11 Major Problems of Agriculture in Nigeria

Top Major Problems of Agriculture
The term Agriculture is the practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products. Agricultural development is the base for economic development, and the agricultural sector is undoubtedly the prime area of consideration for economic progress in a State. 
Despite the importance of this sector and in spite of the fact that over 70% of people households depend in agricultural product for survival, most especially African farmers are wallowing in abject poverty. From planting to harvesting and consumption/commercialization, different constraints have made farming difficult for farmers.
Agriculture has the potential to generate more if we can tackle the problems head-on instead of looking short fixes. Here are some of the problems we’ve identified: 

11 Top Major Problems of Agriculture in Nigeria

1) Lack of Modernization/Mechanization

In this modern age, farmers still rely on crude tools for farming and storage and this can inadvertently affect productivity. Agriculture is still left in the hands of mostly illiterate and poor farmers who employ crude method of farm implements such as the use of hoes, cutlasses etc for cultivation, tilling and general farming.  Lack of proper irrigation tools makes it hard to farm during the dry season and lack of mechanical tools such as tractors to substitute manual labor hinders productivity due to fatigue.

2) Low Budgetary Spending

There is low public spending on agriculture in most country.  Some time, state has been investing just 2 percent of the country’s national budget on agriculture annually. This is similar to small country like Burkina Faso which invests 10 % and most Asian nations invest 16% of their national budget into agricultural sector. This shows that certain states are doing little to improve agricultural output of the nation. Low budgetary spending is a problem of agriculture that needs to be addressed by the government if the nation must attain food security.


3) Illiteracy and Ignorance

These are two major challenges/problems of agriculture of most countries. Due to illiteracy and ignorance of the farmers, they refuse to adapt improved methods of cultivation for improved yield. For instance, when improved seeds and seedlings are provided to farmer, majority of the farmers because of ignorance reject the use of such improved seedling sometimes on flimsy excuse that their soil may not adapt to it or that the taste of the crop after harvesting is not always as good as the ones that they has been planting up till now.

4) Poor Research and Record Keeping

Farm records are kept carelessly if kept at all. Farmers do not have accurate tracking of farm activities and farm information. Information about the farm market is not easily accessible and adequate information such as market prices are pertinent. This opens the door to adulteration of figures regarding farming. Agricultural development cannot be measured if there is disorganization of the farm records for research purposes. This makes it hard to narrow down certain farming issues and proffer solutions.

5) Lack of Finance:

Mostly, 88% of farmers are considered small family farmers. Some of this stems from the lack of funds to expand to large scale farming. Despite their importance for the domestic economy and due to the sector’s productivity limitations, more than 72 percent of some countries  smallholders live below the poverty line of USD 1.9 (691) a day. One of the major factors limiting farmers from growing and making a reasonable living is lack of funds. These funds are difficult to come by as some banks do not loan to them for various reasons. This leads to the farmers struggling to make a living, asking disinterested family members to take part in farming instead of hiring proper human labor, and affecting agricultural productivity overall. Lack of capital also prevents potential farmers from venturing into farming business.

6) Abandon of a Agriculture Sector

This is a major problem of agriculture. Actually, this factor alone is responsible for the drastic decline in agricultural output in the country after the discovery of crude oil and other natural resource in commercial amounts. The discovery of crude oil in some state in the late 1950s made the government at all levels to abandon the agricultural sub-sector of the economy. This abandon as the result of the oil discovery is contributing immensely to the low output of agriculture.  This neglect manifested in various forms; such as poor funding, low premium on subsidizing of organic fertilizer, neglect of rural communities where agriculture thrive.

7) Climate Change

Variability/change in climatic factors largely affects agriculture because our agriculture in rain-fed. Farmers depend majorly on the natural God-given weather conditions. The consequence of this is that farmers not only wait until rainy season before planting crops but also completely depend on the sufficiency of the rain to take the crops to yielding stage. Sometimes the farmers may experience low yields simply because the rain is too much or because it is too small depending on the type of crop that a particular farmer may plant. The state government is been unable to build facilities for irrigation farming across the country for dry season farming particularly. The end product of this neglect is food insecurity. Immediately dry season sets in, new crops seize in the market and or become so scarce and costly. This situation is indeed a great and challenge to food security.

8) Pest and Rodent:

Pest and rodents attack on crops constitute another problem against the viability of agriculture.


9) Access to Better Fertilizers

Agricultural lands are becoming more expensive as the day goes by; and most poor farmers have no choice than to farm on same piece of land over and over again. The effect of continuous farming on same piece of land results to land degradation whereby fertile lands lose most (if not all) of their nutrients and become unproductive or barren. Thus farmers greatly depend on artificial fertilizers to enable them grow crops and improve their yields; and the difficulty in accessing needed fertilizers undermines the efforts put in farming on such degraded lands.

10) Market Access

Marketing involves getting the agricultural products from the farmers to the consumers. Access to markets is one of the biggest challenges faced by smallholder farmers which directly affect their income and living standards. Lack of market facilities and poor government regulations poses serious threats to farmers, where after harvesting they are unable to sell off their produce at good prices. Hence, this leads to massive post-harvest losses and food wastage which is entirely another challenging issue facing the agricultural economy. Improved market facilities, and good government regulations/policies can go a long way in helping poor smallholder farmers market and profit from their harvests.

11) Transportation Problem

This is another major challenge facing not only the agricultural sector but also the economy in general. Farm produce lie in waste in remote areas and this is mostly because farmers encounter difficulty in transporting their farm produce to the available market to sell as there are no storage facilities to help preserve perishable produce from rotting. Good roads do not exist and most remote areas find themselves cut-off from the rest of the world. For marketing to be efficient, transportation for moving the produce from the rural areas where they are produced to the urban areas must be in good shape.

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