In this post, we’re going to look deep into 10 problems of agriculture in Nigeria because our life largely depends on agriculture. According to report, over 60% of Nigerian populations are farmers yet we’re considered one of the poorest nations in the world.
When compared our Nigerian farmers with their counterpart in other part of the world, more especially the developed world, it is obvious that there are serious problems in our agricultural sector.
This is worrisome because we’ve all it takes to be on top of the game. For instance, we have the most conducive and diverse climate, rich soil content, constant water source and population density. All these joined together supposed to make Nigeria a land flowing with abundant agricultural produce, which will translate to riches to farmers in Nigeria.
Yet, Nigerian farmers keep on becoming poorer by the day. Food insecurity increases by the day in Nigeria, which may even lead to total collapse of the agricultural sector. All these looming dangers are the reason we a taking a look into the 10 problems of agriculture in Nigeria today and possible solutions.
10 Problems of Agriculture in Nigeria
- Poor Implementation of Government Policies
- Herdsmen/Farmers clash
- Lack of adequate farming equipment
- Lack of social amenities
- Lack of access to agricultural loan
- Loss of land to Natural disaster such as Erosion
- Lack of access to fertilizer and improved seedlings
- Lack of modern storage facilities
- Poor Market
Let’s consider each of these 10 problems of agriculture in Nigeria and possible way forward.
Poor Implementation Government Policies
The sole role of government is to provide operational enabling environment in all sectors, agricultural sector inclusive. Over decades government has polices that supposed to better or curb a lot of problems of agriculture in Nigeria.
Yes, the government has tried by subsidizing improved seedling, farm machines and fertilizer. At the same time, they have failed in monitoring and ensuring of evenly distribution of the machines, fertilizer and improved seedling to the grass root farmers. Thereby leaving it in the hand of corrupt middle men that jeopardize government efforts.
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To make sure that the farmers get the right seedling and fertilizer they should sustain the e-wallet distribution policy. E-wallet distribution was initiated by Jonathan Goodluck’s government; where farmers get fertilizer and seedling direct from government at subsidized price. Thereby eliminating the corrupt middle men that sell those things to the neighboring countries instead of our farmers.
Herdsmen/ Farmers Clash
This is the latest one out of the 10 problems of agricultural in Nigeria. And the most devastating one indeed, because it involves the life of farmers. Most farmers have lost their live in a bid to protect their farm from Fulani herdsmen.
The activities of the herdsmen is worrisome because report show that they destroy hectares of farm within days, thereby affecting the supply of food in Nigeria today. To curb this problem, government should encourage ranching and totally abolishing of open crazing.
Lack of the Use of Adequate Farming Equipment
Using the right tool for any job makes working and productivity easy and smooth. Also, using the right farming equipment makes farming easy with high yielding. In other words, mechanized farming is the order of the day. Lack of access to modern day farming equipment has greatly affected the productivity of Nigerian farmers, which is a serious problem of agriculture in Nigeria. To solve this problem, government should import and sell these equipment on hire purchase to the farmers.
Lack of Social Amenities
A modern farming environment need adequate light, water and road network. But this is lacking in most farms in Nigeria, which greatly affect productivity. More especially the poor road networks make it almost impossible for farmer to bring their produce home not to talk of market. To get this right, government should make good roads connecting the remote areas to the cities
Illiteracy has been and will still be a major problem of agriculture in Nigeria. Most Nigerian farmers reside in the remote areas; where there are no schools, nor know the benefit of schooling. Most agricultural activities need some calculations such as planting space, fertilizer mixing ratios etc. Therefore, it need academic input to get the whole farming processes right.
To this problem, government should set up agricultural adult education specifically for farmers. Specialized agriculturist should be employed to carry out agricultural education in the remote and rural areas.
Lack of Access to Agricultural Loan
This problem would have top the list of 10 problems of agriculture in Nigeria because everything is money in agriculture. In fact, it is a serious problem facing agriculture in Africa as a whole. Though, most Nigerian government dedicates billions of Naira to farmers as loan, yet farmers cannot access the loan due government bureaucracy.
I strongly suggest that government create an avenue of directly monitoring every farmer they grant loan. In fact, government should abolish loans and approve grants where no farmer should pay back with interest.
Loss of Land to Natural Disaster Such as Erosion
Many states in Nigeria are under serious threat by erosion. In fact, thousands if not millions of hectares of land has been eroded by both soil and gully erosion. The effect is devastating because there is loss of farmland and vegetation, thereby affecting food production in Nigeria. Among the 10 problems of agriculture in Nigeria, this is the natural and most devastating because we have little or no control over it.
To curb this problem of agriculture in Nigeria, government should set up some erosion control methods. Buffer strip, cellular confinement systems, contour bunding, contour plowing are some of the methods to apply.
Lack of Access to Fertilizer and Improved Seedlings
Research has shown that proper use of fertilizer and improved seedling increase farm produce production by over 400%. Though, various governments have made a channel of distributing subsidized fertilizer and improved seedling, yet it does not get to the farmers.
Reason being that the bodies responsible for the distribution are corrupt and fraudulent. They short change the farmers and sell them on black market.
To solve this problem, government should supervise the distribution directly. Also, government should set up task force to monitor the distributions.
Lack of Modern Storage Facilities
Among the 10 problems of agriculture in Nigeria this poses more challenge to food security. Research shows that over 80% of food produced by Nigeria farmers perishes due to lack of modern storage facilities.
Most farm produce are damaged by pest or perished by high temperature thereby affecting food supply chain in Nigeria.
To solve this problem, government should build silos, silage and barns for food storage at strategic point in the country.
In addition, farmers can be trained on how to make local storage facilities that can sustain their produce over time.
There are no readily markets for farm produce in Nigeria. Though, there are some such as the Dawano market in Kano State but they are not organized to accept all the farm produce from the north west of Nigeria.
To solve this problem, government should build agricultural markets where people from all over the world come to buy. Also, government should have a provision for buying direct from farmers and storing. In other to supply when there is demand at affordable rate.
10 Problems of Agriculture in Nigeria- Conclusion
The financial condition of Nigerian farmer will greatly improve if government will adapt the solution to the 10 problems of agriculture in Nigeria listed above. Also, the issue of food insecurity will be a thing of the past.
Though, Nigerian farmers have their own role to play. But bulk of the solutions lies in the hand of the government.