Nigeria is engaging about 70% of it labour force in agriculture but still has the same percentage falling below poverty level. About 30% of Nigeria’s land is under cultivation leaving a 70% of arable land unattended to. Abundance of water unlike most parts of the world, nigeria’s diverse climate, from the tropical areas of the coast to the arid zone of the north, make it possible to produce virtually all agricultural products that can be grown in the tropical and semitropical areas of the world (Abubakar, B.Y, 2010)
Today, we have over 15 national agricultural research institutes, 30 universities training specialists in various fields of agriculture, 50 colleges of agriculture and polytechnics training middle level manpower and all carrying out basic research in different fields of agriculture, still what do we have to show for it. Yet, agriculture is the main hub of any economy but is yet to drive the economy of Nigieria. I could go on and on but I believe we all know the infrastructures in place in the Nigerian agriculture.
Presently, the government has started putting up efforts in this sector for instance, the economic benefits of large-scale agriculture are recognized, and the government favors the formation of cooperative societies and settlements to encourage industrial agriculture, the invitation to foreign investors to invest in Nigeria (Domingo Farms), building of silos in different locations, direct sale of fertilizer to farmers and others just to mention a few.
But in reality, there are too many things to do, the agricultural value chain is so long that if we wait for the government we might wait forever… and so my question is, what are u doing in your own way to drive the needed passion in agriculture in your community? Its Nigeria’s independence day and I daresay, asides from thanking God for the gift of life and peace, what are we celebrating………..its time for a new generation of positive, right thinking and reasonable people to arise… our future lies in our hands.
We need agricultural teachers, lecturers and professors, agriculture-meteorological scientists to work on climate issues, agriculture-environmentalists, agricultural chemists, agricultural biologists and microbiologists, soil scientists, agronomists, extensionists to deliver research to the farmers, storage technicians, agricultural economists, agricultural bankers, farm equipment’s and inputs designers and suppliers, biofuel producers and engineers, agricultural companies to process and package products, agricultural shops, agricultural lawyers and the government to provide the infrastructure and policies(market openness and trade liberizations, price stability, road networks to farms, credit etc) to boost this nation to a world class economy. The list is endless.
There are so many issues facing this sector. All we need to do is choose a challenge and create a solution to it. This might need you to read more, study more but don’t be shaken for the end justifies the means.
Youths of this age, as u celebrate today in history, choose to become a part of the solution, a part of the new generation agriculture, a part of Nigeria’s success.
The Green Generation Nigeria is poised to celebrate agriculture and its people. It has started with the roots(secondary schools) and has already created School Vegetable farms in those schools. It aims to drive the passion once more at this level all over Nigeria and ultimately form a new caccus of agricultural specialists. I have chosen mine, whats yours……………………join us at the Green generation. www.thegreengenerationnigeria.blogspot.com
Happy Birthday Nigeria, Happy Independence Day………….hip hip hip hurray………….