Agriculture which is regarded as the “mainstay” of the Nigerian economy has rather become the neglected child. Over the past decades, agriculture was the major occupation of man as it brought about civilization to the human race. Agriculture was and still is the major source of livelihood but because of the nonchalant response given to the agricultural sector, we have witnessed a fall in the agricultural sector and the need to start retracing our steps is very vital.
In 2019, agriculture contributed to around 21.9 percent of Nigeria’s GDP, while the oil sector doesn’t contribute up to 10 percent and this simply means that agriculture contributes more than the oil sector that has taken all the attention over time. About 20 percent of Nigeria’s budget is what is allocated to the agricultural sector, of which the capital and recurrent expenditures can barely address the issues relating to the extension services for rural development, rehabilitation and irrigation facilities, research and development etc. This alone shows that the government is not ready/willing to address the issue facing the agricultural sector.
The research and development centers need to be adequately funded as this will help in developing improved seeds. Agricultural research is one of the main contributory factors to the agricultural production systems, as well as development of the rural settlements. Particularly, this angle of research has helped to boost agricultural productivity, as well as providing stable income, and this is to show that when there is a development research center, there is a boost in agricultural productivity.
The extension services for rural development is very key and this is a sector that needs to be focused on. For there to be a balance between the rural and urban settlement, attention should be given to the agricultural sector in order to develop the rural areas as most of our food products come from the rural areas but in small quantity and insufficiency as a result of lack of improved mechanization that is meant to boost agricultural and food production.
The agriculture sector needs intervention. The rehabilitation and irrigation facilities are lacking and needs intervention as a result of the vulnerability of farmers and their access to agricultural inputs and services. The need for rehabilitation is key in order to serve as boost for the agricultural sector and improve food security as it is very evident that many households are unable to boast of three (3) square meals. The need to improve and expand the irrigation facilities as this will reduce some risks such as drought. Most farmers can only cultivate on their fields during rainy seasons as a result of as a result of the little cropland irrigation systems. In summary, there should be a widespread of irrigation systems for farmers control. Imagine each individual having access to a small- scale irrigation where there are water pumps, reservoirs, this will boost agricultural productivity because there would be much to harvest during dry season and of course during rainy season without encountering wastage. The need to retrace our steps and start prioritizing the agriculture sector is crucial.