Nigeria is faced with numerous problems which military against the development of agriculture. Some of the problems are:
Problems of Agriculture in Nigeria & Possible Solutions
1. Inadequate land or land tenure system:
- Increase in population reduces the size of the farmland.
- High population also reduces the size of farmland. Increase in population has led to increase in the various alternatives to which land can be used. This again, puts more pressure on the available land.
- The type of land tenure system in Nigeria discourages farmers from acquiring land for large scale farming.
- Deforestation and desert encroachment contribute to lack of land.
- Soil erosion and marshy or swampy areas also contribute to lack of farmland.
- Fertilizers and manure should be used to increase production of crops in the available land.
- Crop rotation should be practiced by farmers.
- The land use decree of 1978 should be fully implemented to minimize the problem of land tenure.
- Farmers should form co-operative societies for easy allocation of farm lands.
2. Inadequate finance or credit facilities:
- Most subsistence farmers are poor and do not have the finance to make the purchase of; land, agricultural tools, machineries, improved seeds, fertilizers, livestock, livestock feeds & drugs, and other things required.
- Also, farmers have no access to loans or credit facilities to expand their farmland.
- Farmers do not have the required collateral security to enable them to secure loans from banks.
- High interest rate charged by banks at short repayable period prevents borrowing by farmers.
- Farmers who get loans, at times, divert such loans to other purposes, such as chieftancy and marriage ceremonies.
- Agricultural banks like Nigeria Agricultural and Co-operative Bank [NACB] should make loans available to farmers.
- Farmers should form co-operative societies for easy procurement of loan from commercial banks.
- Banks should reduce their high interest rate to encourage borrowing.
- Collateral security should be in form of guarantee rather than in material forms, like land and buildings.
3. Poor transportation network:
- Presence of bad roads or total lack of it makes distribution of produce to the market very difficult, and this leads to wastage.
- Some roads may be rendered useless during rainy season.
- The number of motor vehicles are inadequate because of the high cost of vehicles, machinery and spare parts.
- There is high cost of transportation due to bad roads and other means of transportation.
- Most farms in rural areas are not linked to roads, and this eventually leads to wastage of food.
- High cost of transport increases farmers’ cost of production and product prices.
- Inadequate diversification of means of transportation of agricultural products, e.g. inadequacy of rail network which is very essential for the transportation of agricultural goods.
- Construction of new feeder roads to open up the rural areas.
- Construction of water ways to link up the riverine areas.
- Construction of railways to connect rural areas to urban centres easily.
- Provision of motor vehicles, boats and trains to facilitate the distribution of farm products.
- Reduction in transportation cost to make such affordable to the rural farmers.
- Regular supply of fuel.
- Rehabilitation of existing damaged roads.
- Availability of spare parts at affordable prices.
4. Inadequate storage and processing facilities:
- Lots of produce are wasted due to inadequate storage and processing facilities.
- Improper storage reduces the quantity and quality of farm produce.
- Storage and processing facilities are expensive leading to high cost of produce.
- There is lack of technical know-how on
food storage and processing.
- Farm produce are sold off at cheap rate
leading to reduced income to the
- Inadequate storage and processing facilities force farmers to produce just enough for their family and discourage them from large-scale farming.
- Storage facilities like silos, rhumbus,cribs, barns, rafters, etc, are grossly inadequate.
- Processing facilities like threshers, millers, graters, canning and sealing machines are also inadequate.
- It may lead to scarcity of produce.
- Storage facilities should be provided by
the government at subsidised rates.
- More people should be trained on the
technology of food storage and processing.
- Government should buy excess produce
and store for future use.
- Provision of silos in the rural areas for storage of grains by government.
- Farmers should be encouraged to construct cribs, barns and rhumbus for
proper storage of farm produce after harvesting.
- Provision of cold stores for perishable produce and livestock products.
- Provision of processing facilities such as corn mill, cassava grater, rice mill and oil palm press to facilitate the processing of farm produce after harvesting so as to enhance storage.
- Provision of storage chemicals such as
- Provision of loans/credit facilities to
5. Inadequate farm inputs:
- Farm inputs like chemicals, fertilizers, tools and implements are grossly
- Available farm inputs are of inferior
quality, outdated and crude.
- Most of the farm inputs are not produced in Nigeria, rather, they are imported.
- Farm inputs are expensive to purchase
- Farm inputs, even when they available, are not supplied to the farmers at the right time.
- Farm inputs, like fertilizers, pesticides,
feeds, drugs, etc., should be made available in adequate quantities to farmers.
- Government should subsidise the cost of
- Farm inputs should be supplied at the
right time to farmers.
- Local sourcing of these inputs should be encouraged.
- Establishment of tractor hiring unit at affordable costs to farmers.
- Establishment of seed service for the production and distribution of improved seeds to farmers.
6. Inadequate basic amenities:
- Lack of basic amenities like electricity,
pipe-borne water and proper healthcare
makes able-bodied men and youths migrate from rural to urban areas in search of nonexisting jobs.
- There is lack of electricity in many ural
areas for farm operations.
- Inadequate storage facilities for farm
- Poor processing facilities for farm
- Inadequate provision of potable water for domestic use.
- There is shortage of water for irrigation
purposes for all-season cropping.
- Poor healthcare services reduce the productivity of farmers.
- There is also lack of recreational facilities in rural areas.
- Provision of electricity in the rural areas.
- Provision of potable and drinkable
- Provision of healthcare centers in rural
- Provision of storage and processing facilities to rural famers.
- Establishment of dams to facilitate iriggation agriculture in rural areas.
7. Poor Marketing System
- There are no organised marketing
channels for farm produce.
- There is lack of proper pricing for agricultural produce.
- The negative activities of middlemen
worsen the marketing of agricultural
- Poor marketing of produce discourages
more production by local farmers.
- Absence of commodity boards to aid the
purchase of farm produce.
- There is also the problem of fluctuation in the price of agricultural produce.
- Inadequate good roads and storage facilities.
- Government should buy excess produce
- Government should stabilise prices of
farm produce in the country.
- The activities of middlemen who buy produce at cheaper rates and sell at higher prices should be checked.
- Commodity boards should be re-established to help organise the marketing of agricultural produce.
8. Inadequate Agricultural Education
- Majority of the farmers are illiterate, that
is, they cannot read and Write.
- They do not know how to apply modern
farm inputs like fertilizers and chemicals.
- They find it difficult to accept new
innovations in agriculture which will boost their efficiency and productivity.
- Extension officers are very few or
- Local farmers are very uncooperative,
hostile and unaccommodating to extension officers.
- Local farmers are not always willing to
learn and accept modern methods of farming
- Mass literacy programme should be em-
barked upon by the government, e.g
- Rural farmers should be trained on modern systems of farming.
- Adequate and qualified extension officers should be employed to teach peasant farmers new innovations and techniques in agriculture.
9. Problem of Pests and Diseases:
- Pests and diseases reduce the yield of
- They also reduce the quality of the produce.
- Pests and diseases also reduce the income of the farmers.
- Farmers are discouraged from production.
- Insecticides and other chemicals used in the control of pests and diseases should be supplied at subsidised rates.
- Pests and diseases control units or
departments should be established to control pests and diseases.
- Famers should be trained on easy identification, prevention and control of pests and diseases.
10. Unpredictable Climate:
- Unpredictable climate generally discourages serious farming activities.
- Low rainfall leads to poor harvest of
- Low sunshine intensity reduces the rate
of photosynthesis which eventually leads to low yield.
- High or too low temperature does not
permit the normal growth of crops.
- Irrigation practices which is the artificial supply of water should be adopted in areas of low rainfall.
- Water conservation techniques such as mulching should be practised.
- Planting of cover crops like Centrosema spp, Calopogonium spp should be practised, as it helps to conserve and prevent evaporation of water from the soil.
- Teaching peasant farmers new innovations in agriculture.
11. Inadequate tools and machinery:
- Farm tools and machinery like plough
harrows, tractors, platers, etc., are grossly inadequate.
- Use of simple farm tools like cutlass and
hoe leads to low agricultural production or output per unit time is low.
- Farm tools and implements are expensive to purchase and maintain.
- Most of the implements are not produced in Nigeria; rather, they are imported.
- Inadequate personnel to repair damage
- Most local farmers are so poor that the
cannot afford to buy farm tools and implements.
- Farmers lack the skilled manpower in the maintenance, repair and operation of sophisticated farm machines.
- Working with poor tools and implements is very tedious and labour intensive.
- Only small areas of land are cultivated.
- It is time consuming.
- The use of poor tools discourage people
from going into agriculture.
- It causes faster ageing in the farming
- Local fabrication of farm machinery and equipment should be encouraged by government to make farm implements suitable to local conditions and be made available to farmers.
- Introduction and utilization of modem farm machines and implements.
- Establishment of tractor-hiring units to
make the machines readily available to
poor farmers who cannot afford to
purchase the expensive farm machines.
- Training of skilled manpower in the maintenance, repair and operation of sophisticated farm machines.
- Provision of subsidies to enable farmers
purchase modern equipment and tools.
- Provision of loans or credit facilities to
- Farmers should form co-operative societies to enable them to pool their resources together and purchase farm implements and machines.
- There should be importation of appropriate machines and implements.
12. Inconsistent government policy on agriculture:
- Inconsistent government policies on
agriculture reduce agricultural development.
- These policies fail to recognise the peasant farmers that produce food for the country.
- Most of the agricultural programmes are
centered on fake city farmers who only
collect money and use them for other purposes.
- Most of the farmers do not have access
to farm inputs provided through such
- Bad implementation of these policies
reduce agricultural development.
- Dynamic agricultural policies should be
formulated and implemented.
- The policies should recognise the true and genuine farmers.
- Government should formulate policies that would allow private participation in
- All policies on agriculture should be properly implemented
13. Environmental Degradation
- Flooding can lead to the destruction of
crops and livestock.
- Soil erosion can render the soil infertile.
- Soil erosion can wash away crops and
- Swampy or waterlogged areas will not
allow agricultural activities to take
- Pollution of environment can create health hazards to man and animal.
- Deforestation reduces rainfall, forest trees, land protection, and causes erosion.
- Flooding should be avoided.
- Soil erosion should be properly checked.
- Cover cropping should be practised.
- Terracing and strip cropping should also
- Pollution and deforestation should be
14. Rural-Urban Migration:
- It leads to scarcity of labourers resulting
to high labour cost.
- High cost of labour therefore leads to high cost of production.
- It leads to decreased food and cash crop
- It leads to decreased animal production.
- It leads to decrease in export and hence
GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
- It leads to poor adoption of agricultural
- Provision of social amenities in rural areas.
- Provision of employment in rural areas.
- Training of people on modern farming
- Provision of incentives to farmers in rural areas.
- Provision of favourable prices for farm
produce by the government.
This article contains the problems of agriculture in Nigeria and possible solutions to the problems.
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