HOW TO REVIVE AGRICULTURE AND FARMING IN NIGERIA
AGRICULTURE IN NIGERIA: DEAD OR ALIVE?
A lot has been said about agriculture in Nigeria. Some said it is dead while some others say it is still alive. Whatever the case maybe, is irrelevant, what matters most is the way forward and that is the main purpose of this hub. Things that should be done by the government and all concerned to improve the standard of agriculture in Nigeria and agriculture in Africa as a whole are listed in the next section of this hub. The suggestions in this hub if implemented will save us all from experiencing food crisis that many experts have already forecasted.
13 WAYS TO REVIVE AGRICULTURE IN NIGERIA
Agriculture in Nigeria can only be revived if the points listed below and other useful points found in this site are all implemented. They are:
PROVISION OF ACCESSIBLE ROADS AND GOOD TRANSPORT SYSTEM
The availability of accessible road and transport system is a necessity for agriculture to thrive in Nigeria. Many farmers get discouraged when they remember the stress that they will have to go through be bringing their farm produce to the end users (consumers).
The prices of the products are usually outrageous when they eventually hit the market.
PROVISION OF FERTILIZER
In as much as fertilizer is not the only way of nourishing our farm, the use of fertilizer in modern farming is still very much acceptable and should be made available. Industries that produce this should be encouraged by all concerned.
PROVISION OF LOANS TO FARMERS
Finance is the backbone of every worth venture which agriculture is one of them. Adequate financing of agriculture in Nigeria will surely boost agriculture in Nigeria. One way that the government can do this is to imbibe the culture of good financial management and strategic asset allocation technique into governance. This will ensure that funds are properly allocated and monitored for efficient utilization when allocated.
PROVISION OF AGRICULTURAL LATEST TECHNOLOGY
There is no gain saying that agricultural produce will be better if latest technologies are used.
BAN IMPORTATION OF CERTAIN FOOD / FARM PRODUCE
The importation of certain farm produce should be banned from coming into this country so as to encourage the consumption of the locally manufactured farm produce.
EMBARKING ON RURAL ELECTRIFICATION PROJECTS
Rural electrification will help preserve farm produce.
PROVISION OF PEST CONTROL AND OTHER USEFUL AGRICULTURE CHEMICALS
If pest control and other necessary chemicals used in agriculture should be produced or better still subsidized for the farmers, I assure you that agriculture will become the toast of many.
GRANT OF GOVERNMENT SUBSIDY- NOT ONLY IN PETROLEUM
If government should spend one-tenth of what it spends on oils subsidy on agriculture, then farmers will be encouraged to do more than they are doing at the moment.
PROVISION OF AGRIC INSURANCE
Losses are inevitable in all works of life and needs to be insured against. Farmers should be encouraged to take up agricultural insurance policies to help re-instate them in times of loss. Little is known about the existence of Nigerian Agric Insurance Corporation (NAIC), a body that is overseeing the agriculture insurance in Nigeria.
MASS EDUCATION ON THE POSSIBLE OCCURRENCE OF FOOD CRISIS IN NIGERIA
Nigerians should be told about the impending danger of not taking our agricultural sector serious. Many of our citizens have forgotten the fact that foods are produced by human beings and would one day be scarce if we all should neglect food production.
Also, farmers should be given due respect and honour. It is painful to observe the discriminating act shown to farmers in this country.
ERADICATION / REDUCTION OF CORRUPTION IN MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE
Corruption in the federal ministry of agriculture has been one of the major causes of the appalling state of agriculture in Nigeria. Until corruption is put under check, agriculture and other sectors of the Nigerian economy will not be healed of this ‘life threatening sickness of our dear country.’
ADOPTION OF WORLD BEST AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES
There are agricultural best practices that can easily be adopted by Nigerians if we really want to reap from the numerous benefits of viable agricultural sector in this our country Nigeria.
SUPPORT OF LARGE AND SMALL SCALE IRRIGATION SCHEMES
Availability of functional irrigation system will ensure that farm produce are available from time to time. Seasonal problems that characterized Nigeria’s food production will be effectively controlled if good irrigation scheme project is commissioned and executed in Nigeria.
BENEFITS OF AGRICULTURE
The benefits of agriculture are too many to list but here are just few of them to give you an idea of what we are missing as nation.
CREATION OF JOBS
Agriculture in Nigeria was a major employment sector before the discovery of crude oil in Nigeria. Until then, jobs were available for the poor citizens of Nigeria. Then, graduates were nurtured to think in the area of being self employed rather than depend on the jobs that are not available. The agricultural sector of Nigeria if revived will absorb more than half of the unemployed youths in this country.
CONTROL OF YOUTH RESTIVENESS IN THE NIGER-DELTA AREA
Agriculture can provide gainful employment to the youths of niger-delta that have decided to pick up arms and ammunitions to fight the federal government and indeed the whole nation through the act of kidnapping and other forms of social vices.
ASSURANCE OF FOOD SECURITY
The fear of the looming food crisis in Nigeria will be discharged if we can simply bring back the lost agricultural glory that we have as a nation. We have the land mass that will be enough to produce more than we need and export to the outside world.
IMPROVE FOREIGN TRADE
Farm produce exportation will in no small way improve Nigeria’s’ balance of payment and foreign income.
RELIEF OF THE OIL SECTOR
The over reliance on the oil sector that Nigeria is a source of worry to many people especially those that have the idea of the scientific estimate of crude depletion in Nigeria. The revival of the agricultural sector and the other real sector of Nigeria’s economy will really benefit all and sundry.
ROLE OF BANKS IN THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR
The operations of banks in Nigeria are not even helping matters. They prefer financing trading activities more than the real sector of the economy. There reason for this widely condemned practice is that the trading businesses promise better and faster. The federal government of Nigeria in 2006 mandated banks to let go certain percent of their net profit specifically to finance the small and medium-scale enterprise (SME ). Where all the contributions made by the banks went to cannot be explained by most Nigerians.