NIGERIAN AGRICULTURAL SECTOR: The Status quo

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Agriculture is unarguably the most indispensable sector of the Nigerian economy. Empirical data available reveal that it accounts for 50-70% of employment of Nigerians, which include rural men and women. Also, it contributes up to 35% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Furthermore, Nigeria is endowed with rich and vast arable land, as well as water resources, which if properly utilised, are capable of catapulting it to enviable and greater heights vis-à-vis its contemporaries across the globe. To further buttress this, the Oxford Business Group confirms that the agricultural industry remains a mainstay of the economy, accounting for 23.9% of GDP and upward of 70% of the country’s workforce. Approximately 83.7% of Nigeria’s land area is agricultural, although only 40% is arable. Substantial water resources also assist the agricultural sector. The country has 230 billion cubic metres of total renewable water resources. This should help expand productivity through irrigation. As of 2012, only 0.3% (or 2930 sq km) of Nigeria’s total land area was irrigated.

Unfortunately, the subsequent emergence of oil boom and its dominance of the Nigerian economy in the late 70s, which immensely contributed to over 90% of foreign exchange earnings in recent years, have precariously led to almost total neglect of many other key productive sectors of the Nigerian economy due largely to overdependence on crude oil.

Agriculture, which served as springboard for searching, discovering and exploring oil, had nearly gone moribund in the country, as it was abandoned and importation of food and other commodities that could be ordinarily produced in the country drastically snowballed beyond imagination.

Besides, agricultural value chain has the potentialities of employing labour with strategic linkages to processing, and marketing. It will promote inclusive growth and bridge the Nigeria’s perennial income inequality gap. It will boost production and economic activities in rural areas; thus, mitigating rural-urban migration. It will attract private funding, expertise and experience exchange into the sector.

In line with the Federal Government of Nigeria’s policy and predilection to fathom out modalities, capable of holistically revamping the nation’s economy through collaborations with key stakeholders (public and private organisations, associations and other like-minds), as well as end the era of food imports, particularly rice, and develop rice value chains to produce and add value to this product and create domestic and export markets for farmers; Premium Agrochemicals Limited has perfected its modi oprandi to swing into action via strong and mutually beneficial synergies with the Federal Government of Nigeria.

To further assure the good people of Nigeria of its commitment to concretize the actualisation of the Federal Government’s blazing proclivity to revolutionise its daunting economy into a more robust and vibrant one through agriculture and agricultural inclusive value chain, Premium Agrochemicals Limited (PAL) has put in place a special board of advisory, which constitutes members and technocrats of tested, trusted and proven reputation – drawn from different walks of life to pilot its affairs.

The present administration has come with its “Change Mantra,” which seeks to redefine the nation’s priorities in the agricultural sector. The process of revamping and diversifying the nation’s nose-diving economy, using agriculture as springboard requires novel paradigm shifts and holistic overhaul. Also, it must be an all-inclusive and participatory system that involves the participation of both public and private sectors.

Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) reveals that Nigeria is Africa’s largest consumer of rice; one of the largest producers of rice in Africa, and simultaneously one of the largest rice importers in the world. Small-scale producers of rice sell 80% of total production and consume only 20%; thus, it generates more income for Nigerian farmers than any other cash crop.

Finally, we are determined to creating innovative value addition to every stage of agricultural production, processing, packaging, marketing, storage, and consumption process.

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Who is Professor Musa Tukur Yakasai (Amb.P)?

Musa Tukur Yakasai is an academic of local and international repute. He had his PhD in Agricultural Economics at the prestigious Abubakar Tafawa Belewa University, Bauchi. He is a professor of Agricultural Economics and Extension. He is currently a lecturer and distinguished researcher at Kano University of Science and Technology, Wudil, Kano State, Nigeria.

Yakasai had held several administrative positions (academic, professional and community-based). For instance, he became Provost, Audu Bako College of Agriculture, Dambatta, Kano State, Nigeria (2014–2018); Coordinator/National Agric Expert, Less Burnt – UNDP Project (2012–DATE); Regional Manager, North (BPO) USAID (MARKETS) PROJECT (2009–2009); Programme Counterpart Officer, UNDP, Kano State (1998–2001); Agric Development Officer, National Directorate of Employment, NDE (1993–1998); Deputy Vice Chancellor, KUST, Wudil (2010- 2014); Acting Vice Chancellor (2010– 2014); Substantive Dean, Faculty of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology, KUST, Wudil (2005–2009); Deputy Dean, Faculty of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology KUT, Wudil (2001–2002); Substantive Head, Department of Agric Economics and Extension, Kano University of Technology, Wudil, Kano State (2010–2010); Acting Head, Department of Agric. Econs and Extension, KUT, Wudil (2002–2007); Chairman, KUST Senate during the appointment of a new Vice Chancellor (2013–2013); Chairman, Committee on Academic Development, KUST, Wudil (2001– 2001); Member, Student Disciplinary Committee, KUT, Wudil (2001–2008); Chairman, Central Accreditation Committee(CAC), KUST (2010–2014); Chairman, Research and Higher Degree Committee, KUST, Wudil (2005–2009).

Yakasai has for over a decade now been rendering professional consultancy services to both local and international agro-allied companies, agribusinesses, and marketing firms (governmental and non-governmental) of unrivalled reputation. At the present, he is engaged with Premium Agrochemicals Limited as consultant and Member of its Advisory Board.

He has vast research interests in agribusiness and input; agricultural production and consumption, as well as agricultural value chain development.

Yakasai is a recipient of several meritorious awards from reputable organisations, among which is the United Nations’ prestigious award of Ambassador of Peace (Amb.P). The World Peace Prayer Society (WPPS), Nigeria Chapter, conferred the meritorious award on him at the event of United Nations’ International Day of Peace held on the campus of KUST, Wudil, Kano State, on September 21, 2015. Likewise, he holds memberships of various academic and professional organisations, which include Agricultural Extension Society of Nigeria (AESON); Farm Management Association of Nigeria (FAMAN); Horticultural Society of Nigeria (HORTSON); National Association of Agricultural Economics (NAAE); Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), among several others.

You can reach him via any of these contacts

Tel: (+234) 08065281625

E-mail: musatukur28@gmail.com

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