By Chinyere Anyanwu, [e-mail protected]
Nigeria has celebrated its 61st independence anniversary and tright here are mixed feelings Regarding the nation’s diploma of enchancment on all fronts, particularly in relation to its pure endowments and human capital.
An evaluation of the nation’s agriculture sector since independence reveals thOn tright here have been considperiodble achievements however Decrease than The specified diploma. The sector, which hpreviouss the potential to steer the nation’s financial system out of the dpreviousrums is but to adequately discover its footing owing to a quantity of problems. It’s subsequently been a potpourri of pains and positive elements.
Owing to the dwindling efficiency of the agriculture sector Inside the nation, successive administrations, each army and democratic, have formulated and carried out numerous insurance covperiodge policies and tasks Aimed towrestleds placing the sector again to its essential place Inside the financial system.
Wanting On the nation’s agriculture in segments, the interval earlier than The invention of crude oil, and earlier than and immediately after independence wAs a Outcome of the sector’s superb season when it wAs a Outcome of the mainstay of the financial system. All by way of This period, Nigeria boasted Of money crops Similar to rubber, cocoa, timber, palm produce, and groundnut, amongst others, which have been overseas commerce earners for the nation. It was equally self-enough in a quantity of meals crops collectively with cassava, maize, yam, cocoyam, wheat, and so on.
In the interval after The invention of crude oil and after independence, Nigeria’s agriculture suffered setagain owing to the neglect of the sector by authorities. The cultivation and upkeep Of money and meals crops owing to plentiful money inflow from oil have been uncared for. Nigeria went from being an export nation to an import-dependent nation, importing virtually every thing collectively with toothpick.
The interval following That is the interval of restoration marked by successive authoritiess’ recognition of the sector’s significance to the financial survival and sustainability of the nation. They’ve, Through the years, formulated and carried out numerous insurance covperiodge policies and tasks focused at resuscitating agriculture and replaceing it to occupy its satisfaction of place.
Tright here wAs a Outcome of the Opperiodtion Feed the Nation (OFN) programme of the Obasanjo-led army administration; the Anchor Debtors’ Programme (ABP); the 2016-2020 Agriculture Promotion Covperiodge (APP) Furtherly referred to as the Inexperienced Various; The enlargement Enhancement Assist (GES) scheme Aimed towrestleds subsidising fertiliser by 25 per cent; Agricultural Credit rating Guarantee Scheme Funds (ACGSF); Enterprise Agriculture Credit rating Scheme (CACS), and Nigeria Incentive-based mostly Hazard Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), amongst others.
Completely different measures have been the prohibition of overseas exchange for imports of sure meals gadgets, outright ban on importation Of merchandise That Can be produced regionally, perioddicating of subsidy for the importation of 41 non-important commodities and border closure in August 2019.
Through these efforts, Nigeria’s agriculture has recorded some achievements. Right now, the nation is doing properly in rice manufacturing boasting of over 40 rice mills with manufacturing quantity working into lots of of hundreds of hundreds of tonnes yearly. Oil palm produce May even be receiving considperiodtion from the Central Financial institution of Nigeria (CBN) and manufacturing of a quantity of other crops have acquired boosts from each authorities and the private sector.
Further steps taken by authorities to replace agriculture acquired here Inside The Sort of huge consciousness amongst youths To draw them into agriculture and agriIndustry. This has given rise to the birthing of a crop of youths Who’re investing closely in agriculture and giving the sector a current breath of life. Export of agro merchandise, particularly nuts and spices, has Even been expanded with so many private sector buyers venturing into the Industry.
Regardmuch less of these strikes to convey agriculture again to its enby way ofble place, a quantity of problems have stored it struggling Through the years. Primary amongst these problems has been the insincerity of implementing authorities Inside the implementation of the programmes meant for the resuscitation of the sector. Farmers have On A daily basis insisted that funds and other inputs meant For his or her use not often get to them and wright here they do, It is typically after struggling by way of a quantity of bureaucratic bottlenecks.
The non-mechanisation of the nation’s agriculture has contrihowevered in no small measure to maintaining the sector stagnant Through the years. Till date, guide labour nonethemuch less characterises Nigeria’s agricultural practices.
Extreme Price of curiosity on funds meant for the sector is one other albatross militating towrestledss its progress. Based on stakehpreviousers, commercial banks give about 29 per cent curiosity wright hereas authorities curiosity is 9 per cent however they insist that any Price of curiosity on agriculture mortgage that is above 5 per cent Isn’t tenable.
The problem of submit-harvest losses equally constitutes a setagain to meals safety. Lack of course ofing gear Desired to course of extra farm produce into other merchandise has typically Outcomeed in wastage of perishable produce tright hereby creating scarcity during off season of such commodities.
Poor road networks that make it troublesome to get farm produce to the market, particularly in rural farm communities, is one other problem confronting the sector.
The herders/farmers crises Which have beset the nation Inside the final 4 To 5 years have set agriculture and the nation’s efforts To understand meals safety again An excellent deal. The areas Usually acknowledged As a Outcome of the nation’s meals baskets have been majorly hit by these crises which have seen farmers abandoning their farms and taking refuge in Internally Displaced Individuals (IDP) camps.
Talking on Nigeria’s agriculture sector Inside the final 61 years, the Vice chairman of Nigeria AgriIndustry Group (NABG), Mr. Emmanuel Ijehave been, sees the sector as having shiny prospects when The biggest issues are put in place.
Ijehave been said, “earlier than independence, immediately after independence and earlier than the civil wrestle, Nigeria was Fantastic in agriculture and we have been poised to be A critical participant Inside The sector of agriculture On the earth. After the wrestle, and mixed with the oil money that was coming in, the army went wild. That was As quickly as they made the silly assertion That money Isn’t our drawback Neverthemuch less the biggest Method to spend it. And everyone abancarried outd agriculture Because it was too tedious, it was An extraive quantity Of labor. You will Have The power to go to The huge cities and get the oil money simply. That was The start of the downfall of agriculture.”
He said that, “successive authoritiess, collectively with the army ones, acquired here up with a quantity of tasks collectively with Opperiodtion Feed the Nation (OFN), amongst others. All of them went to further finance the corruption that has already taken over the nation. The farmer was discouraged, extra people left the villages, went to the cities and left solely previous people Inside the villages who Might not Revenue from The numerous agricultural developments On the earth.”
He, however, famous that, “as at now, I see good prospects. I see a state of affairs wright here the private sector is getting extra acutely awrestlee of The fact that agriculture is The biggest method forward for Nigeria’s financial enchancment. More educated people At the second are coming in. Government is starting To know this. Even the state authoritiess who used to go to Abuja every month To collect money At the second are taking agriculture Inside their states A lot extra critical since That money is dwindling.
“All This stuff mixed, it reveals that going forward, agriculture has a shinyer prospect. But in doing so, my prayer Is that this, And also you will not like this prayer, might The worth of oil proceed to be low So as that We will use these issues that God gave us that Shall be extra sustainable than oil. In any case, Inside The subsequent 5 to 10 years, Individuals are going to be in much less want of crude oil On the earth. So I really feel We now have An excellent prospect now And that i’m joyful about it.”
Another stakehpreviouser, Dr. Victor Iyama, President, Fedperiodtion of Agricultural Commodities Affiliation of Nigeria, (FACAN), believes Nigeria has not carried out too badly in its efforts to correctly place agriculture and guarantee meals safety.
Based on him, “We now Have not carried out too badly Neverthemuch less it Might have been greater. For Pretty A pair of years, our focus on oil has rubbed off on us and We’re undoubtedly not wright here we Ought to be however from the look of issues and the downturn in oil fortunes, we’ve taken up agriculture. We aren’t tright here but however I do know that if we proceed with this tempo, we Shall be tright here in A very brief wright hereas.”
Iyama insists that, “We now have A lot of commodities, home And other people We will commerce internationally. On the home commodities, we Try. On Those We will commerce internationally, tright here’s nonethemuch less A lot of gaps in our manufacturing performance and We now Need to do Tons about that. How can we be producing 250,000 tonnes of cocoa when A rustic like Cote D’Ivoire is producing 2.2 million tonnes of cocoa? And we’re virtually 10 occasions hugeger than them.”
He lamented, however, that, “We’re nonethemuch less doing extra of promoting importation. We are speaking about not seeing greenapositive elements, however Nobody is speaking Regarding the obnoxious legal guidelines and insurance covperiodge policies of CBN concerning our export. Tright here’s no method you can say you’re promoting export and you’re gagging exporters from having unfettered entry to their funds. We are promoting importation and killing export. On this nation today that We’re Looking for greenapositive elements, are we not Alleged to be discouraging import? A nation that has drawback of inflow and greenagain liquidity, what do you do? You prohibit your importation to healthcare system and agricultural gear. Another One which wants greenagain to do something should go and supply for it.”
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