Preoccupied with oil wealth, Nigeria neglected agriculture since the 70s. The growth rate of agriculture GDP per capita was close to zero in the 80s and 90s! Historically, agriculture growth fathered the rise of England in the 18th century and Japan in the late 19th century. The recent rise of China, India and Vietnam was preceded by rapid agriculture growth.

No economy growth without a strong agriculture sector and this makes a lot of economic sense because it is directly linked to other economic sectors. Incomes from agriculture are spent on domestically produced nontradable goods and services. In the countries mentioned above, agriculture surplus from higher productivity was partially taxed to finance industrial development.

Some of the problems identified include the following. We tacked on our solutions:
With the Sahara Desert making incursions at the rate of about 0.6km/year, 10s of thousands of farmers are loosing their livelihood and villages. The Federal Government’s National Action Program (NAP) has been largely ineffective despite a robust World Bank help; planted trees are either felled for firewood or simply dry up for lack of follow up care. Yet more money is spent on tree planting.

Some of the 8 affected northern states have set money aside to plant Gum Arabic trees to serve both as a shield and source of income from gum export. This plan will be reinforced. Added to this will be a vast network of drip irrigation system that will convert the affected areas to farmlands for other crops and pastures.

Unreasonable taxation on agricultural exports and fees that eats into farmers bottom line leading to disinterest. These fees are unnecessary in a sector that seriously need help and incentives.

Lack of investments in the sector. Simply because the government has not pointed the nation’s market in the sector’s direction.
Non-sustainable agricultural practices. This include overgrazing, overuse of chemicals, poor land management that encourages erosions etc. Nigerian land use and pollution can easily be monitored by our satellite system NigeriaSat-1. An information that can both be used in planning and intervention policies.

Farmers outreach programs through local farmers unions to demonstrate practices such as crop rotation and diversity, use of crop waste, livestock and human manure. We discover that outreach becomes easy when Farmers Unions are involved, the information can directly target the beneficiaries in a cost effective way.

Absence of rural infrastructures. More than half of the country’s population live in the rural and largely farming areas. Lack of basic infrastructures and opportunities have led to movements to the urban areas. This phenomenon continue to drain the traditional agriculture work force and also overwhelm the structurally archaic urban centers.

To Download policiesstacks_image_68_1logo