AGRICULTURE: THE ONLY BIG SHIP TO TRANSPORT NIGERIA DEAD ECONOMY.
First of all, I will urge everyone to take his/her time to read this presentation to the end and am sure I would be able to convince you that Agricultural sector is the only tool and antidote for the sustainability of Nigeria Economy.
To start with let me quote what the great MFK Fisher once said, “First we eat, and then we do everything else.” there is no doubt in that, food first then other follows. Now,let me tell you about the power of doing business with food and agriculture in Nigeria.
There are a few things you could go without for a week or even a month, right? Not food and water because without these, it would be plain impossible for humans to exist on earth. Now, take that into the context of Nigeria and its rising population, and you will quickly understand how powerful and profitable the agricultural sector and related food industries in Nigeria are going to be.
What Nigeria fails to realized so far:
1- In the world, Nigeria is one of the country with the largest population and the biggest number of people under forty years old who will be both workers and consumers. And it has a fast-rising middle class that now wants food varieties on their tables.
2- Sixty percent of the world’s uncultivated arable land in which Nigeria has about 68millions of hectares of arable land. suitable for crop production.
Nigeria population is growing and which will leads to constantly high demand for food. Nigeria will – literally – feed right into that! Simply put, the demand will always be there, locally, regionally, globally – and Nigeria should step into that! So, it is important you understand that doing business in Nigeria agricultural sector and its related food-processing industries will frankly be one of the best bets for doing business in the world.
Nigerians!!! We need to wake up from our slumber, why did we have to neglect the big ship for the boats or even canoes. Why? Why I ask?
Once again, we need to wake from our deep slumber!
The over-dependent on oil, has been a disaster for the country, why do we have to lay our hands on disaster when we have an alternative like Agriculture which has over sufficient resources of about 923.771km2, an estimated arable land of about 68 millions,abundance of natural forest and rangeland covering 37 millions hectares, varieties of livestock and wide animal, a very favourable climates, coastal and marine resources of over 960km shorelines, suitable rivers and lakes covering about 120,000 square klm and large consumer market of about 200million.
Seriously Nigeria is blessed with what won’t make thousands of her generation suffer for any moment but our ill-purposeful leaders keep running finding what is not lost.well I think they failed because of their lack of foresightness.
Achieving the transformation of the agricultural sector requires a structural change in the labour composition of the sector. The farming population is ageing rapidly and unable to meet the increasingly complex challenges of markets and technology.
To feed our rising population well into the future, we need young commercial farmers. We also need to create wealth, provide jobs for our teeming unemployed youth and the agricultural sector holds the greatest potential to create millions of jobs.what a melancholic! Its sadden that our government are blind folded and deaf to this; did you know? while we all smile as we eat rice every day, Nigerian rice farmers cry because import of rice undermines domestic production.
These farmers sow in hope but reap in tears, as cheap food imports dash their hopes of better prices and income. Youths should be exposed early in our learning institutions to the business angle of agriculture, from writing a business plan, to accessing loans, planning and managing the business, product marketing, accessing inputs etc.
The way forward
Yes, the fact is that Nigerian agriculture has potential, but no one can eat potential. We must articulate a clear vision to make Nigeria an agriculturally industrialized economy, to create wealth, jobs and markets for farmers, ensure food security and revive the rural economy to reduce rural-urban migration.
Agriculture must become the engine for growth, employment generation and poverty reduction. We must turn Nigeria into a bread basket- a power house for food production. To do so we must make a fundamental paradigm shift: Agriculture should be seen as a business and not a development program.
It must be structured, developed and financed as a business for us to fully unlock its potential to make Nigeria food sufficient. Gains will not come easy, but as we do the right things we will succeed in unleashing the power of agriculture to feed our nation and turn Nigeria into a leading exporter of food.
Lastly, I urge and implore our oil- misdirected government to look inwardly for alternative source of revenue other than oil with an honest bid to boost agricultural production. Thanks to you all.