A goldmine is a source of wealth. In essence, agriculture is now the major source of wealth for Nigeria and Nigerians.
The demand for food is directly proportional to the population of a society or of the world. The population of the world is already surpassing the available food in the world. This is the time to cash in on agriculture, but if you will really cash-in, you have to be strategic …depending on where you are standing.
The population of Africa is 1.1 billion and the population of Nigeria is 170 million, and we currently import most of the foods we consume from other countries.
Let’s Go Back in Time …
In the 1960s and up to the early 1970s, Nigeria’s agriculture flourished. The country was one of the world’s highest producers of palm oil, cocoa, and groundnut. Over the years, agriculture has declined in importance just as oil boom started.
Right now, there are many signs that agriculture is regaining its past glorious importance. The share of agriculture in real GDP has been increasing since 1996 and the annual growth of the sector has surpassed population growth in recent years. Also, the agricultural sector is receiving the expected attention from policy makers, which is manifested in several new initiatives, e.g., for cassava, for chickens and for rice.
The Opportunity …
The current focus of the government on agriculture is a huge opportunity for many people.
Government is providing free or subsidized seeds and/or fertilizer; and there are several loans and grants available for people doing agriculture alone. If you are well positioned in this time, you would be a beneficiary of some of this and make a lot of money for yourself.
Right now, the entire world is preparing for how to feed the world in 2050.
At present, most parts of the world have cultivated all the lands available to them.Their only hope for survival is improved technology.
Fortunately, 65% of African lands (including Nigeria) are still uncultivated; and we have the advantage of having both lands and technology available to us for agriculture.
How to Position Yourself for the Goldmine in Agriculture?
Let’s go a little back into history again … the period of goldrush.
We can very easily liken that to a period like this. Obviously, there are several opportunities in agriculture and many people are rushing into some form of agriculture.
If you will succeed and really succeed, you need to leverage what you have or are currently doing to distinguish yourself from the pack.
Experienced Farmers and Professionals: This is the time to consider specialization and branding. While you wouldn’t need to stop any of the things you have been doing, you will need to start branding yourself as a professional in your area of greatest strength.
This is because many quacks and inexperienced people are also coming into the business you are doing.
Problems to Solve
Factors constraining agricultural performance in the country include those relating to :
- Technical constraints,
- Resource constraints,
- Socioeconomic constraints, and
- Organizational constraints
Areas You Should Consider
– Exportation: Aside the fact that earnings from stronger currencies bring more profit, the recent naira devaluation will make exporting very profitable.
– Processing & Packaging: Looking at the state of the Nigerian economy and the difficulty with importation of items from other countries, Nigerians who can properly process and package products to look like foreign products and still remain very affordable compared to their foreign choice will gradually phase out the need for the existing foreign products in the market.
– Production: It’s quite appalling that Nigeria has been importing many products, including agricultural products. The products we import vary from maize, soyabeans, wheat, rice, to goats, ram, chickens, and so on. As the economy turns to agriculture and their is difficulty in importation, consumers will be seeking alternatives to these items that are produced within the country.
– Manufacturing : Are you into manufacturing? Most of the equipment and tools used in agriculture are normally imported from China, Italy, US, Europe etc. If you can begin to fabricate alternatives to the currently imported ones, you will find a share for yourself in the agricultural revolution.
Let’s rise up and cultivate our soil.