As far back as it goes, Agriculture has been the style and source of living in Nigeria. Before the colonial rule, it was estimated that agriculture served about 75% of the countries whole population. Back then for our ancestors, it was the major occupation; they had less equipped modern tools as we do nowadays but still they found a way to feed more than half of the population.
During the colonial period in the 80’s, there was developmental improvement in Agricultural produce. Modern equipment, factories, agricultural research work facilities and increase in exportation of agricultural produce increased during this period. After the amalgamation of the northern and the southern Nigeria, the major policy was to increase production of agriculture and its export.
After the colonial era, new polices were formulated. There was some sort of agricultural demarcation. The Northern region majored in groundnut, the Western region majored in cocoa and the Eastern region majored in palm oil production. This period was recorded as a period of great agricultural and economic boom. During this period, further agricultural developmental plan was initiated some of which were:
- Operation Feed the Nation (1976);
- River Basin and Rural Development Authorities (1976);
- Agricultural Development Authorities funded by World Bank;
- Green Revolution Programme (1980).
During this period, cocoa was the leading non-oil foreign exchange earnings; Rubber is the second-largest non-oil foreign exchange earnings and other major crops incudes beans, sesame, cashew, nuts, cassava, cocoa, beans, groundnuts, gum arabic, kolanut, maize (corn), melon, millet, palm kernels, palm oil, plantains, rice, rubber, sorghum, soybeans and yams.
In the 70’s, after the discovery of crude oil, agriculture in Nigeria experienced a degrading trend. During this period, it was recorded that agriculture contributed about 25% of our nations source of income which was about 75% before the oil boom.
As time passed, more attention was given to the development of oil production and slowly, agriculture was forgotten as one of the countries’ source of income. Before all attention was given to oil production, Nigeria as a nation barely spends a 100 million naira on food importation but presently, we spend over 9 billion naira on food importation alone.
Thankfully, the government has been making all effort and awareness in bid to restore our agricultural value in Nigeria, by granting loans to farmers, encouraging investors and so on.
It is however a fact that agriculture cannot be possible without the availability of land. Land is one of the factors necessary for starting up agricultural produce of any kind. Usually for agricultural investment, a vast expanse of land is usually required usually at the outskirt of cities or small towns. In April 2016, The Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Toyin Suarau, acquired 2,134 hectares of land from neighbouring states to promote agriculture. During the commissioning of the land, it was acknowledged that Nigerians are suffering because of our over reliance on oil.
Lagos State has 84 hectares of land in Osogbo, out of which 20 hectares is used for palm produce, while others are used for rice farm, cassava and mills. About 500 hectares in Ogun and Oyo each and 50 hectares in Abuja to encourage farming. Lagos State also have fishery estates, poultry estates, vegetable estates and Greenings. All these are part of the State Government’s effort to attract youths and investors into agriculture,
Hunger is a problem not only in Nigeria but some other parts of the world. This is an opportunity to make a fortune by proffering solution to hunger by engaging in crop cultivation, animal rearing, processing, distribution, marketing and many others.
With agriculture, we can feed ourselves as a nation and export products if we can go into agriculture.
A growing number of investors are turning to agricultural investment and existing agricultural investors are increasing their allocation to the asset class. For those who understand the fundamentals of investment, we already know why this is so. Farmland investment is becoming a trend and the demand for farmland will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. Wise investors are shifting into farm land investment. Be one of those wise investors. Invest in land, invest in agriculture.
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This post first appeared on LAND ISSUES THAT CAN GET YOU INTO BIG TROUBLE PT 2, please read the originial post: here