In this article, we discuss the 10 Problems of Agriculture In Nigeria. This information will be useful to policymakers, researchers, and students.
Agriculture is vital in human life as it is a mainstay in every human life. Without agriculture, living will be difficult because agriculture is responsible for providing the most basic need in human life which is food.
The challenges of agriculture in Nigeria can never be overemphasized. In Nigeria, agriculture is one of the foundations of the Nigerian economy. It is under the non-oil sector that contributes to the economic growth of the country. But sadly, there have been so many factors hindering the success of agriculture in the country.
This article will highlight ten of the problems agriculture is facing in the country.
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Problems of Agriculture In Nigeria with examples
1. Non-Implementation of Government Policies
This is the root of all agricultural problems in the country. The policies the government put down has a long way in expanding the agricultural sector in the country. It is the responsibility of the government to establish strategies for the growth of agriculture in the country.
In the last four years, there have been good policies created by the government to improve the agricultural productivity in the country, but the implementation of these policies has been unsatisfactory rendering the effort of the government to improve the industry useless. For example, the majority of the farmers producing the bulk of food crops consumed in Nigeria still use crude tools for farming.
If the government can put more effort into implementing the agricultural policies, there would be significant growth in the agricultural sector.
2. Lack of Modernization and Mechanization
A large population of Nigerian farmers is from rural areas, and the majority of them still make use of crude equipment for farming. This implies there is low substitution for labor making farming more labor-intensive and this will inadvertently affect the productivity of the farmers.
The majority of these rural farmers have no access to the modern farming equipment, and this is because the modern equipment is very expensive to purchase or even hire. To save money for themselves, the majority of them rely on their primitive tools for farming.
There is no doubt to the fact that the literacy rate in Nigeria is low. Also, the effects of illiteracy have been felt in almost every sector of the economy. One of the factors militating the growth of agriculture in Nigeria is illiteracy.
The majority of Nigerian farmers lack formal education not to talk about modern agricultural education. In developed countries, the majority of the farmers are properly educated which makes them open to innovations in various ways to farm.
In this age and time, farming is beyond using cutlasses, and hoes to cultivate or even digging and planting crops. Farmers need to understand some basic things like the best period for planting, how to select the right seeds, best on-farm practices reducing crop loss and so on.
But sadly, the majority of the Nigerian farmers are from remote areas where there are no means to access information.
Another problem facing agriculture in Nigeria today is the ignorance of the Nigerian citizens. Agriculture is greatly undermined and overlooked by the Nigerian citizens as an odd job that is made for illiterate and rural people.
Most Nigerians, especially youths prefer to look for a white-collar job than to dirty their hands on the farms despite the fact there is a scarcity of white-collar jobs in the country.
5. Lack of Funds
Insufficient financial support of farmers is a very serious issue that constitutes a major setback to the development of agriculture in Nigeria.
To be a successful farmer in the country, one needs money to start the business and even stay in the business because there are so many difficulties encountered by farmers which put them in situations where they need funds to enable them to expand and improve their yields.
Though billions of naira are allotted to the agricultural sector in the country every year, farmers are still unable to access government loans to expand due to government bureaucracy.
6. Poor Infrastructure/ Lack of Social Amenities
Lack of social amenities and poor infrastructures is another issue limiting the success of agriculture in the country.
As we mentioned above, most farmers in Nigeria resides in remote areas, where basic amenities like water, electricity, and so on are absent which makes farming difficult for the farmers. These areas also have bad road networks which make it almost impossible for the farmers to transport their goods. So the majority of the farm produce just lay in waste in these areas.
7. Absence of Modern Storage/Processing Facilities
A bulk of food crops produced in Nigeria are perishable foods and studies show that about 80% of foods produced by Nigerian farmers go bad due to lack of modern storage facilities like silos, silage, barns, and so on.
Some of this farm produce is also attacked by pests while others are affected by the high temperature which reduces the quality of the farm produce. This also affects the food supply chain in the country.
8. Loss of Land to Natural Disaster
Among all other problems of agriculture, this is the most natural and devastating because there is little or no control over it.
A natural disaster such as erosion is a threat to farmers in Nigeria because it destroys farmland and agricultural produce, it even renders the farmland useless for a period.
9. Access to Land and Fertilizers
Accessing lands for expanding farm is difficult in Nigeria. Most farmers just have a piece of land to the farm which leaves them no option than to farm on the same piece of land again and again which eventually result in land degradation whereby fertile lands lose most of its nutrients and become unproductive or barren.
This makes farmers depend on artificial fertilizers because they are easy to come by instead of natural, or biological fertilizers to grow crops.
10. The insecurity of Nigeria Farmers
This is the most recent problem faced by farmers in Nigeria today. A large chunk of Nigerian farmers is from the northern part of the country where insecurity is high.
The majority decided to stay away from their farm to secure their lives. This is Because in the past few years the Fulani herdsmen are invading their farms and destroying hectares of farmland. Some farmers have even lost their lives in the past years in a bid to protect their farm from the herdsmen. And most recently, more than 100 farmers were slaughtered by Boko Haram men in Borno state.
The problems of Agriculture in Nigeria can never be overemphasized. There is a saying that a problem known is half solved. We have made these problems know. It’s time that the Government and top policymakers woke up with possible solutions to correct this menace. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy and we cannot attempt to toy with it.
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