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In Nigeria today agriculture is receiving a lot attention both from the Federal and state governments. It is an area that every wise investor should look into.
Some schools of thought believe that investment in agriculture will be the best investment of the 21st century.
While that statement might be a little bold, there is no arguing that a large number of basic commodities grown in Nigeria have both local and export potentials.
Nigeria has the potential not only to meet its growing food needs but also to become one of the leading food exporting countries in the sub-region and the world at large. Nigeria is blessed with over 140 million people, with about 70 per cent engaged in (peasant or commercial) farming.
Nigeria has about 79 million hectares of arable land (less than half of which is under cultivation); and is blessed with highly diversified ecological conditions suitable for the production of a wide range of agricultural products.
Nigeria has 267 billion cubic metres of surface water; 57.9 billion cubic metres of underground water; an annual rainfall range of 300mm to 400mm; and potential irrigable area of 3.14 million hectares (seven per cent of which is utilised).
Over the past 30 years, the world’s population has grown by more than 50 per cent to over six billion, and is expected to increase by the same proportion again by 2050. Yet, the world’s food supplies are failing to keep up.
Many of the farms in developing countries produce small yields, and need help and more modern farming equipment to help them produce larger amounts of produce. And there is still plenty of unused land around the world, suitable for agricultural expansion.
Nigeria is a nation endowed and blessed with natural resources, the resources range from arable lands for crop cultivation, varieties of livestock, fresh water across the nation suitable for aquaculture and irrigation. These are the kinds of natural endowments that God has blessed Nigeria with.
Investment in agriculture can bring about:
1. Food security – Food security exists when all people, at all times, have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs for an active and healthy life. Food security for a household means access by all members at all times to enough food, according to FAO. An investment in agriculture by households can bring about food security and income generation and subsequently result in attaining food security in Nigeria.
2. Poverty and hunger reduction - In general, countries that succeeded in reducing hunger were characterised by more rapid economic growth and specifically more growth in their agricultural sectors.
Studies show that growth and development in the agricultural sector can reduce poverty and hunger to a great extent, hence a direct relationship exists between food consumption levels and poverty.
For example, the only countries that reduced hunger during the 1990s were those which registered agricultural growth. A look at FAO’s statistics over the last 30 years reveal countries that continued to invest in agriculture-both governmental and non-governmental now experience the lowest levels of undernourishment and poverty.
A lot of our youths can be gainfully employed through agriculture. The President of Moringa Association of Nigeria, Dr Nwora Ozumba, an associate professor in the department of parasitology and entomology at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, confirmed that if moringa is well developed it can generate income worth N500billion to the Federal Government and can employ thousands of Nigerians
3. Wealth creation – in developed countries, most of the rich people are farmers. Farming is not a profession for the aged, rural and illiterates. Households can make money from food production and can also save money by producing some of their own food.
Who can invest in agriculture in Nigeria? Every Nigerian! Every Nigerian, home and abroad, who desires to make money this year should and must put some money aside to invest in agriculture on a micro, small, medium or large scale.
Some possible areas of investment:
Food crops – cassava, yam, cocoyam, sweet potatoes, corn, millet, soya beans, groundnuts, and so on.
Horticulture - vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers, dry season vegetable production, and so on.
Plantation agriculture - teak, oil palm, cocoa, rice, millet, moringa, jatropha, pineapple, sour sop, cashew, groundnut, orchards, and so on.
Animals - grass cutter, goat, cow, sheep, rabbits, snails, dog breeding, and so on.
Livestock - poultry, hatchery business, selling of six-week old birds, quails, turkeys, guinea fowl, and so on.
Agro -allied/equipment - inputs, agricultural equipment -tractor, sprinklers, fertiliser, chemicals, and so on.
Food processing/cottage agric businesses - foodstuff processing and packaging (gaari, yam flour, starch, beans, pepper, rice, and so on), catfish smoking business, frozen food-chicken, snails, grasscutter, quail meat, prawns , palm oil milling business, moringa powder and oil production, cashew nuts processing and packaging, feed formulation for catfish, poultry, quails, dogs.
Distribution of foodstuff - You don’t have to be a producer; you can simply buy from producers and sell to consumers.
Stay blessed and Happy Farming!Share