A View At The Agriculture And Food Security In Nigeria

Agriculture and food security are critical aspects that must be examined and handled seriously by any nation seeking rapid economic growth.

Where there is a strong agricultural practice, the country enjoys reasonable food security. Any country’s agricultural industry is employed to protect lives and support livelihoods.

Many times in Africa, sustainable agriculture has been used to solve the problem of food insecurity on the continent; as a result, most African governments do not neglect the agricultural sectors in their respective countries, but rather make sure to allocate generously to the sector in their yearly budgets.

Apart from the oil and gas sectors of the Nigerian economy, another promising area that benefits the country is its agricultural sector.

Several efforts have been made throughout the years to make agriculture a major contributor to the nation’s GDP while also providing food security through comprehensive, sustainable, and bubbling agricultural development strategies.

This article will look at some of Nigeria’s agricultural projects and how they have improved food security.

Prior to the discovery of oil and gas, which provided a major source of money and an economic boost for Nigeria, the country was entirely dependent on agriculture.

The discovery of oil in the country resulted in the neglect of the agricultural sector, which harmed the Nigerian economy by causing poverty, unemployment, food insecurity, young restiveness, and farm damage, among other things.

The country was starting to lag in terms of food security.

Speaking of food security, it is important to note that food security does not only refer to an abundance of food to eat, but also to the availability and accessibility of food to all citizens at reasonable prices. As a result, food security is just as important as food itself, because when food is abundant, people are satisfied and live happier lives.

It also implies that there is no famine or starvation in the land.

Food security offers numerous benefits, including raising people’s living standards, lowering social evils, and increasing people’s health, particularly children and the vulnerable in society.

When the world community knows that a country has no food insecurity, it is not hesitant to work, do business, invest, or collaborate with that country.

As a result, the Nigerian government is doing all possible to ensure that food security is maintained in the country, failing which around 2.5 million Nigerians could risk acute food insecurity during the June to August 2023 lean season, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO.

Recognizing that their long-term neglect of the agricultural sector was creating more harm than good, the government decided to investigate its agriculture sector.

Due to this, it has begun engaging with stakeholders, NGOs, and international organisations to examine how it might lessen the impact of food insecurity and establish a sustainable agricultural industry.

The desire to play active roles in expanding agricultural resources and to plan large expenditures for agricultural development resulted in the promotion of sustainable agriculture, which is intended to assist sustain and protect its economy.

How Agricultural Sustainability Would Help Nigeria

Making agriculture sustainable in Nigeria has many benefits for the country’s economy and its citizens, some of which are listed below:

– It would help in the reduction of Poverty.

– Sustainable Agriculture would reduce hunger and starvation

-It will reduce untimely death and suffering

Having known the positive impacts that sustainable agriculture can bring to the country and enhance its food security target, the government embarked on some bold initiatives that have had a meaningful impact on the agricultural sector as a whole. Here are some of the major ones implemented in the last few years.

Anchor Borrowers Program

To reduce the effect of food insecurity on Nigerian citizens, President Muhammadu Buhari 2015 launched the Anchor Borrowers Program.

This initiative aims to enhance food production in the country, create jobs, and reduce food imports by distributing farm supplies in kind and cash to smallholder farmers to boost agricultural commodity production.

Many accomplishments have been recorded as a result of the initiative, such as enhanced productivity through access to loans and other services, with a typical example being the breakthrough in rice production in Kebbi State, northern Nigeria.

President Barack Obama’s Fertilizer Initiative

This is yet another lovely agricultural program undertaken by the previous administration in 2016.

The Nigerian government collaborated with Morocco on the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) to make fertilizer available to farmers.

With fertilizers available throughout the season, it was simple to plant and harvest even during dry seasons, contributing to the achievement of food security.

 FYL stands for Farm Youth Lab

The Farm Youth Lab was a Federal Ministry of Agriculture effort to train Nigerian adolescents in livestock production and sustainable urban agriculture.

This became required due to the limited participation of youths in agriculture, particularly in livestock production.

So far, it has shown to be a sensible option, as many young people are now actively involved in agriculture as a result of the project, which is improving food production across the country.

PEDI (Presidential Economic Diversification Initiative)

There is also the Presidential Economic Diversification Initiative (PEDI), which was created in 2017 to help revive dormant agro-processing companies by encouraging investment, removing regulatory obstacles, and facilitating finance availability.

National Food Security Council (NFSC)

Nigeria also has the National Food Security Council (NFSC), whose goal is to seek long-term solutions to farmer-herder clashes, climate change, piracy and banditry, desertification, and their effects on farms, grazing regions, lakes, and rivers.

While not a direct agricultural policy, it works directly with challenges that impede optimum agricultural productivity and affect food security, with a focus on finding long-term solutions.

Have all of the policies and programs had any effect? Yes, because they have helped to improve the face of agriculture and create a foundation for long-term sustainability while also opening up new avenues for the development of the nation’s agricultural industry.

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