money, they can better satisfy their own needs.
· The farm sells produce that is exported to foreign countries.
More and more African farmers grow cash crops, that is, crops which are sold to foreign countries, for example, coffee, cocoa, bananas, pineapples, groundnuts. These products are bought by countries which do not grow them themselves. By selling coffee, cocoa, groundnuts, farmers earn money. With this money, · they can better satisfy their own needs.
· The farm sell produce for factories.
Farmers also grow produce that is used and treated in factories, such as cotton, which is turned into cloth, or sisal, which is turned into string. By selling such products for industry, farmers earn money. With this money, they can better satisfy their own needs.
Farmers and their families have new needs.
They buy a part of their food: fish, salt, beer, sugar.
They need clothes: shorts, shirts, trousers, dresses, clothes for children going to school.
They need furniture for the house, and household articles such as matches, crockery, paraffin lamps, soap.
They want better and nicer houses. For these, they need sheet iron and cement, doors and windows made by a joiner.
Villagers get about more and more, they take a taxi or travel by motorcoach, or buy bicycles.
Many village children now go to school. Books, exercise books, pencils must be bought for them.
To learn the news of their country or of other countries, farmers may wish to buy radio sets or newspapers.
To satisfy all these new needs, farmers need more money.
So they must earn more money by working on their farm.