Why Agriculture Is The Solution

My Take | Why Agriculture Is The Solution | July 24| Hosted by Stephen | 

Nigeria had a thriving agrarian economy, with food surplus previously projected for the 70s and at the dawn of independence in 1960. The food surplus didn’t happen because of the neglect of agriculture resulting from a thriving oil economy to the extent that oil accounts for 94 – 95% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings. Attempts have been made to identify the major challenges and aims of crop and forestry agriculture with a case made for the ways to make crop agriculture to play a robust and more competitive role in the 21st century.

Nigeria’s endowments in crop and environmental resources have shown to be favorable for agricultural development. Ways ahead for agricultural development in the 21st century include use of proven good quality planting materials based on a good breeding programme which necessitates emergence of indigenous seed farms with commercial orientation, and uses of integrated pest management procedures. The right production system and mechanization strategies must be products of research and development based on local conditions and not mere importations based on alien conditions.

Agro-forestry with its multiple benefits is environmentally friendly and capable of benefiting sustainable production if well programmed into use. Conservation of Nigeria’s fast disappearing wealth of genetic resources as a basis for development of crop idiotypes has a great debt owed to the future generation. Biotechnology, like the Green Revolution of the 20th century, is the unfolding revolutionary technology for the 21st century, that may alter the course of agricultural development, and in which Nigeria must play a competitive role to remain relevant in 21st century agriculture.

Agricultural innovations in many developing countries including Nigeria, is in its infancy but there are numerous opportunities for its adoption. It is believed that progressive Nigerian farmers, with guidance from the public and private sectors and agricultural associations, will adopt these innovations in a limited scale as the technology shows potential for raising yields and economic returns on fields with significant variability and for minimizing environmental degradation. The support from governments and the private sector during the initial stages of adoption is, therefore very vital.

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