Comparative Potential of Agriculture in Nigeria

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Comparative Potential of Agriculture in Nigeria Credit: AgricPedia

I was summoned to serve and I yielded. I got to the place of my assignment and was welcomed by a weeping forest. My curiosity took the better part of me, so I inquired

'why doth thou weepeth so, forest?' Its reply almost caused me to weep as well.

Its story goes thus:
"I am not the only forest in this cosmos, but while others have developed their climes, I remain grossly untapped. Agriculture contributes 7.1% to the GDP of Malaysia while industry contributes 36.8%- obviously you should know that Agriculture will attract industry. Still in Malaysia, Agriculture employs 11.1% of the labour force while industry employs 36%. The industries present therein include rubber and oil palm processing, logging, timber processing and so on. Also, Malaysia exports palm oil, wood and wood products.

Behold the magic performed by Agriculture and industry on the economy of a nation. Jointly they contribute almost half (43.9%) of the GDP and as well employs almost half (47.1%) of the labour force. I am as blessed as Malaysia, as a matter of fact, my blessing of arable land outweighs that of Malaysia because it has just about 7% arable land. Is my weeping not justified?"

I subjected its testimony to scrutiny, so I surveyed the land and I couldn't agree less. The land is fertile, the weather is just perfect but this forest seems doomed, situated in a clime where attention has shifted from a lucrative Agricultural Industry to an extinction-prone fossil fuel economy. As I write this, I am staring at my DEVON KING'S VEGETABLE OIL, made in Malaysia and packaged in Singapore!

This forest is loaded. The average household produces 20 litres of palm oil per week. At least 4 trucks filled with 1*12 inches plank leaves the forest everyday. To roof their houses, they don't purchase planks, the operator just fell any suitable tree with his chain saw, with the same chain saw he saws the felled tree into various dimensions needed-1*12, lat, 2*3. Despite the usage of crude farming implements, bags of groundnut and bean seeds are being exported from the forest by Marco Polo buses in large quantities. The fat ears of guinea corn from the last planting season will still be sitting comfortably in the rhombus when the new season's ears come in. In their seasons, cashew and mango fruits beckon to you as you pass by from their abode on the tree tops.

This forest and million of others like it exist throughout the nooks and crannies of Nigeria, yet, poverty ravages the land, unemployment stares at its teeming youths, hunger is the everyday lament of the citizens. We must champion this cause- that for Nigeria to rise beyond these ills and woes, Agriculture has to be revived and as it breaks forth it will bring industry along.

Kurmi weeps. The forest weeps - we must not ignore these tears.

Read 778 times Last modified on Wednesday, 15 July 2015 08:33
Olumide Sholana

He is a Co-Founder of AgricPedia (www.agricpedia.com) – An online agricultural platform dedicated to promote agricultural businesses and to share real-time information. He holds a BTech. in Statistics from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology. He has a specialty in Website Development and Information System Engineering. He is a competent project manager and a lover of athletics.

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