Nigeria’s got a good number of it’s citizens in agricultural sector especially in the rural communities. In the United States of America only about 2% of the country’s population are into agriculture, but American farms contribute about $140 billion to the nation’s GDP. Agriculture in Nigeria can improve greatly if the problems are well tackled. Below are the major problems facing agriculture in Nigeria and their possible solutions.
- Poor Management
- Inadequate Finance
- Lack of Mechanisation/Modernisation
- Lack of Information
- Poor Research and Record keeping
- Poor Infrastructure
1. Poor Management
Management is the ability for a person to make decisions, organise resources, implement decisions and evaluate the effects of his decisions for the success of an enterprise.
The management should plan, organise, direct, staff and control the activities in the farm. Most Nigerian farms are run by individuals or families who have zero managerial skills. So when problems arise in the farm, they try to solve themselves or allow the problem thrive when unable to.
If you’re not a subsistence farmer, your farm needs management. So get one or more educated personnel with managerial experience or someone who’s got good farm management records.
2. Inadequate Finance
Nigerian farmers (80%) are small family farmers, this is so not because they like being small farmers but because of the lack of funds to expand to large scale farming.
One of the major problems facing agriculture in Nigeria is lack of funds and these funds are kinda difficult to come by as farmers are not being granted loans or better still do not know how to get loans.
This is definitely lead to struggling to make a living and also lead to bringing uninterested family members to take part in farming instead of hiring labour. The whole frustration will affect overall productivity.
Online farming has made it easy for farmers to get loans for their farms. Apart from that, lots of non-agricultural companies now offer loans for various businesses. So this should no longer be one of the major problems facing agriculture in Nigeria.
3. Lack of Mechanisation
We are in the 21st century and farmers in Nigeria still rely on crude implements for farming and storage. They just like to suffer, wouldn’t blame no one because most farmers can’t afford modernised/mechanised equipments for farming and the cost of renting too is quit expensive, so they just stick with them hoes and cutlass and wheelbarrows and watering cans that affect productivity to a large extent.
Here, the government’s got a huge role to play. Mechanised implements like tractors, ploughs, irrigation tools, etc, should be provided by the government or the ministry of agriculture to help rural farmers.
Cooling supplies for perishable farm products should be installed in trucks or houses to keep perishable farm products fresh. For poultry, incubators should be provided as most farmers make eggs and not birds.
4. Lack of Information
Lack of information is one of the major problems facing agriculture in Nigeria. Most of our farmers just don’t know. They don’t know about loans, they don’t know how to get mechanised implements, they don’t know how to select the right seed variety, they don’t know the right spacing for planting, they don’t know the best time for planting, they just don’t know.
Adequate trainings and seminars should be held for farmers on different sectors to create awareness. New technologies introduced and if possible, farmers should be monitored to ensure the knowledge gained is applied on their farms.
5. Poor Research and Record keeping
Do Nigerian farmers know what record keeping is? I really don’t think so. There is no accurate tracking of farm activities.
Agricultural development in Nigeria cannot be measured if there is disorganisation of the farm records for research purposes. This makes it really hard to get to the root of agricultural or farming problems to proffer solutions.
Proper documentation and record keeping of farming information should be adopted.
6. Poor Infrastructure
Inadequate and unreliable infrastructure service is one of the major problems facing agriculture in Nigeria. We found that better infrastructure translates into better food production.
Poor infrastructure discourages potential local and foreign investors and leads to waste of farm products.
Basic amenities such as good roads, water, electricity and the likes should be provided to farming areas. This will definitely increase productivity and farm/agricultural output.
Most of our farmers can neither read nor write. The local farmers are even as uninformed as they lack modern agricultural education. This hinders growth and won’t help productivity.
Farmers should be taught and constantly updated on agricultural topics and innovations. In this case extension agents should also help illiterate farmers with every information needed.
The above listed are the major problems facing agriculture in Nigeria. If the solutions are taken seriously, the agricultural sector of this Nation will have a green.
Also the above listed solutions can work for any business and not just agricultural businesses.