By: Atabo Solomon Daniel
Agriculture has continued to be the primary source of income for the majority of rural communities in Nigeria.
It employs more than 60% of the African population and accounts for over 30% of the continent’s Gross Domestic Product (Kandlinkar and Risbey 2000).
The rate of insecurity in the Middle Belt part of the country has caused shortage in rice and other grains as a result of low production in many states that relays on farming as their biggest household income generator.
Prominent grain-producing states are currently being plundered by armed bandits, terrorists and marauding herders, preventing farmers from accessing their farms.
The number one maize-producing state in the country – Kaduna, and its counterpart, Niger, are enmeshed in activities of terrorists and bandits, and intensive farming in the states, to say the least, is practically impossible.
Middle Belt Nigeria is blessed with good soil and it boast of producing various agro products like sweet potato, ginger, maize and many more but yet insecurity has made Agro production low in many states, because farmers cannot access their farm freely without fear.
Nigeria government needs to focus more on ending the issue of banditary, kidnappings and other non state actor, for the growth and development of the country’s agro sector.
Nigeria needs to invest more, in Nigeria’s security agencies, to tackle farmers and headers clash, boko Haram, banditry and others, that have made the economic growth of the country slow and vulnerable.
According to World Food Programme (WF.P),
8.4 million people are food insecure in northeast Nigeria, 70% of people nationwide live below the poverty line. Over three million people are internally displaced in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states
With over 200 million people, Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa and the seventh in the world. The annual growth rate of the population is approximately 2.7 per cent, and more than half are under 30 years of age.
Nigeria is the tenth-largest producer of crude oil in the world and achieved lower-middle-income status in 2014.
However, conflict in its northeast region has displaced over 3 million people and left another 4.1 million food insecure in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. Three million of them are in Borno State, the epicentre of insurgency.
The country’s human-development indicators are poor. Persistent poverty affects more than half the population, most severely in the northeast and northwest regions. In addition, Nigeria is also subject to periodic droughts and floods. This has had an adverse impact on agricultural output and increased the vulnerability of populations, especially in rural areas.
Insecurity has resulted to high cost of major crops in the north. Agro products like groundnuts, beans, gums, kolanuts and maize, sorghum and millet from which flours are made for bread and fry bread are not affordable anymore.
SOURCE: Blueprint NG