Growth in agricultural output has undoubtedly been on the rise as farmers are shifting away from subsistence agriculture and embracing modern civilization – investing in\slarge scale farming and ultimately increasing agricultural yields.
The Nigerian soil and the climatic condition is very suitable for the production of wide verities of crops, there are over a hundred different food crops produced by farmers in Nigeria every year which includes yam, maize, millet, sorghum, beans, potatoes, rice, onions garbage, carrot, pear, cocoa, cocoa yam, okra, vegetables, and very many others.
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Nigeria is the global number 1 producer of cassava… Cassava production has taken center stage in Nigeria and generates over 45 percent of the Nigerian agricultural GDP. Agriculture in Nigeria contributes approximately 20 percent of the Nigerian total GDP, falling behind petroleum which is the most prominent Nigerian domestic produce.
Although Nigeria depends heavily on the oil industry for its budgetary revenue, it is believed that if the agricultural sector is managed correctly and enhanced, it would significantly boost the country’s gross domestic product and even replace oil on the top of the list, considering the vast area of land that is unused in Nigeria.
In 1990, it was anticipated that roughly 82 million hectares out of Nigeria’s total land area of 91 million hectares were found to be bearable, and barely 42 percent of this cultivable area was farmed. Much of this area was cultivated under the bush fallow system, a procedure whereby land is kept idle for some time to allow natural regeneration of soil fertility and restoration of soil nutrition.
The agriculture industry is believed to be one of Nigeria’s potential sources of money that is yet underdeveloped and undiscovered.
Animal rearing in Nigeria
In Nigeria, agricultural techniques include the breeding of meat-producing animals and animals that serve as beasts of burden, assisting in the movement of goods and people.
Nigerians rely heavily on meat from cows and chickens. Therefore livestock production is an essential element of the country’s agriculture. Moreover, meat is a significant aspect of Nigerian cuisine; it is fair to claim that Nigerians do not prepare recipes without meat or fish.
Animals reared in Nigeria include cows, goats, sheep, cattle, pigs, horses, and various poultry birds such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, and pigeons.
Problems of Agriculture in Nigeria
Nigerian agriculture may use a boost in a few key areas. But, first, if success is to be accomplished, farmers must be educated. Unfortunately, most Nigerian farmers in subsistence agriculture have limited awareness of the upgraded agricultural system’s operational methods.
If farmers in Nigeria are given the required tools and resources, the agricultural sector in Nigeria will vastly improve; the land will be correctly utilized, resulting in a significant reduction in food imports and, as a result, an increase in the employment rate.
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The production of food crops and animal rearing in Nigeria is hampered by several issues, which are a lack of energy. Due to a lack of electricity for storage and processing, more than 40% of Nigeria’s perishable goods deteriorate after harvest.
Although major farm equipment requires electricity to operate, most Nigerian farmers prefer to use human labor because the cost of running machines with other sources of power is sometimes prohibitive.
Another issue confronting Nigerian agriculture is excellent roads for transporting harvested crops from farmland to main roadways. Most farms in Nigeria are about a mile from the main road, and the only entrance to these farms is usually a path pounded by men’s feet.
Nigeria Farmers also face issues such as obtaining the necessary cash to run a farm, constructing farm buildings, and a proper storage system.
Way Forward for Nigeria Agriculture
It is estimated that if the Nigerian government and the ministry of agriculture intervene in alleviating the difficulties of Nigerian farmers, the country’s importation of food and animals will drop dramatically by 2020. Thus, Nigeria has the potential to double its GDP solely by exporting cassava products with proper strategy and resources.
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