What is agriculture, exactly?
Agriculture is the study or practice of growing land and maintaining or rearing animals for food in Nigeria or anywhere else in the globe. Agriculture has two distinct branches or components, as you can see from this definition. Cultivating the land (crops/plants) and rearing animals are two of these parts. Both of these aspects of agriculture are vast, with each having its cosmos. Agronomy is the branch of agriculture that deals with crops. The science of agronomy is concerned with the link between crops and their surroundings. Animal Husbandry refers to the aspect of agriculture that deals with animals. Animal husbandry is the care and management of cattle, sheep, horses, and other livestock. Agriculture has been a practice and science for as long as humanity has existed on the globe.
Agriculture Industry Any human pursuit that has existed for as long as humanity has existed would naturally evolve from a hobbyist or amateur level to a full-fledged professional practice. Agriculture has not been left behind in this transformation. Agriculture has grown into a full-fledged global industry with several branches and sectors of application. Agribusiness is the term for the professional practice of agriculture. Agribusiness refers to any firm that deals with the production, processing, or marketing of agricultural products and farm machinery and services.
The global economy’s size (or GDP) is $113.7 trillion, and agriculture as an industry contributes 6% of it, bringing the total value of the global agriculture business to $6.822 trillion. Despite contributing only 6% of the worldwide economy’s size or weight, the agriculture business employs 34.6 percent of the global workforce. There are 3.39 billion persons in the world’s labor force, with 1.17 billion used in agriculture.
Nigeria has a population of 180 million people, according to World Bank estimates. The Nigerian economy has a GDP of N18.3 trillion. The Nigerian economy can be divided into two categories: oil and non-oil. Agriculture, along with other non-oil businesses such as information and communication, accommodation and food services, arts, entertainment, and recreation, finance, and insurance, professional scientific and technical assistance, education, and other services, is part of Nigeria’s non-oil economy.
Check Out: Nigerian Agriculture Businesses
Crop production, livestock, forestry, and fishing are the four sub-activities of agriculture in Nigeria. While Nigeria’s economy is mainly reliant on oil, agriculture still plays a vital role in the country’s economy. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the agriculture sector accounts for 25% of the Nigerian economy’s GDP (N4.575 trillion) and employs 70% of the country’s workforce. In addition, agriculture, telecommunications, and services have contributed to Nigeria’s economic growth over the last five years.
Cocoa, peanuts, cotton, palm oil, corn, rice, sorghum, millet, cassava (manioc, tapioca), yams, rubber, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, lumber, and fish are among the products produced and processed in Nigeria’s agriculture business. The majority of these products are consumed in Nigeria. However, some are exported. Agriculture in Nigeria accounts for 5% of all economic items shipped from the country, whereas petroleum and petroleum products account for 95% of all exports.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is the federal institution in Nigeria responsible for agriculture’s development and transformation (FMARD). The Nigerian government primarily supports this Ministry, and it currently oversees around fifty parastatals that serve as significant departments or agencies throughout the country. Agriculture (Trees and Crops), Fisheries, Livestock, Land Resources, Fertilizer, Food Reserve & Storage, and Rural Development are the Ministry’s two primary departments. Finance, Human Resources, Procurement, PPAS (Plan, Policy, Analysis, and Statistics), and Co-operatives are the service departments.
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On November 12, 2015, Nigerian President Muhammad Buhari appointed Audu Ogbeh to lead the FMARD, following Akinwumi Adesina, who led the Africa Development Bank. President Buhari also named Heineken Lokpobiri to Minister of State for Agriculture and Shehu Ahmad to the position of Permanent Secretary in the newly formed Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Agriculture Policies in Nigeria President Jonathan’s administration established an Agricultural Transformation Agenda in 2011, overseen by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The plan’s goal is to promote agriculture as a business in Nigeria, integrate the agricultural value chain, and make agriculture a primary driver of the country’s economic progress. To attain this goal, the government has implemented specific new policies.
The FAMRD’s agricultural policy in Nigeria can be divided into four categories:
1. Fiscal Policies
2. Food with Domestic Content (Enabling Legislations)
3. Policies in the Industrial Sector
4.Policies on Financial Services