Agriculture: Gradually Returning To Service Nigeria’s Economy

Adeshina--24-1-15

AGRICULTURE used to be the mainstay of the Nigerian economy. As oil revenue increased, successive governments out of lack of leadership vision ignored this economic multiplier until President Goodluck Jonathan administration made agriculture a top priority of his government.  So far, the present government’s agricultural programmes have recorded appreciable gains that can be further leveraged to ensure self-sufficiency in food production and possibly economic stability in the face of dwindling oil price.

  Nigerians, especially the Christian community who observe Christmas celebration and other end of the year activities have always witnessed price hikes in almost all types of foods, especially rice. But December last year was a month that could be referenced to have signposted the gains made by the Jonathan administration in the quest to boost food production and ensure that the journey towards self-sufficiency in agricultural practices reflects in practical terms on the quality of life. This was due to the 70 per cent growth in food production following the present government’s commitment, investment and efforts in the agricultural sector. The development is unprecedented in the history of the country since the oil boom.   

  It would be recalled that in 2011, the Jonathan administration took giant steps towards food sufficiency by initiating the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) through the Ministry of Agriculture. The GES programme was essentially designed to plug all the leakages in the fertilizer and agricultural components distribution programmes and ensure that farmers, rather than profiteering middlemen, access the components and the subsidies attached to them.

  Last year’s Christmas celebration provided a window for an assessment of the programme. In 2013, rice prices shot up by about 25 per cent during this high demand period. But in 2014, prices largely stabilised and citizens were able to purchase almost at the same rate they bought the previous year.

  The Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, recently said the current rice transformation policy would lead to the national goal of rice self-sufficiency.  

  “Nigerian rice farmers have increased output by over 2.8 million metric tonnes of rice paddy. The total output of paddy in the 2012 wet season and 2012/2013 dry season brought to the market an additional 1.409 million metric tonnes (MT) of paddy or 916,137 MT of milled rice from 403,222 hectares of cultivated land. By the 2013 wet season and 2013/2014 dry season, output more than doubled to 2.96 million MT of paddy or 1.92 MT of milled rice from 802,108 hectares of land.

  “What this means that if the current tempo is sustained and the area of land devoted to rice cultivation were doubled, Nigeria would produce over and above the quantity of rice being imported, leaving room for export. 

  “This has happened because through the GES programme, government has given massive support to farmers. Without this, the quantum jump in production would have been elusive.” 

   With increased farming activities, government has also been solving employment problems along the way. Agriculture, being a critical employment enabler, experts say, has capacity to reduce the spiraling unemployment rate in the country significantly. There is no doubt that, so far, tremendous gains have been recorded in the sector that was comatose before now.  It was a result of the progress made in the sector that some yam sellers in the North allegedly donated N5 billion to General Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign funding.  

  Speaking on the progress made in rice production recently, Special Assistant on Media and Strategy to the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Olukayode Oyeleye, said the upbeat in rice production activities in the 2012 wet season and 2012/2013 dry seasons resulted in 751, 248 jobs produced in rural communities. This, according to him, was in addition to hundreds of thousands of other indirect job opportunities for input suppliers, farm labourers, transporters, warehouse operators and other stakeholders in the value chain.

 “The rice transformation agenda under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) was truly ambitious, but realistic. After two years of attempts, the decision to embark on such an ambitious programme has proved worthwhile. There are many areas in which efforts of the government have restored hope and brightened prospects and we will continue to work on these areas to ensure that in a few years down the road, greater gains would be recorded,” he stated.

  Citing the example of cotton, a product that was high in the country’s export list in the 60s and 70s, Oyeleye said plans were already underway to ensure this class of agro products grow as high as rice in the coming years. He noted that when this happens, the nation’s hitherto healthy textile industry would become alive and millions of direct and indirect employment would be created. 

  On the prospects of restoring the cotton industry, the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina said: “I have looked at the creativity in the Nigerian fashion industry and can only imagine what that growing industry would be like when we begin to receive the results from the foundation we are currently laying in cotton production.

  We want to ensure that the diversified Nigerian economy of the near future would be driven by agriculture.”

  So there is no gainsaying the fact that under the Jonathan administration, the prospects of changing the country’s fortunes through the agric sector is looking good. The gains from the GES have provided a new vista through which the economy can grow and sustain the country and its people with or without oil. When the time comes and Nigeria is able to feed itself, revenue losses from needless imports can then be aggregated and channeled to other critical areas of need. 

Danbada, a farmer wrote Otukpo, Benue State



2 Comments
  • Nwarienne P.J.

    For 2 years I have been trying to no avail to secure agric loan to
    establish a cocoa/cassava plantation with one of my new company, AGRO SEEDS
    INDUSTRIES. I wish the FMARD to sponsor pilot farms for my company to teach
    youths all over the states in Nigeria basic/practical and vocational
    agriculture using my book ‘Agricultural orientation for Nigerian youths, vol.1,
    food-crops,’ a basic of the agricultural orientation series. We want to partner with the FMARD, IITA, FIRRO,
    YFarm, ect., to make ATA of Nigeria a reality in practice.

    Nwarienne P.J.
    2348063341849

  • Nwarienne P.J.

    SOS. RE;APPEAL FOR SPONSOR TO PUBLISH MY BOOK ON AGRIC ORIENTATION FOR NIGERIAN YOUTHS.

    Nigeria is one of the most blessed countries in the world. The problem
    is spiritual wickedness of its people. People that sold their fellow
    brothers in exchange for
    anything into slavery for centuries to the West and East Indices,
    Americas, Europe, Middle east, and Asian countries.
    They prefer to give and serve the white man than to do same to their fellow blacks. I
    am lettered in history. The middle men of the Slave coast; from
    Eko-Badagry to Creek town Calabar; [Nigeria] started the trans-Atlantic
    stage it with the Europeans in mid 16th century, later with the
    American settlers. There were hundreds of savage and modern wars before
    the annexation of the colonies of Lagos and Calabar in late 19th
    century. Later the protectorate on the north and south and its
    amalgamation in 1914. John Becroft fought Oba Kosoko of Eko and King
    Jaja of Opobo, these two were captured and deported to the Barbados
    Island in the West Indice {Caribbean Islands} also Nana of Itsekiri and
    Oba Ovaremi of Benin were dealt with, all to stop with force the
    illegitimate trade in human beings. When Lord Lugard fought Ahmadu Bello
    at Kaduna it was for ruler-ship over the emirates.
    To cut a very long
    story short I would rather advise Nigerian to see beyond their nose,
    and learn to help keep a country that took centuries of unrecorded and
    recorded wars and anarchy to build.
    Whatever is your gift is what God
    will use to bless others. What is your gift? Giving offer us the
    opportunity to restore our destiny – your love, wisdom, time and money
    does it all and there will be peace and joy for every one. God is found
    of revealing weakness before [they] begin to destroy. I have a personal
    idea that can make this country very successful. Check it out, print,
    copy and paste.

    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
    RE; APPEAL TO PUBLISH A BOOK TITLED ‘AGRICULTURAL ORIENTATION FOR NIGERIAN YOUTHS, VOL1. FOOD-CROPS.

    Appeal for funding my publication of a revolutionary book on agriculture
    titled, “Agricultural Orientation for Nigerian Youths,” Vol. one;
    food-crops.
    By Joseph-Paul Nwarienne.

    I have just finished writing a revolutionary manuscript on agriculture title “Agricultural
    Orientation for Nigerian Youths”, volume 1; Food Crops. The format is as follows;-
    [a] The preface.
    [b] Acknowledgments.
    [c] 6 parts.
    [d] 27 chapters.
    [e] 44 references.
    [f] 11 illustrations.
    All
    the chapters have between 3-9 sub-chapters that deal on specified crop
    analysis in sequences that I deemed not necessary to classify hereon.

    Part 1: Introduction:- 3 chapters. 1. Farm Management. 2. Factors influencing the present
    situation of food production in Nigeria. 3. The socioeconomic aspect of agricultural schemes to
    increase food production in Nigeria.

    Part 2: Agronomy:- 6 chapters. 1. The plant crop. 2. Land preparation. 3. Soil and plant
    nutrients. 4. Weeds control. 5. Propagation techniques. 6. Disease and pest control.

    Part 3: Root crops:- 4 chapters. 1.Cassava. 2.Yam. 3.Sweet potatoes. 4.Coco-yam.

    Part 4: Cereal-crops:- 4 chapters. 1.Rice. 2.Wheat. 3.Maize. 4.Guinea-corn

    Part 5: Legume and Fruit crops:- 6 chapters. 1.Groundnut. 2.Cow-pea. 3.Plantain. 4.Pineapple. 5.Orange. 6.Paw-paw.

    Part 6: Vegetable crops:- 4 chapters. 1.Garbage. 2. Tomatoes. 3.Onion. 4.Pepper.

    Like I said earlier, each of the chapters have sub-chapters in sequences,
    eg., Part 3:- chapter 12. Sweet Potatoes [Impomoea batatas].
    12.1. Importance.
    12.1.1. Fresh tuber utility.
    12.1.2. Processed tuber utility.
    12.2. Botany of the crop.
    12.3. Propagation technique.
    12.4. Maintenance.
    12.5. Harvest and storage.
    12.6. Disease and pest control.

    I
    study and researched vocational agriculture at Isulo, Igbariam, and
    Adani farm settlements. I graduated with NCE., from school of arts and
    social sciences,
    department of Geography/History, Nwafor Orizu College of Education
    Nsugbe, Anambra state, Nigeria. Reg.No.2007/8680.

    I classified this script such as none had ventured. I hereby beg this organization for funds
    to enable me publish and print the manuscript 1st edition of vol.1. I am a
    prolific writer that needs sponsoring to publish. The manuscript is 26,
    431 words, 44 references and, 11 illustrations.

    For two years I have been trying to no avail to secure agric loan to establish a
    cocoa/cassava plantation with one of my new companies, AGRO SEEDS
    INDUSTRIES. I want a sponsor pilot farms for my company to teach youths
    all over the states in Nigeria basic/practical and vocational
    agriculture using my book ‘Agricultural orientation for Nigerian youths,
    vol.1, food-crops,’ a basic of the agricultural orientation series. We
    want to partner with you to make ATA of Nigeria a reality in practice.

    I uploaded a software version of the unpublished manuscript to Dorrance
    Publishing Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. for possible
    publishing of the script on premium standard level at the cost of
    $15,000 I wish to launch this revolutionary book on agriculture state by
    state and in the process establishing agric vocation centers in
    Nigeria.

    I hereby appeal to the to use your discretion via your
    subsidiaries to sponsor this pilot project for the publication of this
    book ‘AGRICULTURAL ORIENTATION FOR NIGERIAN YOUTHS’ Vol. 1. FOOD-CROPS.
    The book will be instrumentally pivotal and like Gorge Orwell’s ‘ANIMAL
    FARM’ of 1947, and Karl Marx’s ‘CAPITAL’ of 1867 revolutionary
    expediency respectively. I will be able to pay with interest whatever
    amount granted me since I know that agriculture is a very viable
    business than meet the eyes of the teaming youths of Nigeria.

    Joseph-Paul Nwarienne

    08063341849
    08038146812

    Bank: Diamond bank plc:-
    A/C Name: Nwarienne Joseph
    A/C No: 0049017824

    Bank: Fidelity Bank Plc:-
    A/C Name: NIGERCOM GLOBAL RESOURCES LTD
    A/C No: 5600132088

    Below is except from a correspondence with a publishing company; Dorrance
    Publishing Company, Inc. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. which I have
    made contact with.

    Joseph-Paul Nwarienne
    Nigeria

    Dear Joseph-Paul :

    We have received and completed our review of Agricultural Orientation for
    Nigeria: Volume One: Food Crops and we believe your work would make a
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    In this manuscript, the author discusses the subcategories of managing a
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