Problems of Agriculture in Nigeria: How to Beat the Tide and Succeed
The problems of agriculture in Nigeria have seemed to persist from year to year and it has really discouraged many agribusiness investors. There are those who are of the opinion that agriculture in Nigeria might not return to its glory in the past. I don’t know about you but there are times that I wonder if it’s still the same Nigeria or another. This is the same Nigeria that once depended on the export of cash crops for her foreign exchange.
When you consider the fact that the population of Nigeria has been on the rise over the years, the agricultural sector should have been in good shape. You and I very well know that that hasn’t been the case. The main objective of this article is to provide you with the major problems of agriculture in Nigeria. In this article, you will also be provided with tips on how to succeed even in the face of these agricultural challenges.
This is simply to give you a general overview of the challenges you should prepare to face as an agribusiness investor in Nigeria. You will also be provided with solutions to agricultural problems in Nigeria as a way to keep you well equipped. It is not enough to have the capital and other logistics to start up your agricultural business in Nigeria. To really be ahead, you need to come to terms with these agricultural problems in Nigeria. This is simply to make sure that nothing takes you unawares in the course of your agricultural business in Nigeria.
List of Major Problems of Agriculture in Nigeria
There are lots of factors that have contributed to the problems of agriculture in Nigeria. These factors that have set the agricultural sector on a nose dive include:
Poor government policies over the years
Right after the crude oil discovery in Nigeria, the Nigerian government has painstakingly rubbished the agricultural sector. It will interest you to know that the agricultural sector was once responsible for more 75% of Nigeria’s national GDP. The cumulative effect of the neglect on the part of the government has now made agriculture to contribute less than 25% of GDP. So, as an agribusiness enthusiast in Nigeria, you should always expect very little from the government to avoid any disappointment.
Almost every administration in government has promised to tackle the problems of agriculture in Nigeria, yet no meaningful impact. When you watch closely, there are very few mechanical equipment for mechanized agriculture in Nigeria. You will agree with me that most of the farming practices carried out in Nigeria is still on manual method. There is no way you can make a very good mark in the agricultural sector without the use of mechanized equipment.
The lack of adequate social amenities is also another angle through which the government has really sabotaged the agricultural sector. Without good roads, there is no way for you to transport your agricultural produce with ease and less stress. If actually the government in Nigeria over the years has really had the agricultural sector in their plan, then we shouldn’t be talking about poor social amenities at this stage of our development. Agricultural production will really be very easy with the availability of basic infrastructure.
Another area that government policies have really worked against agricultural development in Nigeria is the area of taxation. In Nigeria, there is an ineffective tax relief on agriculture. For example, in Tunisia, there is absolutely 0% tax on agriculture. In my opinion, all problems of agriculture in Nigeria is rooted in poor government policies over the years.
Low literacy rate among the farmers
One of the problems of agriculture in Nigeria is the high rate of illiteracy among Nigerian farmers. From North to South, more than 70% of Nigerian farmers are not educated. This is one of the reasons that has made many youths in Nigeria to see agriculture as the poor man’s job. This has really hindered agricultural development in Nigeria. It becomes an issue when a farmer doesn’t know how to apply fertilizer on his farm or make use of mechanized equipment in order to improve yield.
Unavailability of finance
Over the years in Nigeria, you and I have been hearing of the huge amount of money that the federal government has invested in agricultural development. How much of these moneys actually get to the agricultural entrepreneurs in Nigeria? We always hear of the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) in Nigeria, but have they really done enough? Your answer is as good as mine.
Solutions to the Problems of Agriculture in Nigeria
Above all the solutions to tackle the problems of agriculture in Nigeria is your decision to succeed no matter what. The major solution is for you to belief in your ability to achieve your goal irrespective of all the problems listed above. Below are the solutions to the aforementioned problems of agriculture in Nigeria:
Good government policies for agricultural development
The Nigerian government as a matter of urgency must enact good policies that will encourage and motivate youths to venture into agricultural businesses. We can’t be talking about the diversification of our economy and still spend billions of Naira searching for oil. So, there should be more effort on the part of the government to make the agriculture sector very enticing.
Training of Nigerian farmers
There should be enough enlightenment programs designed to educate and train local farmers on 21st century agricultural practices. The ministry of agriculture should really step up their game if we are to put the agricultural sector to its original level. Nigerian farmers on the other hand should always make effort to learn new trends in the agricultural sector. This will help you to increase your yield and make more profit in the process.
Provision of adequate finance
There should be a system put in place by the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) in order to track the disbursement of agricultural loans and grants. They need to make sure it got to the farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs in Nigeria for full utilization. As an agricultural entrepreneur in Nigeria, you need to also draft out ways to source for funds aside from government loans. In this way, you will avoid putting all your eggs in one basket.
The prospects and potential in the agricultural sector is simply beyond what words can describe. You really need to start considering agricultural investment in Nigeria. Above all, never let the numerous problems of agriculture in Nigeria prevent you from enjoying its dividends.
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