AGRICULTURE IN NIGERIA – SERIES 2
Barriers to a More Productive Agriculture Sector;
Several structural bottlenecks beset Nigeria’s agricultural growth and competitiveness. This includes:
– Policy incapacity, instability and implementation inefficiency.
– Poor agricultural technology and service delivery environment.
– Absence of basic infrastructure for agricultural, industrial and social services in the economy is a big disincentive to downstream agribusiness processes.
– The market for agricultural input and output has been weak, undeveloped and atomistic.
– Access to foreign markets is affected by commodity productivity and price competitiveness.
– Other constraints to agricultural sector development in Nigeria have been the practice of tenure ownership
– Agricultural activity is particularly risk-prone, given that, farmers can manage only some part of the production process while natural conditions beyond the farmer’s control also have a significant impact. Both crop and livestock production can be strongly affected by weather; yields vary from year to year, and extreme weather conditions such as frost, droughts, floods and storms can heavily damage agricultural output.
The development challenges of Nigeria’s agriculture are, therefore, those of properly identifying and classifying the growth and development constraints of the sector, unlocking them and then evolving appropriate strategies for promoting accelerated commercialization and investment in the sector such that, in the final analysis, agriculture will become one of the most important growth points in the economy.
Finally the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari as pledge to move the economy away from oil to the agricultural sector because:
- Agriculture is a sector with high growth prospects especially if the aspect of value chain is been explored i.e. turning raw agricultural produces into processed and finished goods for domestic consumption or export.
- There are opportunities to expand both the number and variety of job in the sector by making it easier and more attractive. In addition, it can appeal to a vast youth population that is disinterested by farming to attract them to processing, marketing and other opportunities along the value chain.
- The administration is keen on making the country self-sufficient in food production to reduce importation of agricultural produces.