10 Problems of Agriculture in Nigeria and Solutions

Problems of Agriculture in Nigeria and Solutions
Problems of Agriculture in Nigeria

Problems of Agriculture in Nigeria and Solutions – If you are planning to venture into Agriculture in Nigeria, have it in mind that you need to know the various pitfalls to avoid so as to succeed. One of the things that I admire about the people that engages in Agricultural businesses in Nigeria is that despite these challenges, they are still determined in boosting this sector of the economy. The role of Agriculture to the economic growth and development of Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. Hence, the need to effectively study and tackle these challenges.

Going further, a lot of people in the rural areas who engages in Agriculture as their main source of livelihood are mainly the people confronted with these challenges. This is as a result of the inaccessibility of a lot of policies and infrastructures that would have enhanced the rapid development of Agriculture in such areas.

The problems of Agriculture in Nigeria varies from region to region. This is because what may be a problem in the Northern part of the country may not be a problem in the Eastern part of the country. For instance, extreme draught in the Northern areas that calls for irrigation may not be frequently observed in the Eastern part of the country. This should give rise to the proper monitoring of Agricultural processes in various parts of the nation so as to identify their challenges.

Some of the problems of Agriculture in Nigeria are; Use of low productivity technology system, traditional land tenure system, inadequate support from the government, Inefficient Security of lives and properties, Illiteracy on the part of the farmers and Political Instability. When you look at these problems, you will observe that they can be categorized into two; the government related factors and the Agriculturists/farmers related factors. All these can be properly addressed to boost this important sector of the economy.

10 Problems of Agriculture in Nigeria and Solutions

1. Inadequate Fund

Let me clearly state it that a lot of farmers started their Agricultural businesses with little to no capital. Most inherited their small farms from their parents who also managed their farms with small capital. Most of those that started on their own made use of their little savings or borrowings from friends, family members or other Private financial loan institutions. Knowing fully well that what will determine the scale of a business during startup is the amount of capital involved makes it an important factor.

What about the government supporting? It is disheartening to note that government credit support is not available or accessible in so many parts of the country. The conditions attached in obtaining some credit facilities from the government is most times stringent that most farmers can’t meet up with it. The announcement of some credit support are not well disseminated to various parts of the country. Most farmers in the rural part of the country do not hear of such opportunities. At times, it is being observed that government Agricultural support Programs is more efficient and well coordinated in some particular parts of the country

Solutions; Individuals planning to go into large scale farming should know how to come up with a reasonable fund for it. Those that inherited their Agricultural business from their parents or family members should devise means to scale it up.

The government should make loans and other forms of financial support accessible and available to all farmers. The proper dissemination of information pertaining the distribution of loans should be properly disseminated. For instance, the rural dwellers who may not have the right channel to get such information can be notified through their village heads. There should be equal distribution of such funds to all parts of the country.

2. Lack of Adequate Infrastructure and Amenities

The basic infrastructure and amenities needed for proper Agricultural development in Nigeria is most times, not available. For instance, people living in areas where there is excessive draught requires irrigation and water resource development which most of the times is not available. Agriculturists in these areas struggle by making devising their own means to make sure that they are not adversely affected by this environmental condition. This most times, leads to low output or productivity.

Other infrastructures and amenities such as good roads and transportation system, good communication system, electricity, etc are not adequately provided mostly in the rural areas. Most times, farmers in the areas with bad roads incurs substantial damages and wastage as a result of the inability to transport their products to areas where they are needed.

Solution; The government should ensure an effective provision of basic rural infrastructure and amenities. Those areas where the infrastructures are not in good condition should be well taken care of. This will greatly boost the Agricultural sector of the country.

3. The Use of Low Productive Primitive Technology

The Agricultural sector of Nigeria is mostly made up of peasant farmers. Most of these farmers because of the use of primitive tools and technology can only provide food for their family. It is not surprising to know that most farmers in Nigeria still makes use of hoes, cutlasses, diggers and other traditional farming tools in cultivating their farms. Some have succeeded in having a reasonable output but such farming system will only leave the farmer worn out and thus, abandoning his or her farm early. Most of them can’t afford modern mechanization systems while others may not be aware of the availability of such modernized technologies.

Solution; The government should help individuals or group of farmers in acquiring modernized technological tools. This can even be made available for farmers to hire. Farmers should also acquaint themselves with latest developments in the Agricultural sector.

4. Land Tenure/Land Use Issues

Believe it when I tell you that this is among the major problems of Agriculture in Nigeria. In the Eastern part of Nigeria where I come from, lands are being shared in the family from one generation to the other. This gives rise to the fragmentation of land. Another consequence of this is land overuse or persistence farming. Government Land Use Act that were meant to check this is not effective in most parts of the country. The essence of such policies is to ensure that land is owned by the state and the state issues certificate to a landholder without interference by individuals.

Another constraints of this practice is that it makes land unavailable for commercial Agriculture. Most of the farmers who acquires these land are peasant farmers. They plant crops needed for short term use such as grains, tubers and vegetables. Continuous farming on this lands makes it to lose its fertility. The long term use of land in planting fruit trees are most times, not possible.

Solution; The government should ensure the proper implementation of the land use act without interference by individuals. Individuals whose farming lands are fragmented and are located in the same area can collectively rent their lands out for commercial Agriculture.

5. Ethnic and Political Crisis in Some Parts of the Country

In many parts of Nigeria today, ethnic hostilities, political unrest have been a great challenge to Agricultural development in the nation. People now abandon their farms because of the fear that they maybe attacked in such areas. Some Agricultural products have been destroyed in the course of ethnic crisis. This does not only scare the rural dwellers in such areas away but also agricultural investors in such areas.

Solution; The solution to the unrest in this area is to implement a functional Democratic government. This will ensure that the needs of insurgents and individuals are properly addressed.

6. Lack of Orientation Programs

In developed nations, a lot of reformations are taking place in the Agricultural sector. These programs are targeted towards improving productivity and adequate shelf-life of Agricultural products. One of the problems of Agriculture in Nigeria is the absence or inadequate presence of such. Some farmers also do not make themselves available when such programs are going on. The learned farmers who can obtain such information from other areas do not care to do so.

Solution; The farmers in Nigeria needs to be constantly informed of such laudable changes so as to improve their productivity and shelf-life. Farmers should try and make themselves available when such programs are taking. Other learned farmers can make use of technology communication channels such as the internet in monitoring the latest developments in the Agricultural sector and implementing it.

7. Illiteracy on the part of the farmers

Some farmers in the rural part of the country are not educated. Most of them cannot read and write. When you take a look at some rural areas in the country, educational facilities are far away from them. They don’t have access to the information that could enhance their Illiteracy level. Some of them are school dropouts, some have never attended the four walls of the classroom. Despite the effort of the government in ensuring education for all, not areas have gained from this program.

The Illiteracy among farmers makes it difficult for them to read simple instructions. They may not equally understand how to handle simple technological tools.

Solution; Parents should encourage their children to get the basic education. Let them at least learn how to read and write before venturing fully into Agriculture. The government should enforce policies which makes basic education compulsory in all parts of the country. Educational facilities should be evenly distributed in all parts of the country too.

8. Lack of proper Dissemination of information among the farmers

Some farmers who are really progressing do not disclose the secret of their success to others. For instance; some farmers have the knowledge of the species of some trees and animals that will lead to higher yield or productivity. The Desire to be the leading people in the business makes them reluctant to disclose such information. Also, the absence or ineffective Agricultural unions and groups makes information dissemination among Agriculturists difficult.

Solution; Farmers should help each other grow by passing out helpful information to others. Also their should be effective and functional farmers groups and unions.

9. Inefficient or Absence of Agricultural Research Institutes in Some Parts of the Country

Agricultural Research Institutes brings about various laudable programs and innovations in the Agricultural sector. For instance, the help in the introduction of pest resistance tree or crop species, higher yielding crops, cross breeding of animals to get the best characters and species. They also organizes enlightenment programs to farmers, the general public and other Agricultural Institutions. In Nigeria today, there are few of such institutions and the available ones are not adequately taken care of. They lack the proper equipments and infrastructures to boost their activities.

Solution; Government should build enough Agricultural Research Institutes in the Country. They should ensure that the available ones are well funded and maintained.

10. Rural-Urban Migration

Due to the absence of basic infrastructures in most rural areas, some farmers are abandoning their farms in search of a better living in the urban areas. Also, political unrest, ethnicity conflicts and political instability are contributing factors. If the high rate of Rural-Urban Migration is not controlled, there will be great shortage of farmers in Nigeria.

Solution; The government should put adequate infrastructures in place to check Rural-Urban Migration. Good democratic governance will ensure adequate distribution of resources. It will also tackle the lack of adequate security in most rural areas. This will provide a good living for farmers in such areas. It will equally motivate them in boosting their level of productivity.

Problems of Agriculture in Nigeria and Solutions is a task for both the government and individuals. Agriculture contributes greatly to the economic growth of the country and as such, should not be neglected.

Also Read; 10 Top Challenges of Small Businesses in Nigeria and Solutions