Basic Science

Resources from living things

We grow plants and rear animals for food, to produce materials that could be used for clothing, shelter and for medicine. Hence, we depend on livings (plants and animals) for resources, such as beans, melon, orange, cassava, vegetables, cocoyam, meat, diary products as well as hide and skin.

Resources from Plants

A lot of plant resources are grown in the gardens and farms for food, commercial purposes, aesthetic values, etc. Such resources from plants include, cotton, rubber, cocoa, groundnut, oil palm, rice, maize, yam, sugar cane, tobacco, flowers, etc. Plant resources include cash and food crops. Cash crops are those that bring a lot of money when sold locally or exported. Examples of cash crops are cocoa, dyes, cotton and rubber. Food crops are those grown mainly for food though they may be sold locally. They include yam, rice, beans, plantain, ornages, mangoes etc Food is very important to human beings. The human body uses food

  • to produce energy
  • for body building, repair and growth
  • for protection of health

Four Major groups of plants resources

  • Cash Crops

These are crops produced in large quantities mainly for sale, particularly to people within and outside the country. Cash crops include, wood crops (iroko tree, mahogany, ebony), fibre crops (cotton),oil crops (groundnut, oil palm, coconut). Others are rice , sugarcane, tobacco, etc. These crops provide foreign exchange for the country.

  • Food Crops

These are plants resources which serve as source of food. These include, vegetables (pumpkin, lettuce, bitter leaf), root tubers ( yam, cassava), fruits (guava, mangoes, oranges), seeds (beans, millets), grains (rice, maize), underground crops (carrot, onion), oil plants (groundnut, cotton, coconut and olive), etc. Food crops provide mainly vitamins and carbohydrates which the body requires, for growth and development.

  • Dyes/Textile

These are liquid substances of plant extracts that are used to charge the colour of cloth materials, hairs and houses. Dyes can be extracted in natural form from flowers and leaves or plants e.g. indigo species can be used to dye cloth to make it brighter.

Similarly, crops for textiles are used by textile industries in the production of clothes, ropes, baskets, etc. An example of crops for textiles include, cotton (for cloth production) while fibres from sorrel plant, flax, guinea-hemp, sisal and jute whose fibres are used in rope production. The leaves and fronds of palm tree provide materials for making hats, bags, baskets, etc.

  • Drugs/Medicine

Drugs are chemical substances of plants extract used as medicine to cure various health problems and diseases. Drugs are capable of altering behaviour when they are abused. They are good when taken properly but dangerous when taken without the doctor’s prescription. Majority of the drugs both tablets and syrups as well as those in powder forms are resources from plants roots, barks and leaves e.g. Cincona species, Garlic species, etc.

Resources from Animals

Animal resources are very vital to the existence of human beings. Animals provide resources which serve as food for growth and development. Such resources include, hide and skin used in the leather industry as well as raw milk for daily products. In addition, the faeces from animals are used for the production of organic manure.

  • Hides and Skin

These are major animal resources used in the leather industry. Hides are derived from the skin of large animals, such as camel, horse, buffalo, cattle, etc. Hides are bought, sold or used in leather industries for the production of shoes, bags, purses, belts, garments, etc. Skin refers to the skin of smaller animals, such as goat and rabbits. The skin of these animals is edible. Hides and skins are used to make shoes, bags, belts, leather jackets, luxury chairs and car seat covers.

  • Livestock

These are animals mainly birds and mammals that are reared by farmers. Examples of such animals are goats, sheep, cows, pigs, poultry bird (chicken, turkey, ducks), etc., used for decoration while droppings from these livestock are used as manure on farms and gardens.

  • Diary Products

Dairy is a place on a farm where milk is kept. Dairy products are milk products got from animal resources such as cow, cattle, etc. The milk which is rich in protein is a major ingredient in the production of cheese, butter and yogurt for human  consumption and for export.

Economic Importance of these Resources


  • Plant and animal resources serve as food for growth and development.
  • Diary products are rich in protein for replacement of worn out tissues.
  • Bones and horns of animal resources are used in making furniture.
  • They are sources of drugs for treating various health problems.

Societal Development

  • Production of plant and animal resources provide raw materials for manufacturing industries
  • Wealth engenders peace in a nation – by exporting plant and animal resources to earn money
  • Paper and pulp production for the print media.
  • Hides and skin are used for leather industries in making bags, rugs, carpets and clothes.
  • Flowers for aesthetic purpose in the beautification of homes and major cities.


  1. Which of these is a Cash crop?
    b. Cocoa
    c. Beans
    d. Corn
  2. Of all these, ____ is a food crop
    b. yam
    c. Rubber
    d. Dye
  3. Hides and Skin can be used to make all of the following except ____
    b. bags
    c. car seat covers
    d. carpet
  4. _____ are chemical substances of plants extract used as medicine to cure various health problems and diseases
    b. Diary
    c. Textiles
    d. Herbal mixtures

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