Culled from AfricanFarmer Mogaji’s presentation at Covenant Capital Seminar titled ‘The Untapped Agricultural Potential of Nigeria’
Looking at the history and development of agriculture in Nigeria, it is not a coincidence that virtually all our past Presidents and Heads of State had passion for agriculture; this is not surprising as the state of oil sector in our economy was never so encouraging. With that understanding, you may agree that it is high time we went back to the drawing board to explore the gains of agriculture in order to fix our crawling economy.
We need to work together to fix our economy, but, how do we fix it? Agriculture is the way to fix it, and if your interest is already being aroused, below are some “food for thought” in Agriculture that may stimulate business idea(s) for you in your bid to make a business opportunity out of agriculture:
- Prohibited items: Do you know that Nigeria imports about One Hundred and Fifty Billion U.S. Dollar worth of rice every year?
It may interest you to also know that the Federal Government has made a drastic move to stop rice importation by putting in place measures which will give the local rice farmers opportunity to develop rice production in the country, so what do you intend to make of that?
- Untapped land opportunities: Are you aware that the river basin development project is in every State and offers the opportunity of access to several untapped land? Accessing this is not difficult as people think it is. All you need to do is to go to the Ministry of Agriculture and ask for the Department for the River Basin Project, they will guide you on how to access the lands. Most of these lands have irrigation facility that allows you to wet your crops in and out of the season, that is, wet and dry seasons. This benefit from the government has continued to be untapped because people are not aware of it. Some of the irrigation projects are found in Iseyin, Oyo State, and what more? Over seven hundred thousand acres of land have not been used by anybody! In Sepete, Saki local government, Oyo State, there are over three hundred hectares of land too there lying fallow and waiting for you to leverage on. The government also has irrigated lands in Jigawa State, Kwara State and so on that are waiting for you to leverage on.
- Untapped crops opportunities: There are many of them, but here are few among the list: a. Corn: Do you know that corn is one the untapped crops in Nigeria? Yes, it is true that corn is usually scarce between November and March, but do you know that the opportunity in corn lies in that very fact? Are you aware that with the help of irrigation which is readily available on government lands, this problem can be solved and you can produce corn all year round? Here is another food for thought: over sixty trailers loaded with corns supply Ketu market on daily basis for six months, yet supply is always lower than demand!