Agriculture In Nigeria

FORUMS FORUMS Agriculture Agriculture In Nigeria

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    Nigeria is remains mostly an agricultural society, despite its reliance on the oil industry for its budgetary revenues. Approximately 70% of the population is involved in subsistence agriculture production. The majority of agricultural properties are modest and dispersed. In 1999, agriculture accounted for 41% of Nigeria’s overall gross domestic product (GDP). This reflected a normal reduction of 24.7 percent from its contribution to GDP of 65.7 percent in 1957. The decline will continue because the agriculture sector’s proportional size normally declines as the economy grows.

    Nigeria’s diverse environment allows it to cultivate a wide range of food and income crops. Cassava, yams, corn, coco-yams, cowpeas, beans, sweet potatoes, millet, plantains, bananas, rice, sorghum, and a variety of fruits and vegetables are among the major food crops. Cocoa, citrus, cotton, groundnuts (peanuts), palm oil, palm kernel, benniseed, and rubber are the most important cash crops. In the 1960s and early 1970s, these were also Nigeria’s main exports, until petroleum superseded them in the 1970s. Nigerian agricultural exports are primarily sent to the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, France, and Germany.

    Cattle herding, fishing, poultry, and logging account up a considerable section of Nigeria’s agricultural economy, which contributed more than 2% of GDP in the 1980s. According to a UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimate from 1987, there were 12.2 million cattle, 13.2 million sheep, 26.0 million goats, 1.3 million pigs, 700,000 donkeys, 250,000 horses, and 18,000 camels, mostly owned by rural dwellers rather than commercial companies, and mostly in northern Nigeria. In the 1970s, fisheries output ranged from 600,000 to 700,000 tons per year. According to estimates, by 1990, the annual yield had dropped to 120,000 tons of fish. This was largely owing to oil corporations’ environmental destruction and water pollution in Ogoniland and the Delta region in general.

    With the start of the petroleum boom in the early 1970s, agricultural productivity in Nigeria began to decline. The expansion in the oil industry threw the job market into disarray. The resulting distortion has a negative impact on both food and cash crop output levels. Over the years, governments have paid farmers low prices for food for the domestic market in order to meet urban demands for low-cost essential foods. As a result of this approach, agricultural employment has become increasingly unappealing, and the attraction of the metropolis has grown for farm employees. Due to various issues, including inadequate technology, acts of nature such as drought, poor transportation and infrastructure, and trade prohibitions, these advances compounded the low productivity, both per unit of land and per worker.

    Nigeria began importing food because its food supply could not keep up with its growing population. Its status as a net exporter of cash crops like cocoa, palm oil, and groundnuts was also revoked. Nigeria’s overall food and agricultural imports are valued at around US$1.6 billion per year, according to the US Department of State’s FY2001 Country Commercial Guide. Wheat, sugar, milk powder, and consumer-ready food goods are among the most important imports from the United States.

    Efforts to reinvigorate agriculture since the late 1970s in order to re-establish Nigeria’s food self-sufficiency and expand agricultural exports have shown very minor gains. Agriculture, on the other hand, is the biggest priority of the Obasanjo administration’s economic agenda.

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