What are the problems and prospects of agriculture in Nigeria? Read on to find out the main issues and ways to change the situation.
The main problems of agriculture in Nigeria
Today, the agricultural sector is one of the most important in the country, it employs around 70% of Nigerian Labour force. But the sector suffers because of low output, and because of that, it is getting harder to feed the increasing population. Let’s outline its main problems:
- Poor infrastructure
The current state of infrastructure in many sectors resulted in the high level of the migration among able-bodied youths. Youths don’t want to stay in rural areas because there is poor infrastructure and move to cities. Because of that, the agriculture in villages loses its workforce which reduces its outputs.
Another example is bad roads, the situation with roads increases the cost and time of the transportation. Some goods perish during the transportation.
- Dormant research facilities
Unfortunately, agricultural research institutions in the country don’t work efficiently and effectively. All these institutions don’t have clear coordination or direction of work. Most of the researches end up on shelves and don’t help to change the current situation. Most farmers, who are considered as end-users of these researches, can’t put into practice the data from research facilities.
- Education and modernization
The lack of mechanized equipment and illiteracy of most farmers is the reason why it is hard to implement modern farming methods. Many farmers still stick to archaic farm practices. Most problems of agricultural marketing in Nigeria are related to a poor level of education.
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- Unserviceable machinery
From time to time government import some number of tractors but there are no service stations to repair or replace a parts for such machinery. If there is some problem with such a tractor, a farmer usually just park it and come back to the old way of farming.
- Food processing issues
20-40% of the harvest is lost annually during the processing. Among the main problems we see the lack of proper storage facilities, because of that, the harvest is attacked by pests and the storage conditions themselves reduce the quality of the crops.
- Government policies
There is a low level of hybrid seedlings importation, and it is still not easy to get fertilizer subsidy. Today we see some government programs aimed to develop the agriculture sector, but in past years there were no qualitative programs to boost the sector.
Possible solutions to the problems of agriculture in Nigeria
Now we know the main problems of agricultural development in Nigeria, but what about the solutions? Viable solutions can ensure a new level of the agricultural sector in the country.
- Among the first ways to change the situation is training and raising the level of education. Skilled and educated workers can sustain the durability of mechanized farm tools. Modern agricultural education programs for farmers is a needed tool to change the current situation.
- The mechanization of agriculture. Another step is to provide educated farmers with modern farm machines and farm equipment.
- Upgrade the Agricultural Research Council to supervise, coordinate, and implement agricultural development.
- Introduction of new government programs to provide the incentives for able-bodied youths to be involved in the farming sector.
- There should be a local manufacturers of pesticides, fertilisers etc.
- There should be developed system of available loans at reasonable interest rates/
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- The government should take measures to curb the importation of food products.
- The irrigation system should be reconstructed to solve the problem of unreliable rainfall.
- In most cases, Nigerian agriculture products are organic because most farmers don’t use any chemicals to boost the harvest. In our modern world, where many countries need more healthy food, it can become an excellent factor to increase the export of agricultural products.
- One more solution is to develop the usage of solar or wind power system.
- People say that the sector requires strong leadership. Honest patriotic and caring Leadership is one of the main factors to solve all other problems.
Here is our list of current problems and possible solutions. In recent years we can see that the situation is changing, there are more educated farmers and investments in agriculture.