However, Nigeria’s Agricultural sector has a high potential for growth, but this potential is not realized. Productivity is low and basically stagnant.
Farming Systems, which are mostly small in scale, are still predominantly subsistence-based and for the most part depend on the varieties of the weather . Many agricultural policies have also been ineffective, either because they have been misguide or because their impacts have been swamped by macro policies affecting inflation, exchange rates, and cost of capital.
Recognizing these challenges the Federal Government of Nigeria has identified the modernization of the agricultural sector as a major priority.
This article is aimed at shedding some light on the role of agriculture in the Nigerian Economy.
Agriculture involves the science, practice and occupation of cultivating land ans raising crops. It also involves the feeding, breeding and raising of livestock, The main purpose of agriculture is to provide food and raw materials for human use.
Nigeria is currently poised to be a world power in the Agricultural sector.
The fact that Nigeria is richly blessed with abundant human and Natural resources is one point that has been consistently repeated in Various fora.
Agriculture contributes between 30 and 40 percent to the national gross domestic product (GDP) of the the country with a huge majority of the rural population engaging in subsistence Agriculture.
The relatively diverse variety of climate condition in Nigeria makes it possible to raise a wide range of crops across the country.
The major crops grown in economic quantity in Nigeria are beans, cashew nuts, cassava, cocoa, groundnuts, gum, Arabic kola-nut, Maize, melon, millet, oil palm, plantain and banana, rice, rubber, sorghum, Soy beans and yams.
Coupled with these crops Nigeria also produces fruits such as pineapples, oranges, lemon, lime, and tangerine.
Prior to the discovery of oil in Nigeria, agriculture was then the highest earner of foreign exchange for the country, and Nigeria was also largely self-sufficient in food production.
Although agriculture is no longer the focal point of the Nigerian Economy, it still plays some important roles in the country.
………………..To be continued on Roles of Agriculture in Nigeria’s Economy.
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Banana farming is the most neglected farming in Nigeria, yet, holds more promises and profit potential than most other farming. Knowledge is power and useful, but when it is kept away from the others it becomes useless! In this post we want to take a look at banana and plantain farming in Nigeria and how to get started.
You can be making N1million monthly from banana and plantain farming if you take it to the commercial standard. If many people Nigeria today could sit down and review their living standards, they will see that most of their complaints for poverty and their inability to take care of their situation were actually their own making.
Why would the city be clustered by hungry people who are doing nothing when the surrounding states are made up of vast expanses of productive farmlands? Even when you can make millions from farming without stress? Take up banana farming today and see how it goes.
Hear what a man said with regards to this: “I was shocked that I was largely to blame for the poverty I was wallowing in. Since then I resolved to do something to turn round the situation,”
Many people today are still wallowing in abject poverty notwithstanding that they can still conveniently do some things about the sad situation and rescue themselves from poverty, take care of the situation by embarking on personal business or the other instead of waiting endlessly for a white collar job that may be here today and gone tomorrow.
Do you know that plantain and banana mean much more than being carried with tray-pan and running after vehicles on the go-slow as so many are seen doing in many parts of Nigeria? If we realize that the demands of these fruits that has become staple food in Nigeria and other parts of the world is increasing by the day, we would then know that thinking towards that area would make some serious business senses.
Take plantain for example, Nigerian are not playing with it as they prefer eating it in various ways both ripped and unripe and very good for those working on their sugar levels.
Again other foods like beans, rice, and groundnuts all make very good combination when taken with banana or plantain. Think again about the delicious chips that we like to eat, all these and many more are the end products of plantain.
So without going into much details, looking at various usages of these fruits is enough to tell someone with entrepreneurs mindset that this is simply, money in bunches!
You may be new into farming or has been farming but hasn’t cared enough to consider banana and plantain as all that important.
But with the above brief analysis, we are encouraging you to give it a trial, with the assurance that if done properly, you will not regret it.
For those interested in plantain/banana cultivation, we will be glad to provide you with just enough knowledge needed to go into its farming and take part of the profits that those already in the business are enjoying.
Guidelines For Starting Banana And Plantain Farming
Look for the right climate –
Plantain and banana have one thing in common and that is, they thrives very well in an average climate that is neither too hot nor very cold. They do well in naturally fertilized soil or thick compost manure. Having them in groups is another tricks to getting good harvest because they protect each other from harsh rays of the sun or alternatively, if there are other trees to provide some needed shades that could help to maintain the humidity of the environment, that would suffice.
Bananas and Plantain are not grown like other plants but its grown through suckers and as such, choosing healthy suckers goes a long way to producing healthy harvests. Always use suckers from matured and dying plantain or banana plants.
While transplanting, make sure that the corm or the roots at the bottom is trimmed properly to facilitate good growths. Give five meters gap between plants and keep the plants moist at the early days but do not over wet the soil because the leaves are not yet out for much water evaporation.
Also apply any method to have it protected from some strong winds and throwing the dead plantain leaves back into the plant is good to sustain the needed manure for good growth.
Do not leave much suckers to be attached with a plant as two are usually enough. Cultivating plantain or banana doesn’t usually cost much except the initial securing of the land and planting the suckers after which the plants keeps growing unassisted.
Once it starts to produce, another form of work involves is to make sure that strong winds doesn’t get freely to it as that could bound to be falling the trees.
Starting a plantain or banana farm is not in any way expensive if you have a sizable land. The only thing that you would spend little money on are for the clearing of the farmland and buying of the suckers for planting.
For an acre of land, you may spend less than N300,000 to have every thing done and includes some clearing as the needs may be until the first harvest.
Once a plantain plantation picks up, the owner stands the chance of continuous harvest for the next 20-years or more depending on how the farm is maintained.
The best breeds to go for, is the “hybrid/agbagba” this is a good specie because apart from producing on time when properly taken care of, it’s usually very big and long; making people to compare it with elephant trunks.
Maintaining the plants doesn’t entail more than heaping soil around the suckers, removing of the unwanted suckers, fertilization, mulching and weeding once in a while.
In a banana or plantain farming is very lucrative because any amount it gives you on the first harvest, be sure that with less hard work than all that you started with, you would be making an increment year by year till the next 20 years or there about.
Plantain farming is a sure business if only the farmer see it as such. When you go to mile 12 market, Ketu market or any other markets where the fruits are being sold, you would be made to understand better that those making it possible are not in any where joking because it is a viable business.
Though the business is lucrative but the advice from long time farmers is,
‘The size of your farm should depend on the size of your dream, creativity and innovation. Avoid taking on too much than you can be able to handle financially and in terms of personnel’. Besides embracing modern farming practices, seeds and technology, be passionate about what you do and give farming additional time’.
Those are the words from the horse’s mouth, those who had changed their life stories with various forms of farming, banana and plantain inclusive.
The man we started his testimonies with in this post still has much to share with us as he continues….
“I had always dreamed of becoming a big farmer. Naturally, I was inclined to the agriculture sector, in which I believed I had some basic skills to do a decent job,”
That didn’t do much for him until he backed up his words with determination and stood up to carry out his long held heart desires of going into farming and that changed his life for the better as he have this to say “I could now see my dream taking shape…I could see myself as the biggest farmer in our locality. I was determined to make commercial farming a pedestal for a better future for my family,”
You may be surprised to know what this successful farmer is giving these praises to. He started with Pineapple farming and cattle rearing and later diversified into banana cultivation. His testimonies continues…
“I was among the poorest people in the sector, but he now I owns the most beautiful house in the entire village. My children are studying in one of the best schools in town.” This farmer concludes with this counsel for farmers: “Always plan your projects well and be focused. He adds that only those that dare to dream big and take that extra-mile achieve goals. The reality of this saying can only be proved by embarking on the lucrative plantain farming.
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According to Wikipedia, agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants and fungi for food, fiber, biofuel, medicinal plants and other products used to sustain and enhance human life. It is important therefore to work towards boosting the Nigerian economy through agriculture.
Nigeria is a nation that depends solely on crude oil to drive its economy. Nigeria has been having it good economically until recently, due to the crash of oil price globally and no thanks to the resumed hostilities in the Niger Delta region which has immensely and adversely affected Nigeria’s economy.
To say it simply, Nigeria can no longer depend solely on oil to survive economically. Nigeria must as a matter of urgency diversify its economy for its survival and agriculture readily comes to mind to answer the question of diversification.
Before the discovery of crude oil, Nigeria was basically operating an agrarian economy, which involved the cultivation and exportation of cash crops like cocoa, groundnut, palm oil, etc. It is now high time Nigeria got back to agriculture for economic sustainability. As Anietie Udoema once said, “you cannot change a winning formula.” If agriculture sustained Nigeria in the past, it can equally sustain Nigeria now.”
✅Important Reasons Why Nigeria Must Embrace Agriculture
Nigeria stands to gain a lot if particular if urgent attention is paid to agricultural development. According to Wikipedia, agriculture is a vital industry in China, employing over 300 million farmers.
According to Chief Audu Ogbe, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN), as published by The Guardian Newspaper of February 13 2016, Nigeria spends a whopping $20b on food importation yearly and National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria reported that agriculture’s contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP), decreased from N4.5b in the fourth quarter of 2015 to N3.2b in the first quarter of 2016.
The above therefore implies that Nigeria loses so much in food importation and generates so little economically with regards to agriculture. Other reasons are:-
✅Practical Ways To Boost Nigerian Economy Through Agriculture
The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) has farms across the 36 states of Nigeria, which is managed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should undertake a national survey and tour of the FGN farms and publish the addresses of the farms.
The FGN through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development should employ youths into the Federal farms to cultivate the farms. The employees should be paid as civil servants. However, they must be supervised and monitored to make sure work is done.
Offices should be built on the farm where full administrative and supervisory work takes place.
Ranches, piggeries, poultries, etc should be built on the farms and animal and crop farming will be going on simultaneously.
Markets should be built on the farms so that harvested farm produce can be sold immediately without the stress of transportation and other inconveniences.
The farmlands or shops in the market could be leased or rented to as many as are interested.
Food storage should be a top priority of the government. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as President established 7 silos for the storage of food. One of the silos which is located in the Sheda Area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is 100,000 metric tonnes silo and is reputed to be the largest in West Africa. More silos can still be built. Every farm should have storage facilities.
Public Private Partnership should be encouraged. Government should bring in investors.
Farmers and investors should be encouraged by favorable policies, tax rebates or tax holidays, etc.
Agricultural Science or agricultural studies as the case may be should be introduced into the education curriculum as a compulsory subject or course from nursery or elementary to tertiary institutions. Every Nigerian student at any level must learn about farming and own a farm while in school. At the tertiary level, the FGN can get a clue from Landmark University, Omu Aran, Kwara State, which ‘Agrarian Revolution’ as its mission.
Conclusively, according to the words of Allan Savoy, “without agriculture, it is not possible to have a city, stock market, banks, university, church or army. Agriculture is the foundation of any civilization and any stable economy.”
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By now, it should be no surprise to you that agriculture is the most
lucrative business sector in Nigeria . This has led to a huge boost in local and international investment, which has seen the agriculture industries potential increase exponentially.
If you’re still thinking about whether or not to invest in Nigerian agriculture, you should stop thinking and make a decision today. My advice to you is – don’t delay. The industry is so full of potential, and moving so quickly that you risk being left behind.
If you are already planning to start plantain farming in Nigeria, then you have made the right choice to help you turn your financial status around. With very little capital, plantain farming can help you make millions of Naira every year.
The secret to successful plantain farming is to ensure that you learn the basics, and master a few tricks of the trade. This is why you can start small and scale up to earn a lot from it.
The Plantain tree is a native of Asia, having been cultivated first in 500BC by South Indians. It has spread widely throughout the tropics, moving from Africa to the Caribbean and Latin America. At present though, Nigeria is a large producer of plantain. Nigeria produces more for local consumption in comparison to export.
You might be wondering why is plantain farming such a lucrative business? Plantain farming in Nigeria is so lucrative because plantain features heavily in the staple diet of most Nigerians. The few farmers who are successfully operating in this sector are making millions of Naira.
For instance, if you taste a Yoruba made garri and Igbo version,you are bound to notice some major and minor differences just like you would of a Togo and Ghana garri.
The guideline is to know what appeals to your market, if not onemay end up with the right product in the wrong market.In Nigeria, one may have the options of producing garri with varying methods and have it taken to the market for sale but among these various methods of productions, manually produced garri usually last longer than quickly made ones which contains moisture and starts getting bad as soon as it’s bagged, but the downside of this methods of production is that it doesn’t pass the international standards and are not fit for exportation.
Garri production is a very big business that is churning out millions of naira for those doing just the ways it should be done. The investors with the right machinery are making real money producing this essential commodity in some great quantity to serve the market that is far from being saturated as the demands of it continues to increase.
It is a viable business because it is one of the most widely consumed food in Africa and beyond. As the population of Africa continues to grow along with its economy, likewise the demands of staple foods like garri continues to match up with it.
To start with, Garri is a product of Cassava which thrives in African soil due to good tropical climate. Even when other farm produce fails, cassava is is very sure to live up to expectations in bringing good harvest to the farmers.
There are so many ways to convert the produce of cassava into different foods in Africa which garri happens to be the most among the list and its accepted throughout Nigeria as a common food for all.
Put simple, garri is a common man’s food.
Sometimes and no matter how intense the economy is or howhard other food commodities may be to obtain in the market, the common question from caring relatives or others are usually,‘Hope you are eating garri or ebba?’ as its otherwise called. Just to show you how sure and affordable garri is.
Garri is very common and that has affected its prices for a long time now and making it to be stable. At least,close to 80% of cassava produce are processed into garri just to show you how high the demands of garri is around within the country not to talk of having it exported to other countries which those who met the stringent exports requirements are doing.
You may not have to concern yourself over that because you can still make it big producing and selling it locally and even contact those exporting it to be buying from you if are sure of enough quantities and best processed products.If you have interest in garri production, here are some tips to guide you into making it a reality as you are sure to have your millions to show for it.For any serious entrepreneur to go into garri production, he may have to invest in cassava production which in its own is a profitable farming in Nigeria.
But if you are sure of having a steady supply of cheap and fresh cassava tubers, then you can still make it without your own farm.Another important thing to keep in mind is that cassava is a perishable item and if left for a long time it may get spoiled and that would affect your end product; because of that, always have the time frame in mind whenever you are placing order for a fresh supply or going to the market to buy yourself.