Nigeria has several factors for a blooming agricultural industry – most importantly, the vast lands and millions of people ready to work. However, there are also many factors preventing this industry from growing. Find out about 10 problems of agricultural development in Nigeria!
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1. Imported food
No list of problems and prospects of agricultural development in Nigeria can be complete without mentioning the huge amounts of food imported in the country. When affordable food products are regularly shipped from overseas, farmers have trouble competing and risk losing their income over setting low prices for their produce.
2. Lack of education
Agriculture often seems like an easy enough business, especially on a small scale, but in reality being a successful farmer takes a lot of learning. One of the biggest problems of agricultural development in Nigeria is that there is no universal solution for teaching people how to start an agriculture business or even the benefits of joining this industry.
Agriculture is a business that is built on workforce. With more and more young Nigerians leaving their home villages for big cities or even going to live and work in other countries, agriculture loses one of its biggest assets. Persuading the Nigerian youth to stay in the rural parts of the country and develop farming businesses there is one of the few ways to get Nigeria out of the agricultural crisis.
4. Government policies
The Nigerian government is only beginning to launch a variety of programs designed to help the agricultural sector. From issues with obtaining a fertilizer subsidy to the low rate of importing hybrid seedlings that are suited for Nigerian soil, the government has still a long way to go to support Nigerian farmers on a decent level.
5. Bad road infrastructure
The issue with roads is not only one of the biggest problems of agriculture in Nigeria, but also concerns all other industries in the country. Agriculture is closely connected to transportation: whether it’s transporting materials from the warehouse to the field or delivering the produce to the markets, bad roads affect the efficiency and monetary side of the business.
6. Irrigation problems
Irrigation is a central aspect of the agricultural business, but the problem with it in Nigeria is that it heavily depends on the season. During the rainy season, the Nigerian plains demonstrate outstanding fertility, but during the rest of the year, there are little to no developed irrigation system to establish a steady supply of water to the fields.
7. Lack of research
Agriculture is an industry that is constantly developing, which is why, on the list of problems of agriculture and their solutions, research occupies a top spot. Unfortunately, agricultural research is still in its early stages in Nigeria, and even when it does produce results, farmers have a hard time implementing them due to the lack of education.
8. Limited machinery
Most Nigerian farmers are used to farming the old school way, which is both very time-consuming and not very efficient. From time to time, the Nigerian government imports modern machinery, but there aren’t any service stations that can repair the new equipment. That is why modern machinery usually stays in the garage while the farmers resort to their old ways.
9. Food processing
The way the harvests are processed in Nigeria has a largely negative effect on the state of the industry. Up to 40% of crops are lost before they can make it to the markets for a variety of reasons: insects, bacteria, slow harvesting, and lack of appropriate storage facilities.
10. Bank policies
Like any business, agriculture requires a beginning farmer to have a capital to lease the land, buy seedlings and machinery, and hire workers. Most people don’t have that kind of money simply lying around, and obtaining a loan from bank isn’t easy either. There is a clear lack of farming loan programs.
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