Problems and Prospects of Crop Production in Nigeria. At the turn of Nigerian independence, before the oil boom in the 70s, Nigeria was thriving through agriculture.
The disappearing of Nigerians interest in agriculture is seen as a grave problem that will indeed discourage the future Nigerian generation from agriculture except something is doing to that effect.
Nigeria has environmental endowment that seems to make agriculture, a successful business, which necessitated the need for mechanized farming and research development in the area of crop production, and this, according to experts in crop production will help in the policy of Nigeria’s economy diversification. And if properly harness, will sustain the economy of Nigeria.
It is no doubt Nigeria, as a nation depends on the oil revenue for its monetary budget, but the truth remains that if Nigerian farmers will engage in large scale or commercial farming, and the sub-sector is adequately managed, it will not only sustain the Nigerian Economy but it will increase the gross domestic product of Nigerian state. And it can go as far as taking the place of oil as the major sustainer of Nigerian economy.
However, whether we believe it or not, crop production is one of the nation’s avenue for generating funds for the up kept of the Nigerian state, hence there is need to discover and explore our agricultural potential in order to help sustain the further of the Nigerian economy.
Crops produced in Nigeria
There are varieties of crops produced in Nigeria, and these crops are produced by the Nigerian farmers on the bi-yearly basis in part of the country as a result of the favourable climate in some part of the country, while others produced on yearly basis.
Some of these crops include: Cocoa, cocoa yam, cassava, yam, maize, beans, millet, sorghum, onions, rice, potatoes, carrot, and pear among others.
Problems of Crop Production in Nigeria
There are so many problems challenging the production of crops in Nigeria. Some of the problems are listed below:
1. Lack of storage facility:
A good number of perishable good do get spoilt at the event where there is no storage facility after harvest, and again, where there is no electricity needed for storage of the agriculture produce.
Electricity, as we all know, encouraged large scale production, particularly in the case of using farm machines to maximize production.
But quite unfortunately, due to lack of electricity and storage facility, some Nigerian farmers have decided to resort to traditional methods as the cost of running the equipment without electricity is very high, and will be to the detriment of the farmers.
2. Lack of good road network:
Good road network is considered a necessity in any nation that wishes to make agriculture a source of economic sustainability.
In Nigeria for instance, there has been cases of non-availability of good road network to help in the evacuation of farm produce from the farm to the urban centers, where they can be sold.
The problem of deplorable roads in the nation particularly, where in the rural areas where farmers are into large-scale farming has been one of the major problems hampering crop production in Nigeria.
3. Lack of funds
Agriculture cannot be successful in Nigeria without adequate funds to finance the sector, and in the Nigeria situation, most farmers who engaged in commercial farming do have the problem of financing their farms.
Funds needed to run the farm, acquire modern farm equipment, build storage facilities among other things has been lacking hence, posed a challenge to the growing of crops in Nigeria.
Prospects of Crop Production in Nigeria
1. Large-scale production for export:
Crop production in Nigeria has been improved in recent years because of the introduction of modern technology. Due to lack of technology in the past, when agriculture was not made mechanized, farmers in Nigeria were into survival agriculture, where they only produce for members of their family only.
But today there is a departure of this practice, as the output of crop production is on the rise. The Nigerian farmers are now embracing the new modern techniques in crop production.
2. Contribute favourably to Nigerian economy:
The Nigerian soil is acclaimed to be quite okay for crop production, as the nation’s climates favours the practice of agriculture hence, crop production has taken a frontline in contributing to the Nigerian economy.
It has contributed well over say, 48 percent of agricultural Gross Domestic Product, and 18 percent of the total GDP in Nigeria.
Conclusion and Suggestion
The crop production can actually help in sustaining Nigerian economy, if it becomes everyone’s business. As the society is dynamic, ways of doing things are also dynamic.
There are changes in how farming is done in this modern age; therefore there is need for the modern techniques in farming to be embraced by the Nigerian farmers.
Education programs for Nigerian farmers are necessary, because most of them, who were into subsistence farming, have little or no knowledge about the way mechanized farming is done.
For crop production to be successful, such that can contribute enormously to the nation’s economy, there is need therefore, for farmers to be well trained on the new ways of farming, be provided with necessary facilities, financial resources to aid them in achieving the value chain mandate of agriculture in Nigeria.
If this requirement is met, then Nigeria will be on its way to reduce the level at which food stuff are imported into the country. This development will help create wealth, as well as jobs for the teeming Nigerian youths.
The Nigerian government needs to intervene by proffering solution to farmers’ problems in Nigeria. The truth is that, if government will take proactive method in creating enabling environment for Nigerian farmers to thrive, then the prospect of increase in gross domestic product and the decrease in the importation of food stuff into the country will be a matter of inevitability.
When there is good planning to this regard, coupled with all the necessary resources to make agriculture thrive in this nation, Nigeria will be on its way to not only feeding its citizens, but sustains its economy.
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