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Agricultural Development must be prioritised

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By Nicole

Dr. Olabanji says the FG should invest in the agricultural sector of the nation.

In this interview, Dr. Oluwasina Olabanji, the former executive director of the Lake Chad Research Institute in Maiduguri and Borno States, discusses his views on the necessity for Nigeria to prioritize investments in the country’s agricultural sector in order to achieve economic diversification. Any country’s transformational growth and development are supported by its agricultural sector. Small-scale/subsistence farming, fragmented landholding, labour-intensive, ineffective agricultural techniques, and most importantly, a lack of knowledge about how to gain access to capital and markets, are all characteristics of Nigerian agriculture. Rural areas with plenty of land for farming are plagued by a lack of electricity, roads, and other basic social amenities, which leads to low food production and rural-urban migration.

Nigeria has a lot of open space, a pleasant temperature, bodies of fresh water, and irrigation infrastructure, among other things. Many countries that are self-sufficient in food production lack these potentials, but they represent opportunities for greatness. After years of benevolent neglect, the Nigerian government realized the need to diversify its economy. As a result, it started to transform the agricultural sector through a number of initiatives, including the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), which aimed to rebuild a sector whose relevance had drastically decreased, and the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP), whose goal was to establish a disciplined framework for the development of the agribusiness ecosystem. These actions had a notable effect on the economy of the nation, generating enormous riches for farmers and opening up employment opportunities for women and young people, particularly in rural areas.

The FAO says, Agri food system is a failure across the world.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has recently worked on food and nutrition security with international organizations including the African Development Bank (AfDB), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and others. Through the encouragement of regional food production and the displacement of imports, the interventions and partnership have a substantial impact on the Nigerian economy. If agricultural investment is not taken seriously, closing the gap between food demand and supply in Nigeria will remain a mirage. Lack of funding and poor technology use, among other things, are impeding the country’s agriculture-driven growth and food security, which leads to rising food prices, escalating poverty, hunger, and malnutrition.

Through several presidential initiatives, the Federal Government must concentrate on increasing its investment in Nigeria’s agricultural sector in order to address these issues. The government must support mechanized farming in order to draw young people into the industry, as well as foster an environment that encourages the private sector (agribusiness) to embrace and support agriculture. It is also crucial to adequately fund research and development in order to generate new agricultural technologies and provide extension services. The economic managers must also make investments in solid, long-lasting government policies that will increase Nigeria’s competitiveness on the world market. Food and nutrition security can be achieved through the interaction of all of these factors, together with the protection of people and their property.

High cost of farm inputs have discouraged a lot of farmers.

Many farmers have been deterred by the high cost of farm inputs, rendering them unproductive and uncompetitive. Agriculture should be the focus of government investment both now and in the future since it is the most effective means of preventing hunger, poverty, and unemployment. In the medium run, the government must maintain its investment in agriculture through subsidizing farm inputs. Additionally, the government must make available time-limited, single-digit agricultural loans. The government ought to offer medium-sized to large-scale farmers more attention, improving their access to mechanization and all other necessary inputs through low-interest financing. Loans should be set up in a way that allows for both use and repayment.

After rice, bread is the non-indigenous food item that Nigerians consume the most. Compared to traditional mainstays like maize and cassava, foods manufactured from wheat have become more popular. Following South Africa, Nigeria is sub-Saharan Africa’s second-largest consumer of wheat. A shortage of almost 5.0 million metric tonnes will need to be imported at a cost of more than $2.0 billion to meet domestic consumption. The current annual wheat demand is 5.78 million metric tonnes, with a total local production of 71,000 tonnes (NBS 2018). This demonstrates the stark disparity between Nigeria’s supply and demand. The Nigerian government’s efforts to increase domestic wheat production will boost the country’s food security and open up more employment opportunities in the local wheat value chain and other industries. Nigeria’s successive governments have tried a number of different tactics to promote and expand the country’s wheat industry.

Does Nigeria have the capacity to meet its wheat demand?

Nigeria has the ability to both meet its own wheat demand and export wheat to its neighbours on a net basis. The country, which consists of fifteen States in the North East, North West, and North Central for the production of irrigated and rain-fed wheat, has great production potential for wheat despite the multiple issues affecting the wheat sub-sector. The AfDB spearheaded and sponsored the development of a national strategy for wheat self-sufficiency with the goal of achieving the medium-term target of raising productivity and production to 4.0t/ha and 70% self-sufficiency, respectively, and increasing farmer income from 300,000t/ha to 600,000t/ha. This might be accomplished by the FG strategically intervening and revitalizing the ailing irrigation facilities already in place to assure a steady supply of water. A few more are the creation of aggregation centres, improvement of the wheat seed system, enough finance, extension agents, and farmers, among others.


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Ask Nigeria
Admin
1 year ago

Agricultural Development must be prioritisedDr. Olabanji says the FG should invest in the agricultural sector of the nation. – Express your point of view.

jdpumping
Member
1 year ago

Our government needs to prioritise our agricultural sector how because of severe climate change that is affecting them there by leading to.loss of several crops and lands because our growth as a nation is attached to our survival in agricultural sector.

Abusi
Abusi
Member
1 year ago

This is very important. For us to have a very good agricultural sector which will generate revenue for us, we need to ensure the sector is well stable and invested in. We should also deal with the problem of insecurity which plagues our farmers.

Iyanu12345ogg
Iyanu12345ogg
Member
1 year ago

Gone are the days we take in food with good nutrition, farmers are adding chemicals while planting, preservations aren’t intact anymore, expiry dates is nothing to go nearby. I concur to the proposed that agricultural development must be prioritised, adequate sensitization be done.

Taiwoo
Taiwoo
Member
1 year ago

We should have the imperative nature of Nigeria placing a high priority on investments made in the agricultural sector of the country in order to attain the goal of economic diversification.

Haykaylyon26
Member
1 year ago

Investment should be made on agricultural sector so the farmer can produce food to avoid shortage and scarcity of food in the country nutrients food should be produce not use of chemical on crop that will be affect the health of the body

Ultra0711
Ultra0711
Member
1 year ago

Agriculture has long been what Nigeria specialized on and is very good at. Government should increase the level of developmental initiatives in the sector to boost it more.

Hassan Isa
Hassan Isa
Member
1 year ago

The agriculture sector of any nation is essential to the transformational growth and development of that nation.

Chibuzor
Chibuzor
Member
1 year ago

The absence of power, roads, and other essential social amenities in rural areas, despite the presence of ample land for farming, results in decreased food production and increased migration from the countryside to urban centers.

Godsewill Ifeanyi
Godsewill Ifeanyi
Member
1 year ago

Rural areas with plenty of land for farming are plagued by a lack of electricity, roads, and other basic social amenities, which leads to low food production and rural-urban migration.

Kazeem1
Kazeem1
Member
1 year ago

Additionally, those in charge of Nigeria’s economy need to make investments in sound, long-term government policies in order to boost the country’s competitiveness on international markets.

Nwachukwu Kingsley
Nwachukwu Kingsley
Member
1 year ago

The interplay of all of these aspects, in addition to the safeguarding of individuals and the property they own, is necessary to accomplish the goal of achieving food and nutrition security.

Adesanyaj72
Adesanyaj72
Member
1 year ago

The various governments that have held power in Nigeria throughout the years have experimented with a wide variety of strategies in an effort to advance and broaden the country’s wheat sector.

Tonerol10
Tonerol10
Member
1 year ago

Agricultural Development must be prioritised. Government need to support us both in loan. We are strong people when it comes to agriculture

DimOla
DimOla
Member
1 year ago

The federal government is yet to resolve the farmer herders crises and we are talking about government investing in agriculture. It is truth that agriculture is so important to our survival but let them take drastic to ameliorate the whole situation.

Tolaniiii
Tolaniiii
Member
1 year ago

Despite having plenty of farmable land, rural areas suffer from a lack of electricity, roads, and other basic social amenities, which leads to lower food production and more people moving to cities.

Bola12
Bola12
Member
1 year ago

If Nigeria is serious about achieving economic diversification, it will be necessary to give agricultural investment a high priority.

theApr
theApr
Member
1 year ago

Among other things, Nigeria has a lot of open space, a comfortable climate, fresh water bodies, and irrigation infrastructure. These potentials are lacking in many food-producing nations, but they are also prospects for greatness.

Remi1
Remi1
Member
1 year ago

Due to the severe climate change that is hurting them and consequently causing the loss of several crops and lands, our government needs to give our agricultural sector priority because the survival of this sector is essential to the development of our country.

Christiana
Christiana
Member
1 year ago

Our nation’s growth depends on our agricultural industry, which is suffering from severe climate change and losing crops and land. Our government must prioritize it.

SarahDiv
Member
1 year ago

With the current insecurity challenge bedeviling the country in which farmers are afraid to go to farm if government didn’t solve the insecurity challenges investing in agriculture will be a waste.