Agriculture in NigeriaAgriculture is at the center of the Nigerian economy, providing the main source of livelihood for the majority of Nigerians. The farming sector of this West African country employs about 70 percent of the entire country’s labor force. Nigeria’s small farms produce 80 percent of the total food and 33 percent of this country’s land is under cultivation for this purpose. This is the leading African country in farming because it has the highest levels of productivity and profitability in this particular sector. Agriculture in Nigeria is the foundation of the economy, as keeps the people stable in what they do.

Two Reasons of Agriculture Importance

  1. Nigeria is twice the size of Zimbabwe and South Africa combined and has over 200 million people. The people of Nigeria depend on produce from the local farms for their daily meals as more than 80 percent of Nigerians buy their farm produce from the market. This country is at a huge advantage in terms of agriculture profitability because of the huge demand for farm produce.
  2. Nigeria has the benefit of having large stretches of fertile land available to cultivate. This country has one of the largest expanses of land in Africa with more than 900 thousand square kilometers and 70 percent of it is able to be cultivated to produce sustenance for the population of Nigeria. This land provides Nigeria with practically an unlimited source of farming food, providing agricultural produces and jobs for the people.

Top Two Most Profitable Types of Farming in Nigeria

  1. Nigeria is Africa’s largest rise consumer. It is mainly small-scale farmers who produce rice, sell 80 percent of their total production and only consume 20 percent of their product. This creates a huge market for the consumption of rice by way of the vast population of Nigeria, as well as the larger continent of Africa.
  2. Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in the world. This West African country produces cassava for 20 percent of the world, 34 percent of Africa and 46 percent of West Africa. Despite the fact that Nigeria has an enormous market for cassava, it is mostly grown for family consumption and local sale by smallholders. However, this field faces many challenges because of outdated technology and inadequate storage facilities. These challenges cause agricultural productivity to be low and postharvest losses and waste to be high.

In order to make Nigeria’s agriculture productivity more sufficient, the government and private sector need to develop ways to enhance cassava’s competitiveness in the international market and improve the efficiency of domestic rice production.

Livestock development is also an important aspect of Nigeria’s agriculture. The domestic production of livestock products is far below the national demand, which causes large imports of livestock and livestock products. The livestock sector can create new opportunities for farmers and provide more affordable and healthier diets for future generations.

Through farming and livestock development Nigeria has a stronghold on its agriculture productivity. With the help of the leaders in this West African country, livestock and farming productivity can hopefully improve enormously. Agriculture in Nigeria is so important to the economy and people’s daily lives that, despite its setbacks, it will inevitably prosper.

Megan Maxwell
Photo: Flickr