Agriculture in Nigeria is something that needs a lot of improvement and is a great fundamental to promote the economy of Nigeria. Nigeria with its vast agricultural resources needs to operate an economy that is not so much dependent on petroleum but rather a diversified economy.
It is not proper that a country of such potential in agriculture should be running just an economy based on crude oil. In order for Nigeria to successfully diversify its economy and avoid the consequence of depending just on petrol, new innovations should be introduced to boost the agricultural sector.
Read Also: 5 Roles of Agriculture in Nigeria’s Economy
A country that properly takes care of its agricultural sector has done 60% for its economy because agriculture remains a bed rock of the society irrespective of some government negligence. Here are the steps that can boost Agriculture in Nigeria:
1. Using improved implements and tools: The era of using crude tools for farming in Nigeria is over. This makes farming a much slower and less productive activity. Harrows, hand-operated fertilizer drills, combined harvesters, tractors, hand-operated planters are typical machines that can improve productivity.
2. Modern Irrigation Techniques: Modern irrigation control methods have made it possible to improve farm productivity using better control measures. Many irrigation equipment like pumps, dams and sprinklers are now used. The River Basin and Rural Technology Development Authority should be encouraged by the Nigerian government to boost agricultural production in Nigeria.
3. Maintaining Good Animal Health: Better drugs for animals should be encouraged and veterinary medicine should be promoted by the Nigerian government. This will boost agricultural production.
4. Soil improvement: Certain crops require certain soil conditions for productivity. Example soil that is good for rice may not be good for groundnut. More measures should be taken to improve the soil. Science and technology gives more insight regarding the nature of soil and also how it can improve.
5. Crop and Animal Improvement: There are certain plants and breeds of animals that are improved. The government should encourage such use of improved varieties as they lead to higher productivity. Example a new breed of cows has been formed by cross the Friesian breed which is exotic and good milk producer with the White Fulani Cow which is disease resistant. The product from this is a cow that is highly resistant to adverse weather conditions.
6. Crop Protection: Certain pesticides and herbicides protect the crops from weeds and pests that reduce yield. Better pesticides and herbicides should be introduced and harmful ones should be avoided. Simazine, Roundup(for rice), Gamalin 20(for controlling cocoa pests) are examples of pesticides that can be used.
7. Better Storage, Processing and Transportation Methods: Science and technology has encouraged the transportation of farm products from one part of the country to another. Example is the transportation of fish and meat using refrigerated trucks. Chemicals are also used as a means of preserving harvests. You can buy some agricultural products here. Tomato processing plants, palm oil mills and rice mills of can be increased by the government for processing agricultural products. Better silos, improved rhombus and bins should also be encouraged.
8. Use of Agro-Standards: The use of standards can be used to improve the economy of Nigeria. Standard processing and storage of agricultural products should be encouraged by the Nigerian government to promote exportation of agricultural products to other countries. The following agricultural areas need better standards in Nigeria:
9. Standardized price control: Unstable prices can disrupt the marketability of farm produce. This can make people not settle down into agriculture is an occupation. Better standardized price measures should be introduced to stabilize the price of agricultural products. : Local market volatility is the biggest threat to entrepreneurs in agriculture. The farmers are taking a lot of risks in marketing their products due to unstable prices. Sometime, areas that have been designated as markets for the meeting of buyers and sellers are sometimes adjusted due to political eruptions. Also, those who patronize the sellers do not use a stable and standardized price system thereby bringing down the market operation system. Stabilization of the market system will boost agriculture in Nigeria.
10. The quality of products: The quality of our products varies from one part of the country to another and this has brought less value in terms of the price of the market. There is need for more extension of services by extension personnel and government agencies to implement most of the papers that has been documented for the promotion of industry standards. This will enable meeting up to better industry standards.
11. Land availability for agriculture: The government should take more measures to make land available for farmers who need them. Government statements should be matched with an action plan that will make land obtainable to farmers. Due the increase in the cost of land, less land is available to many farmers who have the potential to promote agricultural productivity.
12. Packaging and preservation standards: Better packaging and preservation standards will promote the market both within and outside Nigeria. There is improvement in yields as a result of more farmers exchanging information on modern methods of practicing agriculture.
13. Use of agro-based loans by the government to encourage farmers: The government of Nigeria should encourage farmers by giving loans for agricultural activities. This will help farmers meet up with financial needs in terms of purchasing some seeds, hiring machines etc thereby boosting agriculture in Nigeria. The use of such loans will encourage small scale farmers to take measures that will make them large scale farmers.
14. More government programs to boost agriculture: The government of Nigeria should introduce more government programs like Green Revolution, Operation Feed The Nation, Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme etc. These programs will make the government to be more active in agricultural production in Nigeria.
15. Local Awareness Creation: Measures should be taken to make create local awareness of these government programs. This can be done by the government using different communication patterns. It is not enough for the government to introduce these programs but also necessary to make the common man aware of them.
These measures will boost agriculture in Nigeria. What do you think?