Diversification in the Agricultural Sector for Economic Development
Diversification in the Agricultural Sector for Economic Development : Agriculture involves tillage, rearing and rearing of animals, for the purpose of producing food for humans, feed for animals and raw materials for industry. This involves forestry, fisheries, processing and marketing of these agricultural products. Basically, it consists of crop production, animal husbandry, forestry, and fisheries.
Agriculture is the mainstay of many economies. Around the world, sustainable economic development goes hand in hand with agricultural development, so Nigeria needs to make maximum use of its agricultural resources to accelerate its pursuit of and efforts to achieve sustainable economic development.
Agriculture is considered a catalyst for the overall development of any country; Development economists have always placed the agricultural sector as a central place in the development process, early development theorists although emphasizing industrialization, they relied on agriculture to provide the necessary output of food and raw materials, along with labor that would gradually be absorbed by industry. and the service sector. Much later the thought of moving agriculture to the forefront of the development process; hopes for technical change in agriculture and the “green revolution” suggest agriculture as the dynamo and magic wand for economic growth and development.
The industrial revolution of the 19th century which catapulted the agrarian economy in most European countries was stimulated by agriculture; sectors in recent history have also produced remarkable miracles in countries such as Mexico, India, Brazil, Peru, the Philippines and China where the Green Revolution is one of the great success stories. Indeed, the importance of agriculture in the economy of any country cannot be overemphasized, for example, in the United States, agriculture accounts for about 1.1% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
The statistics above show that the more developed a country is, the lower the contribution of agriculture to Gross Domestic Product. Economic diversification is an economic development strategy characterized by an increase in the number of income bases of an economy. The Nigerian economy is a monoculture economy that relies on crude oil as its main source of income, it is imperative that the government should not continue to believe that oil provides an inexhaustible source of income.
As a priority, the Nigerian government should encourage rapid diversification of the Nigerian economy as this is the only sustainable way to survive in today’s global economic uncertainty environment of volatility and international oil price shocks, unfavorable quota system and depletion.
Diversification in the agricultural sector is therefore advisable for Nigeria as a developing economy to ensure food and nutrition security, income and job creation, poverty alleviation and to promote industrialization, reduce pressure on balance of payments, reliable source of government revenue and overall economic development. . country.
Prior to the political crisis of 1967-1970, agriculture’s positive contribution to the economy played an important role in sustaining economic growth and stability. Most of the demand for food is met from domestic production, eliminating the need to utilize scarce foreign exchange sources for food imports.
Stable growth in agricultural exports is the backbone of a favorable trade balance. A sustainable amount of capital is obtained from the agricultural sector through the imposition of several taxes and the accumulation of marketing surplus, which is used to finance many development projects such as the construction and construction of Ahmadu Bello University (Zaria) and Nigeria’s first cocoa-skyscraper. in Ibadan. The sector which employed 71% of the total workforce in 1960, employed only 56% in 1977, the number reached 68% in 1980, falling to 55% in 1986, 1987 and 1988; and 57% annually from 1989 to 1992, and continued to dip into the 2000s as a result of the neglect of this sector.
To channel itself on the path of modern development, Nigeria must examine what factors hinder the development of its agricultural sector, which was the backbone of the Nigerian economy before the oil boom era. It must correct the mistakes it has made for more than 54 years by immediately implementing this strategic plan. Nigerians can lift themselves out of poverty and hardship by fighting corruption and devoting themselves to striving for progress.
The 2021 initiative will keep Nigerians focused on improving their economy and combined with significant efforts to reduce food imports and increase food production in their own country, Nigerians could witness a timely change in their investments. Nigeria has the necessary components to return to an agriculture-based economy. Research has shown that a return to an agricultural economy is not only possible, but will be very beneficial for the entire Nigerian nation.
In order to achieve sustainable economic development and to lift the inactive and diminishing contribution of the agricultural sector, Nigeria needs to have several recommended prerequisite diversification policies such as providing financial resources to the sector to make it up and running; a combination of government subsidies, high-yielding seeds and high-yielding seeds for private companies and small-scale farmers who produce 85% of the sector’s agricultural output is needed to increase agricultural markets.
Current import and export regulations also need to be revised to better convince other countries to accept agricultural products from Nigeria. It is a well-established fact that with a population of over 170 million, vast agricultural land, conducive climate and soil, Nigeria has the productive resources needed to gain a strong reception from the agricultural sector as an engine for achieving sustainable economic development.
It therefore makes sense for Nigerians to diversify into the agricultural market in their quest to become more independent and recognized as one of the world’s economic powers.