Agricultural Business in Nigeria: Gone are the days when farmers were demeaned and considered as low-class citizens in the country. Show me a country where there are no farmers and I will show you a country where the farmers feed their comrades.
Nigeria herself is an agricultural country, a note from our national coat of arm. First, the black shield represents the fertile soil of Nigeria while the green and white wreath on which the eagle stands is the agricultural potential of our great country. Great Nigeria!
With the implementation of the agricultural policies, which was adopted in 1988 and was expected to remain valid for about fifteen years, that is, up to the year 2000, agriculture has become an occupation greatly considered by Nigerians.
The Broad Policy Objectives Include:
1. Attainment of self-sufficiency in basic food commodities With particular reference to those which consume considerable shares of Nigeria’s foreign exchange and for which the country has a comparative advantage in local production;
2. Increase in production of agricultural raw materials to meet the growth of an expanding industrial sector;
3. Increase in production and processing of exportable Commodities with a view to increasing their foreign exchange earning capacity and further diversifying the country’s export base and sources of foreign exchange earnings;
4. Modernization of agricultural production, processing, storage and distribution through the infusion of improved technologies and management so that agriculture can be more responsive to the demands of other sectors of that Nigerian economy;
5. Creation of more agricultural and rural employment opportunities to increase the income of farmers and rural dwellers and to productively absorb an increasing labor force in the nation;
6. Protection and improvement of agricultural land resources and preservation of the environment for sustainable agricultural production;
7. Establishment of appropriate institutions and the creation of administrative organs to facilitate the integrated development and realization of the country’s agricultural potentials.
8. Talking about agriculture seems to lay much emphasis on farming. Nevertheless, there are other aspects of the agricultural business which include:
- Fish Farming: This is the rearing of fishes in ponds for commercial and substituent reasons but mostly for commercial purposes. This is a profiting business as fish farmers tend to get much value for their products as almost every Nigerian has resorted to eating fishes. Some even prefer fish to meat and other dairy products.
- Horticulture: This is the growth of flowers for the purpose of beautifying the environment. Nonetheless, horticulture is more than the cultivation of flowers for beautification purposes; this can also be used for medicinal purposes and a means of revenue to the country. Note: some flowers have specific regions where they grow; there are flowers that grow in other parts of the world that cannot be found in Nigeria and vice versa.
- Cattle Rearing: This is the business of rearing animals for domestic and international reasons. This is carried out mostly by the Nomadian cattle rearers who take their flocks in the morning from their pen in search of rich grasses and water. This is also a solid aspect of agriculture we may overlook but cannot do without.
- Crop Farming: It is better to use the word ‘crop farming’ to signify what part of agriculture we are referring to. This is the massive cultivation of a wide range of food crops in commercial quantity to feed the nation and for export reasons or the cultivation of crops in small quantity usually in a small scale farm for family consumption. This is the most popular mode of agriculture as food constitutes man’s daily needs and one of the most important at that. Food crops here include tomato, cassava, nutmeg, cucumber, etc.
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