Food Production – Trends In Global Community
No nation can survive, let alone develop without the ability to feed her people. In Nigeria and other African countries, food production, or agriculture is not by providing the adequate livelihood to the people, it is also not producing enough to feed the continent’s rapidly growing urban population. With the low level of productivity and its consequent low standard of living among farmers and even beyond, it is a continuing problem calling for solution through improved agricultural technology and other methods needed for food production.
Food Production – Agricultural Sector As A Source Of Raw Material
Prior to the discovery of oil Nigeria, agriculture had been the back bone of the nation’s economy. In 1964, for instance agriculture accounted for 70.8% of the nation’s total export value and 60.96% of the gross national product. In less than a decade, however, the situation had changed dramatically. Agriculture accounted for only 4.6% of the gross national product in the 70’s.
Nigeria has a wealth of agricultural resources which included the vast food production. There is a vast area of arable land on which almost all tropical crops could be grown. With the discovery of oil, however, the nation turned its back on agriculture. This made the production of food crops a wasted effort. Food production as well as food importation became the order of the time in view. By 1981, Nigeria had to spend 2198.3 million naira on food importation alone. This food was purported to have been imported to supplement the short fall in local production.
Despite this food importation, the masses complained of lack of food. Food became classified as essential commodity. In recognition to this pending food crisis, the nation shifted its official effort to the area of agricultural development. These efforts were rather and lopsided. Hence, the end never justified the means.
The first in line was the interest of the World Bank which moved in to establish loan scheme for agricultural development projects. The main objectives is to help peasant farmers through various means, such as the use of improved seeds. The River Basin Development Authorities also tried in the line of agricultural development. There major policy is to make it possible for farmers to produce food and cash crops all the year round instead of seasonally as at now. Through this, it was believed that agriculture would provide raw materials for local industries. The construction of huge and expensive dams in various parts of the country was the main instrument of the scheme.
In 1975, the nation launched the National Accelerated Food Programme. An improvement in the Nation’s agricultural base was advocated. Through this programme, varieties of improved, disease resistant and high yielding seeds, fertilizers and pesticides were introduced. This scheme could be used to be lopsided, just like others, because the seeds, fertilizer and the pesticides were all imported.
The scheme only succeeded in improving the foreign personal accounts of the people in charge. A great deal of foreign personal accounts of the people in charge. A great deal of foreign exchange was wasted because importation was done indiscriminately. On a personal accounts of the people in charge. Most of the imported items proved totally unsuitable for our various agricultural projects.
Another agricultural programme called Operation Feed The Nation (OFN) was initiated by the Obasanjo Military Administration. This programme encouraged everybody, including former public officers who were either retired or dismissed, to engage in commercial agriculture. When it was the turn of the Shagari’s Civilian Administration, in 1980, the programme was renamed Green Revolution. Under the operation feed the nation (OFN), importation was discouraged as food importation had amounted to N1,004.2 million naira in 1978. Three years later, under the Shagari administration’s Green Revolution, the import bill was in excess of N2 billion. With this huge sum expanded on importation, the green revolution ended up on its back.
There has been lack of a balance between agriculture, food production and the manufacturing sector. In a properly articulated economy, there should be a linkage between the agricultural sector and the manufacturing sector. Because of the lack of this linkage the manufacturing industries depends on importation for their raw materials. This dependence makes the manufacturing sector is a vampire, sucking the blood of the nation’s economy. An assertion has been made to describe the situation, it says that the manufacturing industry consumes 80 percent of the nation’s wealth but puts back only 2 percent.
Reasons For The Problems In Agriculture
- With the low level of productivity and its consequent low standard of living among farmers and even beyond, it is a continuing problem calling for solution through improved agricultural technology.
- With the discovery of oil, however, the nation turned its back on agriculture. This made the production of food crops a wasted effort.
- In recognition to this pending food crisis, the nation shifted its official effort to the area of agricultural development. These efforts were rather and lopsided.
- Because of the lack of this linkage the manufacturing industries depends on importation for their raw materials. This dependence makes the manufacturing sector is a vampire, sucking the blood of the nation’s economy.
The role of agriculture should play in solving the problems of the manufacturing industries has all along been de emphasized by subsequent governments. Successive government have all engaged in the past time of glorifying agriculture on the pages of newspapers and during news conferences, while failing to back up such loud exhortation with the annual budgetary allocations that are adequate and stable from year to year. For a variety of reasons, the governments prefer the construction of five-star hotels and township stadia to making adequate allocations to infrastructure for agricultural development.
Several factors have generally been given for being responsible for the failure of the agricultural sector. The most instructive ones are the total neglect of the rural areas, corruption, lack of infrastructures and supply of required inputs, grossly inadequate funding, stultifying bureaucracies, and the misplaced priorities of the nation. One begins to wonder then, how the nation can ever become industrialized without the ability to feed itself and provide the needed raw materials for its industries.
Factors That Has Prevention Food Production
- Total neglect of the rural areas
- Lack of infrastructures and supply of required inputs
- Grossly inadequate funding
- Stultifying bureaucracies
- The misplaced priorities of the nation
These and more created an atmosphere of difficulty in the nation’s agricultural development.