The business of agriculture which is simply agribusiness cannot cease to exist since agriculture is a necessity for survival. A country that does not invest in its agribusiness is definitely investing in another country’s agribusiness. A quote of Ralph Ransom says “Agriculture and the business created by it not only give riches to a nation but gives the only riches the nation can own”. It is a known fact that the agricultural potential of Nigeria cannot be overemphasized, thus Nigeria should be fed with what Nigeria produces. This is the way forward if indeed we want sustainable growth and development as a country.
In this effect, agribusiness would be less of just a discussion and more of proper implementation of ideas that will enhance agricultural growth and development in the country. Just imagine an agribusiness value chain from an input supplier that supplies seeds, fertilizers, equipment, machineries, feed concentrate, containers and sack; to a farmer that produces crops, livestock and other produce used to sustain life; to a manufacturer that processes the agricultural produce into fruit juice, cocoa drinks, milk, coffee and tea, chocolates, sweets, cornflakes, bread, jam, butter, cakes, tomato puree, foot wears, clothes, tissue paper, soap and furniture; to food stores, supermarket, shopping malls and wholesalers who stand as marketers and distributors.
If Nigeria’s true focus is now on the agricultural sector as stated, it will not only be food secured and meet the needs of its over 178.5 million teeming population, it will create employment for its over 78.4 million labour force population i.e. those that are within the working age population, willing, able and actively looking for job. It will provide incentives and educate over 80 million of its dedicated farmers about modern agricultural techniques and methods. It will decongest its urban areas by making the livelihood of its over 5.9 million rural unemployed youths, attractive. It will provide solutions to mitigate environmental challenges, and put an end to food wastage by ensuring the provision food processing and storage facilities. It will adopt its research policies, and be more practical about science and technology. It will grow its industries and be disciplined about the implementation of designed agricultural plans.
Indeed the way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. Nigeria will change the economy of many countries if it begins to do what it says it will do.
This blog post was written by Idowu T. Owoeye.