Top Problems Facing Agricultural Development In Nigeria
Agriculture is one of the most important sectors in Nigeria, thanks to the job opportunities it offers to the citizens of the country.
Apart from over 5000 jobs that it offer to Nigerians on an annual basis, agriculture — farming or crop production — ensures constant provision of food in the country and beyond.
Unfortunately, Nigeria’s government at all levels (Federal, State and local) are doing little to enhance Agricultural growth in the country despite its obvious importance.
The sector hasn’t gotten the deserved attention from the government in recent years. Hence, it faces lot of problems which are acting against its development and productivity.
There are quite a large number of problems facing the development of agriculture in Nigeria. However, we will discuss just three of the problems, and how the government and other concerned institutions can solve them in no time.
Top Three Problems Facing Agriculture In Nigeria And How To Solve Them
1. Inadequate Land For Agricultural Purposes
Nigeria’s population keeps increasing and people can’t stop building houses on available acres of land.
Civilization is taking center stage in most part of the country— including rural areas, and people now choose to erect large buildings on a piece of fertile land which could have been used for agricultural purposes.
Deforestation, soil erosion, flooding and desert encroachment are also taking their effects on the available lands, thereby, rendering them useless for farming.
In the same vein, the country’s land tenure system doesn’t favor farmer whose mission is to acquire land area of land for commercial farming.
- Government should re-visit its land use policies and make it more favorable to farmers who have all it takes to be engaged in commercial farming system.
- Manures, fertilizers, herbicides and other farm inputs should be readily available for all farmers across the country. The inputs should be sold at cheap and affordable prices to encourage high patronage among peasant farmers.
2. Poor Credit Facilities
Despite the fact that the large portion of food produce in Nigeria are made by subsistence farmers, the government appear not to have a single plan for them.
Subsistence farmers are obviously poor but the government doesn’t create any program to help them financially.
They have no access to credit loans from the government, yet they will pay huge taxes to government agencies every month. They have no financial capacity to acquire mechanised farm tools, pesticides and herbicides.
Banks require a huge collateral before they give out loans to farmers who doesn’t even have a good house to stay. How will they meet the demands?
Banks only give out loan to farmers who can shoulder their huge interest rate, and farmers who can refund their loan money within a short period of time.
This is why many farmers often choose a small-scale farming system rather than putting themselves in unnecessary pressure from bank’s representatives.
- Agricultural banks, including The Nigeria Agricultural and Co-operative Bank [NACB], should give out loans to farmers on favorable or convenient terms and conditions.
- Federal and state governments should create more loan schemes for rural farmers who wants to enlarge their production.
- Farmers’ co-operative societies will go a long way in helping farmers secure loans from commercial banks.
3. Lack of modern-day or Mechanized Farm Tools
70% of Nigeria farmers still rely on crude farm tools which is one of the reasons for the country’s low farm outputs. Mechanized tools such as plough harrow, platers and tractors are sparsely used by Nigerian farmers because they are unavailable.
The modern-day farm implements are extremely expensive as they are imported into the country while extra and unnecessary fees will be added to it by the sellers.
It’s one thing to have these mechanized tools, and it’s another thing to have large numbers of technical know-how farmers who can handle the the tools.
Many Nigerians don’t know how to operate sophisticated tools like tractors and ploughers, so why will they go for tools that won’t be utilized?
- Government should encourage and support Locally-made but sophisticated farm tools because it will enhance farm production.
- Farm machineries should be made available to farmers who have the financial capacity to buy one.
- Tractor-hiring units should be available across the country so that farmers — who can’t buy a sophisticated farm tool — can easily hire their services at a cheap price.
- Government should partner with concerned parties in order to make tools available at subsidized prices.
Other problems Facing Agriculture in Nigeria include:
- Poor Road Network
- Unfavorable Climate Change
- Increased Pests and Diseases
- Insufficient Agricultural Extension Workers Who Will Educate Farmers
- Unimpressive Marketing System
- Poor and Outdated Storage Facilities