1.3.1 Historical Context.
1.3.2 Nigeria’s Agricultural Ecological Zones

2.1.1 Economic and Social Contributions
2.1.2 Current Performance across Agricultural sub sectors
2.2.1 Comparator Set
2.2.2 Comparative Analysis and Key Learning Point
2.3.1 Key Issues and Challenges

3.4.1. Legal & Regulatory regime
3.4.3. Institutional Framework
3.4.4. Human Capital & Infrastructure Requirements
3.6.1. Political will of the government
3.6.2. Perception of agriculture
3.6.3. Funding and investment
3.6.4. Biofuel versus food supply
3.6.5. Inter-sectoral competition
3.6.6. Energy


Figure 1: Ecological Zones of Nigeria
Figure 2: Agriculture Share of GDP (1960-2005)
Figure 3: Value of Agricultural Exports (1980-2004)
Figure 4: World Cocoa Prices (1960-2005).
Figure 5: Agriculture Value Chain
Figure 6: Implementation Roadmap
Table 1: Agriculture Benchmark Countries
Table 2: Objectives, Goals, Strategies and Initiatives for the Agriculture sector
Table 3: Implementation Roadmap of the Agriculture Initiatives
Table 4: Performance Measurement and Monitoring Framework
Table 5: Institutional memory of agricultural policies and program

A major thrust of Nigeria’s quest to position itself amongst the 20 leading economies of the world by the year 2020 is to set a solid foundation for sustained rapid socio-economic development. The envisioned accelerated development will depend upon synergies among the key sectors of the economy principally agriculture, energy, manufacturing, financial services and mining & steel development. The development of the enabling sectors including tourism, information & communication technology, education, health, housing, governance, business environment & competitiveness among others is also equally important. Agriculture is pivotal to the realization of Vision 20: 2020. It currently contributes about 42% of Gross Domestic Product as against 13% for Oil & Gas; and employs two thirds of the entire labour force. Rapid expansion of the oil sector has played a role in eroding the competitivenes of agriculture. The nation has grown to rely heavily on earnings from oil exports without making the investments needed to diversify the economy through sustained agricultural growth and development of other non-oil sectors.
Blessed with abundant land and water resources, Nigeria’s agricultural sector has a high potential for increased growth, but this potential is not being realized. Failure to modernize agriculture on a large scale, outdated land tenure system, low adoption of research findings and technologies due to weakened extension services, high cost of farm inputs, poor access to credit, piracy in coastal waters, overemphasis on inefficient fertilizer procurement and distribution, inadequate irrigation and storage and poor access to markets have all combined to keep agricultural productivity low with high wastages, and below optimal contributions to export earnings Consistent with the strategic importance of the agricultural sector in the development of the Nigerian economy, the National Technical Working Group (NTWG) on Agriculture & Food Security was set up under the NV20: 2020 to articulate a vision and strategy for the sector. The Agric NTWG developed the conceptual framework needed to implement a sustained national agricultural development strategy and identified the primary pivots for agricultural growth and development and the interventions needed to unlock the vast resources and the under-exploited potentials of the sector.

This report presents the findings and recommendations necessary for the transformation of the Nigerian agricultural sector, towards the realization of the overall National Vision 20: 2020 goal.

Nigeria has set an ambitious target to become one of the top 20 economies in the world by the year 2020 otherwise known as “Nigeria Vision 20: 2020”. A major thrust of this goal is to accelerate the country’s economic growth and position it on a path of sustained and rapid socio-economic development. As part of the Vision 20:2020, Nigeria seeks to consolidate its leadership role in Africa and establish itself as a significant player in the global economic and political arena. The envisioned accelerated development will depend on synergies among the key sectors of the economy including agriculture, energy, manufacturing, financial services and mining & steel development. The development of other sectors such as Tourism, Information & Communication Technology, Education, Health, Housing, Governance, Business Environment & Competitiveness are considered sine qua non to the realization of Vision 20: 2020 goal. This report will be focusing on the role of the Agricultural Sector as a key driver to the realization of the national developmental goals. By year 2020, Nigeria aims at having a modern technologically enabled agricultural sector that fully exploits the vast agricultural resources of the country, ensures national food security and contributes significantly to foreign exchange earnings. Agriculture has always played a key role in the nation’s economy, currently contributing about 42% of Gross Domestic Product as against 13% for Oil & Gas; and employing two thirds of the entire labour force. However, growth in the sector has not kept pace with the needs and expectations of the nation. Over the past 20 years, value added per capita in agriculture has risen by less than 1 percent annually. Food production increase have not kept pace with population growth (except in recent times), resulting in rising food imports and declining levels of national food self-sufficiency. Several factors have accounted for this poor performance. Low mechanization, subsistence small scale holdings, outdated land tenure system, low adoption of research findings and technologies, high cost of farm inputs, poor access to credit, overemphasis on inefficient fertilizer procurement and distribution, inadequate irrigation and storage and poor access to markets have all combined to keep agricultural productivity low with high wastages and below optimum contributions to export earnings.

Crisis, it is said, sometimes opens the door of opportunities for the discerning. Without doubt, Nigeria has vast opportunities for agricultural development which can be exploited in line with global best practices to address and overcome the lingering global food crisis. Such identified potentials include arable land, a human population of about 140 million which guarantees food market; suitable agro climatic conditions for sustained year round agricultural production and availability of export market.
There is also diverse and rich vegetation capable of supporting a heavy population of livestock, 79 million ha of arable land, 267.7 billion m3 of water for irrigation, 14 million ha of surface water, 57.9 billion cubic meters of underground water and 3.14 million ha of irrigable land. From the colonial period up to the 1970s, Nigeria was mainly an agricultural economy. It was among the world’s leading producers of Cocoa, Palm oil, Groundnuts, Cotton, Rubber and Hides and Skin. The agricultural sector contributed over 60% to the GDP (supplying 70% of export and 95% of food needs).
However, with the advent of commercial oil exploration in the early 1970s the fortunes of agriculture started to dwindle, with a resultant downward decline in productivity. Principally, domestic production of most food commodities had not kept pace with demand. Population growth, change of food preference, urbanization, inflation and demand from neighboring countries are among some of the factors that continue to affect food availability, its accessibility and affordability to most of the citizens of Nigeria. Over the years, several programs, initiatives and policy strategies were implemented to address these challenges in order to ensure agricultural development. These initiatives and interventions helped to ensure that the agricultural sector achieved some progress but left a lot to be accomplished in terms of national food security. The performance of the agricultural sector has been uneven in the past. Its average annual growth rate ranged from about 3.3% in 1990s to an average of 6% between 2003 and 2007. Most of the current growth rate has been attributed more to expansion in cultivated land area rather than increase in productivity (kg/ha). Crop production in Nigeria is dominated by cereal, root and tuber crops. While the country has over the years made appreciable progress in meeting its domestic needs for sorghum, millet and to some extent maize and cowpea, it fell short in terms of rice and wheat which have continued to be imported. Also, production of root and tuber crops have met domestic need and are even exported. For example, Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in the world and has a high potential to gain from exporting processed cassava. Productivity and incomes can be enhanced by improving quality of seeds and farm management practices such as land and irrigation management practices which vary substantially across agro-ecological zones. Furthermore, increasing the area under irrigation will expand output since crop yield under the irrigation system is much higher than under rain-fed system (with the exception of root and tuber crops). 

The share of Agriculture in Federal Government’s annual budget ranges between 1.3% and 7.4% from 2000 and 2007 and this has consistently fallen below the Maputo Declaration of 10% share of total country budget for agriculture, an indication of the low priority previous governments had placed on agriculture. However, state level agricultural expenditure share were observed to be relatively higher compared to that of the Federal Government, while those of the local government councils were highly erratic. Overall, Nigerian agricultural expenditure was far below international standards even when accounting for its level of income. Despite the low budget allocation and fund release to agriculture, expenditure on fertilizer alone was usually over 50% of the agricultural budget.
It is believed that even though the Nigerian agricultural sector has made some impressive strides in the past decade, these gains will continue to be diluted if some of the following challenges are not addressed. These include: low public investment in the sector, concentrating emphasis on production rather than on the full value chain, focusing resources more on fertilizer and other input supplies at the expense and often neglect of research; extension services and infrastructural development. Attention also needs to be paid to planning, priority and target setting, reliable data generation and reporting systems, and monitoring and evaluation of agricultural sector projects. There is also need for clarity in the roles of the three tiers of government in agricultural policy implementation. In order to address these challenges and set agriculture on a sustainable growth that ensures food security for the nation, six objectives were articulated to actualize an agricultural vision of “A technology driven agricultural sector that is profitable, sustainable and meets the socio-economic aspirations of the nation”. Goals were also set and strategies developed to ensure achievement of the set objectives.

1.1 Global Trends in Agriculture and Food SecurityAccording to FAO in a publication titled “World Agriculture towards 2015/2030”, the world as a whole  has been making progress towards improved food security and nutrition. This is clear from the
substantial increases in per capita food supplies achieved globally and for large proportions of the population of the developing world. But, as the 1995 FAO study had warned, progress was slow and uneven. Indeed, many countries and population groups failed to make significant progress and some of them even suffered set-backs in their already fragile food security and nutrition situation. As noted in the 2001 issue of the State of Food Insecurity in the World, humanity is still faced with the stack reality of chronic undernourishment affecting over 800,000,000 people; 17% of the developing countries, as many as 34% in Sub-Saharan Africa and still more in some individual countries. The World Food Summit target of halving the number of undernourished persons by 2015 is far from being reached, and may not be accomplished even by 2030. By the year 2015, per capita food supplies will have increased and the incidence of undernourishment will have been further reduced in most developing regions. Food insecurity has been a global phenomenon with varying degrees of severity by International regions with Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) being the worst hit. Over 31% of the population in SSA (203.5 million individuals) is classified as being undernourished.

Recently, however, key trends have emerged that are severely worsening the global food situation.
These include the following:
High population growth especially in Asia (primarily China and India) and the pressure this
exerts on the world’s food supply.
Loss of agricultural land to residential and industrial development as well as to increasing
desertification arising from global warming.
The shifting balance between the use of food for human consumption and the generation of
biofuel which is to cater for the ever-increasing global energy demands.

1.2 Impact of Recent Developments: Challenges and Opportunities

The changing global trends pose food security threats to countries that are food import dependent. For instance Nigeria spends over $3 billion annually on the importation of staple food such as wheat, rice, sugar and fish. The Global Hunger Index published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) showed Nigeria at 20 in the range of 10-20 labeled as having a “serious” state of hunger among compared Sub-Saharan African countries. Furthermore, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in its State of Food Insecurity in the World, (2006) had indicated that Nigeria had about 12 million people reported as undernourished as at 2003. This undernourished proportion of the country’s population depicted by percentage was shown to have reduced from about 13% from 1990-1992 to about 9% from 2001-2003. This seeming proportional decline may, in fact, be nullified by population growth. Globally, agricultural systems have emerged with the efforts to optimise opportunities and use of resources. In doing this, veritable best practices have received global acclaim in driving excellence and innovation in the agricultural value chain.

These include:
Evidence-based technological innovations;
Business orientation of agricultural activities;
Ecological specialization and drive for comparative advantage;
Participatory policy formulation;
Ecosystem integrity and environmental sustainability (e.g. wetland reclamation, reforestation,
polluted land remediation, erosion control);
Soil and water conservation;
Waste utilization (“waste to wealth” or zero-waste practices); and
Truth in labelling practices

1.3 Nigeria’s Agriculture Sector Overview
1.3.1 Historical Context

The fundamental value of Agriculture in the development and growth of the Nigerian economy is indicated in its contribution as a source of food and raw materials for agro-industrial processing and the linkage effects with employment, national income, market opportunities for industrial output and
reduction in poverty and health improvement. In the 1960s, Nigeria was mainly an agricultural economy. It was among the world’s leading producers of Cocoa, Palm oil, Groundnuts, Cotton, Rubber and Hides and Skin. The agricultural sector contributed over 60% to the GDP (supplying 70% of export and 95% of food needs). There was also diverse and rich vegetation capable of supporting a heavy population of livestock, 79 million ha of arable land, 267.7 billion m3 of water for irrigation, 14 million ha surface water, 57.9 billion m3 of underground water and 3.14 million ha of irrigable land. However, with the advent of commercial oil exploration in the early 1970s, the fortunes of agriculture started to dwindle with a resultant downward decline in productivity. Over the years, previous administrations have tried, through various programs; initiatives and policies, to address the challenges that face agriculture and to ensure its development in Nigeria.

Some of the policies and programs of previous governments in support of agricultural development
• Establishment of Commodity Marketing Boards (1947-1986)
• Agricultural Research Institutes (1964-date)
• National Accelerated Food Production Project (1970s)
• National Agricultural Cooperative Bank (1973 to date)
• Agricultural Development Projects (1975 to date)
• Operation Feed the Nation (1976 to date)
• River Basin Development Authorities (1977 to date)
• Green Revolution (1979 to 1983)
• Directorate of Foods, Roads and Rural Infrastructures (1986-1993)
• National Agricultural Land Development Authority (1991 to 1999)
• Presidential Initiatives on selected commodities: Cassava, Rice, Cocoa, Vegetable oil, Livestock
and Fisheries (1999 to 2007)

These initiatives and interventions (See Table 2 in the Appendix for details on the initiatives) have helped in ensuring that the agricultural sector achieved some progress but left a lot to be accomplished in terms of national food security. Principally, domestic production of most food commodities had not kept pace with demand. Population growth, change of food preference, urbanization, inflation and demand from neighboring countries are among some of the factors that continued to affect food availability, its accessibility and affordability to most Nigerians.

1.3.2 Nigeria’s Agricultural Ecological Zones

The climate of Nigeria is largely tropical, characterized by high temperatures, high humidity and intense heat. In some areas in the north, the mild winter permits the growing of winter crops such as wheat, during the cool harmattan period between December to February. Rainfall patterns show a south-north gradation, declining from over 3550mm in the Niger Delta in the south to about 250mm in the Sahelian zone in the north. Topographic effects create local rainfall patterns in high altitude areas of Jos Plateau, Mambilla Plateau, and the Adamawa Mountains where rainfall varies between 1016 and 2000 mm. On the basis of rainfall, the country is divided into four broad climatic regions, namely, very humid, humid, sub-humid and semi-arid. Within each region, however, substantial variation exists with respect to amount and pattern of rainfall, altitude, soil types and types of vegetation, which permit further division of these regions into sub-regions. Very humid and humid regions cover about 14 million hectares (Oshinowo, 1992). These extend from the mangrove swamps of the coastal areas, passing through the lowland forest belt and terminating in the northern limits of the derived savanna vegetation belt. The rainfall ranges from 3500 to 2000 mm per annum. Most of the land in this region is cultivable. The region includes Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo, Delta, Imo, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states. Erosion is a serious problem in the region and soils are highly weathered and infertile. The major tree crops of the region are cocoa, oil palm, rubber, kolanut, citrus, and plantain. Major arable crops are roots and tubers (yam, cassava and cocoyam), cereals (maize and rice) and grain legumes or pulses (cowpea and pigeon pea). The region provides about 79% of the exploitable timber of Nigeria (FMANR, 1992).

The sub-humid region lies to the north of the humid zone covering eight states namely, Niger, Kwara, Kogi, Nassarawa, Plateau, Benue, Gombe and Taraba states. It occupies about 43 million ha. 75% of arable area is not cultivated due to low population density. The region thus offers the largest scope for expansion of cultivated areas in the future. The vegetation consists of open forest in the south and savanna grassland in the northernmost parts of the zone. Rainfall ranges between 2000 mm to 1000 mm. This region produces large quantities of yam, cassava, sweet potatoes, sorghum, maize and rice. Also, cowpea, soybean, groundnut and onion and sugar-cane are produced here. The semi-arid region which also includes arid sub-regions occupies the northernmost parts of Nigeria, encompassing about 35million ha. It covers the states of Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Katsina, Kaduna, Kano, Yobe, Borno, Adamawa, Jigawa and Bauchi. The semi-arid region has Sudan and Sahel savanna types of vegetation, mainly consisting of grasses and woody plants. Desertification is one of the major problems. Average annual rainfall varies between 500mm to 1200mm per annum, and may be as low as 200mm in its northern limits. At least 90% of the land in this zone would require irrigation in order to achieve its full production capacity in vegetables, rice and wheat. Other important crops grown in the region are millet, sorghum, cowpea, groundnut and cotton. Also this region is the major producer of livestock and gum Arabic. 

(Source: National Agric Research Strategy Plan 1996 – 2010 by Bukar Shaib, Adamu Aliyu and J.S.

2.1 Sector Performance Assessment

Although, the Nigerian agricultural sector has made some impressive strides in the past decade, these gains will continue to be diluted if some of the following obstacles to the development of the sector are not addressed. These include: low public investment in the sector, concentrating emphasis on  production rather than on the whole value chain, focusing resources more on fertilizer and other input supplies at the expense and often neglect of research; extension; and infrastructural development. Attention also needs to paid to planning, priority and target setting, reliable data generation and reporting systems, monitoring and evaluation of agricultural sector projects. There is also lack of clarity in the roles of the three tiers of government in agricultural spending and policy-making which results in policy inconsistency, pervading presence of ambiguities of roles within the framework of the governance structure of agricultural management, overlapping and duplication of functions. Consequently, various programs and policies enunciated over the years and supported by Donor/Development partners did not achieve their development objectives or desired impacts due to such policy inconsistencies, absence of thoroughness in planning, lack of coordination and poor policy formulation and implementation. Furthermore, agricultural developmental projects implemented in Nigeria promoted mono-cropping at the expense of mixed (integrated crop-livestock) farming systems. This to some extent contributed to the stagnation of the livestock sub-sector, encouraged farmers’ encroachment to grazing lands and aggravated farmers/pastoralists conflicts. Currently, It is acknowledged that the Federal Government is making concerted efforts to reverse the past trends. Plans and programs have been designed to grow the agricultural sector at the rate of 10% annually. Government is also investing heavily in several projects across the agricultural value chain, putting in place an enabling environment that is conducive for high agricultural growth, as well as promoting private sector involvement and investment in agriculture. In essence, the new push is to see agriculture at any level as a business and to practice it as such.

2.1.1 Economic and Social Contributions

Although, agriculture is the major driver of economic growth in Nigeria at the moment, its contributions to the GDP has fluctuated considerably over the years (see figure 2).

Figure 2: Agriculture Share of GDP (1960-2005) 

Agriculture is a significant source of employment in Nigeria. In 2007, approximately 70 percent of the  national labor force was employed in agriculture, up from 54 percent in 1980. In recent years the farming population has aged, reflecting the migration of youth to the perceived job opportunities in the urban areas. Smallholder or subsistence agriculture offers limited employment opportunities for degree holders, making it unattractive for graduates of secondary and tertiary institutions. The steady out migration of younger workers to urban centers has deprived the agricultural sector of labor, creating the paradox of rural labor shortages in a labor-surplus economy. Agricultural wage rates are roughly the same as in the urban informal sector (the main source of employment after agriculture), but employment is more regular in urban areas. Wages in the agricultural sector and in the urban informal sector continue to lag far behind those in formal sectors, such as manufacturing and services (World Bank 2002). Employment opportunities in formal agro-industry are relatively scarce due to the capital intensity of the sector. The agricultural sector is pivotal to the national food security by providing the largest proportion of the national total food consumption requirements. Between 1961 and 1998, more than 90 percent of the nation’s cereal consumption requirements were produced domestically (Earth Trends 2003). With the exception of animal products, milk, and fish. Nigeria was close to self-sufficiency in most other food categories. However, the level of self-sufficiency in cereals has been falling, resulting in rapid growth in the amounts of cereals imports, especially rice imports, which increased 130 percent in 2001 over the previous five year average (FAO 2001). Because Nigeria is able to meet the bulk of its food needs through local production, the country does not need to depend on food aid. Before independence in 1960 and up to 1975, agricultural commodities were the main source of export earnings. Following the rise of the oil economy since the 80s, Agriculture’s share of export earnings has been on decline (see figure 3). Oil now accounts for over 95 percent of export earnings, about 76 percent of government revenues and about 33 percent of GDP (World Bank 2004). The low share of export earnings coming from non-oil exports, including agriculture, reflects the heavy reliance of the Nigerian economy on a single, non-renewable resource (petroleum) and explains the strong emphasis in the NEEDS for diversification.

Figure 3: Value of Agricultural Exports (1980-2004)

Since agriculture accounts for a major share of the GDP and generates a large amount of employment, it is intuitive that Nigeria’s strategy for stimulating non-oil growth should focus on agriculture. There can be no doubt that prior to 1986, strong appreciation of the naira eroded the competitiveness of Nigeria’s agricultural exports and reduced the cost of food imports due to unfavourable macroeconomic policies. The result was a predictable sharp decline in the quantity and value of agricultural exports, accompanied by a surge in food imports, especially rice.

2.1.2 Current Performance across Agricultural sub sectors
Nigeria’s agricultural sector comprises four sub-sectors: Crops, Livestock, Fisheries and Forestry. Crops contribute about 85% to agricultural GDP, livestock production about 10%, fisheries about 4%, and forestry about 1%. The crops and livestock sub-sectors have maintained their shares in recent years, while the fisheries has been expanding and the forestry shrinking. Given the large size of the crops sub-sector relative to the other three, growth performance in the crops sub-sector drives overall growth performance in agriculture. Crop Production
Among Nigeria’s food staples, cereals account for the largest share of cultivated areas while roots and tubers account for the largest share of production due to their much higher yields per unit land area. Millet and sorghum, which resist drought, are concentrated in the northern part of the country while maize and rice, which require more moisture, are concentrated in the middle belts. Yam and cassava are grown extensively in the humid southern part of the country. Since 1990, production of most major food crops has increased. Production increases in roots, tubers and oilseeds have been relatively rapid while production increases in cereals have been more modest. Significantly, these production increases occurred against a background of stagnant or falling yields. This means that for the past 15 years, food crop production growth in Nigeria has been driven entirely by expansion in area planted rather than by increase in productivity. The availability of uncultivated crop land is becoming limited parts of the country, due to urbanization, road construction, schools, hospitals, and other development projects. According to satellite data, in 1995 (the most recent year for which reliable data are available) crop land occupied over two-thirds of total land area in nearly one-half of the states. Ten years later, the proportion of states is undoubtedly higher. In many parts of the South, further crop land expansion can only come at the expense of the  last remaining dense forest areas (AIAE 2005). Throughout much of the North, crop production is in serious competition, sometimes to the point of open conflict with ranging livestock. This is aggravated by urbanization and growth of hitherto villages into towns and local government administrative headquarters, construction of roads etc. Crop land expansion is increasingly taking place on marginal land where yields are lower. With the supply of unused crop land dwindling, the current agricultural growth strategy based on expanding area planted is clearly unsustainable over the longer term. Tree crops
Tree crops occupy roughly 15 percent of total cultivated crop land in Nigeria. Cocoa is by far the leading tree crop, both in terms of area planted and in terms of economic value. Other economically important tree crops include oil palm, rubber, coffee, tea, and cashew. Surprisingly, tree crop production has been variable from year to year but in most instances, production increased slowly during the 1980s before leveling off or declining during the 1990s. Underlying the slow decline in production has been a pattern of stagnant or declining yields. Tree crops occupy a relatively small proportion of cultivated land but they account for a large share (in value terms) of total exports.

Cocoa alone accounts for about 2% of export earnings and rubber accounts for an additional 1%. Nigeria’s cocoa sub-sector deserves a brief mention, since cocoa exports formerly dominated what was for many years an agricultural export-led economy. In the early part of the 20th century, Nigeria distinguished itself as one of the world’s leading cocoa producers, a status that was maintained following independence even after many of the large cocoa estates established under colonial rule were broken up and distributed to smallholders. Beginning in the mid-1970s, however, two things happened that seriously affected the Nigerian cocoa industry. First, global overproduction coupled with the development of artificial chocolate substitutes precipitated a steep decline in world cocoa prices (see figure 4). Second, the dramatic surge in Nigerian oil exports led to a massive inflow of foreign exchange earnings and a subsequent sharp appreciation of the Naira. These two developments
greatly undermined the profitability of cocoa production in Nigeria and led to the neglect or abandonment of many plantations. To compound this, several plantations became aged with declined yield. The needed replacement with improved, high yielding, disease resistant varieties did not begin until in the middle 1990s. Today, the value of the Nigerian cocoa crop is only a small fraction of what it was during the early 1970s. Livestock
The livestock sub-sector in Nigeria currently accounts for about 10% percent of agricultural GDP. Recent data shows that Nigeria has about 16 million cattle, 52 million goats, 6.6 million pigs, 33 million sheep, and 166 million chickens. Growth in production of cattle, goats, and chickens has been low but pig and sheep production growth has exceeded human population growth. Summing across all animal species, the failure of production growth to keep pace with rapid human population growth in recent years has resulted in declining meat availability and consumption per capita. Local production is largely supplemented through live animal imports mainly from Niger, Chad and Cameroon. Nigeria also imports frozen poultry and canned meat in addition to powdered milk.  Livestock production systems in Nigeria vary by region and agro-ecological zones. Ruminant (cattle, sheep and goats) production is dominated by the transhumant Fulani nomads based in the northern parts of the country. Their large herds move from north to south and back with the onset and decline of the rains in search of forage. Mixed farming practices in the cereal producing arid and semi-arid zones of the north also incorporate livestock production for animal power, milk production, manure and income generation to supplement sales of crops. These are characteristically found in both the north and more humid middle and southern parts of Nigeria. Species differences have, over the years developed and adapted to the climatic conditions in the different zones. In the early 1980s, a trend of relocation of the “national herd” into the middle sub-humid and southern humid zones started in response to limiting forage availability in the drier northern region, desert encroachment which now is understood to be the impact of climate change. These climatic factors have also combined with human population growth to influence the clearing of more areas of the hitherto tsetse infested lands in the humid zones making the area more conducive for livestock production. However, socio-economic factors especially ethnic rivalries and rejection of settlers have hindered the anticipated massive influx of the livestock into the zone. Consequently, even the grazing reserves that government gazetted to aid such relocation by settling the nomadic pastoralists remained largely unoccupied. Nevertheless, through private initiatives, some of the pastoralists have become sedentary agro pastoralists engaging in crop farming along with the seasonal livestock migration over a more limited area. Pig production is concentrated in the middle and southern parts of the country, where dietary restrictions on the consumption of pork are less prevalent. The pigs are raised almost exclusively in small-scale backyard piggeries. . Poultry, primarily chickens, are raised mainly in small household flocks, with between 20 and 25 percent of all poultry production occurring in commercial operations, usually located near urban centers. Commercial poultry is high in the southern part of Nigeria although the vast majority of poultry is raised in small household flocks. Urbanization and recent growth of fast food restaurants in most Nigerian cities and towns have provided a boost to the poultry industry.
Except for the poultry, the livestock production system has not achieved any level of transformation.  Modern scientific breeding programmes have made few inroads and traditional breeds continue to dominate. Production methods for cattle, sheep and goats are still based on traditional extensive grazing practices, with commercial ranching uncommon and intensive feeding non-existent. Specialized and intensive dairy husbandry is very minimal but extensive. Fulani cattle rearers obtain small amounts of milk from their poor milk-yielding breeds. The milk is mainly retailed in local  markets as sour milk or processed into butter and local cheese. There is appreciable amount of waste during the rainy season when the volume drastically increases beyond the capacity of the local markets. A peri-urban effort at milk collection and processing from the Fulanis around Kaduna has had mixed fortunes. Nigeria’s livestock producers have been slow to embrace technical change due to lack of coherence in Nigeria’s agricultural policy as it relates to the sub-sectors from 1970 to date. When the policy paid attention to improve grains production through the Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs), livestock was not a component of the design. An extension system was therefore developed that virtually neglected the need of the livestock sub-sector. Nigeria’s livestock producers have therefore not been aware of and became slow to embrace technical change. Government intervention to address the problem through the National Livestock Development Projects emphasized resettlement as a pre-requisite to production improvements. It was at the much later stages that within-herd innovations to improve productivity were introduced, but by then, resources needed to support the transformation have dwindled to make the desired impact. Fisheries
The fisheries sub-sector in Nigeria is made up of a number of distinct fisheries—offshore, onshore, brackish-water, inland capture and aquaculture (FAO 2000). The fisheries sub-sector is economically important: in 2007, it accounted for about 2 percent of GDP and employed a similar proportion of the national labor force. Summing across the various fisheries, total annual production of fish is about 700,000 metric tons. This amount falls far short of the demand of 2.66 million mt; with the result that Nigeria presently imports about 700,000 tons of fish per year, equivalent to 60 percent of total consumption requirements (Federal Department of Fisheries, 2007). Even with this high level of fish imports, there still remains a significant shortfall. Fishery sub-sector plays an important role in the Nigerian economy, it contributes 4.5% of agriculture’s 42% contribution to national GDP i.e. fisheries contribute 1.8% of total GDP. By 2007, fish trade increased to 739,666 tons valued at USD 594 million as fish import, while export was at 4,136 tons valued at USD 38 million. In a bid to reduce the need for costly imports, efforts to increase fish supply are focused on increasing production. Domestic production potential is estimated at 3.2 million tons so, there is considerable room for further expansion. With the offshore marine fishery already under pressure from piracy, and with pollution in estuaries and brackish waters reducing their productivity, future production increases will almost certainly have to be achieved through aquaculture and enhancement of inland fisheries. The potential to expand Nigeria’s freshwater fisheries is vast, and indeed 1.7 million ha have been deemed suitable for aquaculture. To date, this potential has not been exploited although the number of commercial fish farms is growing rapidly, report from USAID (2007) estimates 23 – 35% growth per annum. Forestry
The forestry sub-sector in Nigeria has decreased in importance following years of over exploitation. Despite widespread use of unsustainable timber harvesting practices, Nigeria is still moderately forested with nearly 15% of the country covered by forest or savannah woodland. This figure seems destined to fall. However, efforts to control unauthorized cutting have proven largely ineffective and forest cover decreased from 4 million ha in 1978 to 3.1 million ha in 1995 with no sign of abatement since then in the trend (World Bank 2005b). Due to the significant plantation forest estate sector, Nigeria still ranks as one of Africa’s largest wood producers, with an annual harvest of about 100 million m3, most of which is burned as fuel. The industrial forestry sector is relatively large and produces sawn timber as well as particle board. While most forest products are used for local consumption, small quantities of sawn timber are exported. In 2002, forest product exports generated revenues of US$18.5 million, compared to forest product imports valued at US$123 million made up of mainly paper and paperboard (FAOSTAT). Exports of unprocessed wood products have been prohibited since 1998.

2.2 Comparative Benchmarking Analysis
2.2.1 Comparator Set

A detailed comparative analysis was conducted to benchmark the performance of Nigerian Agricultural sector with that of leading countries globally, especially countries with whom Nigeria shares similar demographics, climatic conditions, agronomic characteristics, natural endowment and economic history. The result of the analysis clearly highlights the major constraints to agricultural growth in Nigeria and equally establish the developmental imperatives if Nigeria is to attain its ambitious goal of becoming one of the leading agriculture countries by the year 2020. The three leading agriculture countries in each continent, in terms of agricultural production per capital were selected as comparator countries and were benchmarked against Nigeria based on pre-defined key parameters to gauge its agricultural development. Some of the countries selected include USA, Brazil, Malaysia and Thailand who are global leaders in agricultural development, food security, agricultural technologies and management as well as in research & development of new technologies.

2.2.2 Comparative Analysis and Key Learning Points Mechanization

Mechanized farming is predominantly adopted in all the leading agricultural countries studied. The farming systems in these countries are mainly medium to large scale commercial plantations with cultivations and harvesting done using tractors. The level and quality of technology enhances the agricultural productivity recorded in these countries and sustains their agricultural exports’ competitiveness in the international market, especially in those crops where they have comparative advantage. In Nigeria, the level of agricultural mechanization is still very low when compared with
some of the leading countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia whose agricultural history and outputs were similar to that of Nigeria in the late 1950s to early 1960s. As shown in Table 1 above, tractor usage per 100 hectare is as high as 41, 241, 156 and 137 in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Brazil respectively while Nigeria has only 10 tractors per 100 ha.

Development Imperatives

Currently in Nigeria, agricultural activities are predominantly labour intensive, at a subsistence level and characterized by traditional practices such as the use of machetes, hoes and other crude implements resulting in very high man-hour utilization, poor crop yield and high post-harvest losses.
Nigeria needs to accelerate the modernization of its agricultural practice to enhance productivity and optimize the use of resources towards achieving food security in the medium term and boosting export competitiveness in the long term. Investment through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in mechanizing farm operations is critical to the transformation of the Nigerian agricultural sector Irrigation
All leading agricultural countries depend on irrigation systems for their farming activities to enhance productivity and sustain a year-round farming. However, crop production inNigeria has remained largely rain-fed dependent with minimal irrigation practices. For instance, less than 1% of Nigeria’s arable land is irrigated. This is almost insignificant when compared with countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Brazil that have irrigated arable land of 12.36%, 4.81%, 28.19% and 4.38% respectively.

Development Imperatives

Currently, smallholders and traditional farmers who use rudimentary production techniques cultivate over 90% of the arable land, less than 1% of which is irrigated. To steer Nigeria towards achieving self sufficiency in food supply in the medium term and increasing agricultural exports in the long run, the concept of year-round farming  through irrigation must be a priority in future agricultural development programs - in both private and government farms. To achieve this, government should drive the massive expansion of irrigation infrastructure and provide incentives to shared usage of irrigationfacilities among farmers in order to spread the cost burden. Government Spending/ Agricultural Budget

In 2003, African leaders including that of Nigeria met in Maputo, Mozambique where  they all jointly agreed that at least 10% of the total government spending should be targeted at the agricultural sector towards attaining food security. While some African countries such as Ghana, Uganda and Malawi have stabilized their budget expenditures on agriculture around 10%, Nigeria, up to 2007, consistently spent less than 3% of its annual budget on agriculture. However, a slight increase to 5% per annum has been recorded in the last two years due to the new government’s drive to achieve part of its point agenda for National Development. Malaysia, on the other hand, has achieved accelerated agricultural development through sustained annual expenditure of between 20-25% of its budget on agriculture in the last three decades.

Development Imperatives
Improved investments in Research and Development, mechanization and irrigation of agriculture, manpower development and infrastructural development are all required to accelerate and sustain the development of the Nigerian agricultural sector. Consequently, government investment in agriculture must increase very significantly to over 10% (Maputo Agreement) in the next 10 years to strengthen the core drivers of agricultural development. Biotechnology
One of the key problems of Nigerian agriculture is the low yield of its seed and seed stock. The seeds of most crops and breeds of livestock and fish in Nigeria produce yields that are far below world averages. In this circumstance therefore, seed and breeding stock quality improvement is a sine qua non to increased yield and increased domestic production. Some of the leading countries including the USA and Ireland have maximally exploited conventional breeding and applied genetic engineering to boost their agricultural productivity. Genetically modified crops are typically disease resistant, high yielding and early maturing. For example, the USA specifically utilizes genetically modified crops for the production of bio fuels to mitigate the impact of fuel requirements on the food chain. Advanced livestock breeding system which include Artificial Insemination, Marker Assisted Selection and Embryo Transplant are being used for faster breed upgrading and selection for herd replacement and basis for culling. 

Development Imperatives
Currently, low level application of conventional breeding techniques has stifled Nigeria’s agricultural technological development. In addition, lack of Biotechnology (Biosafety) enabling law and funding has hindered research as well as adoption and use of bioengineering techniques such as genetically modified seedlings and livestock breeding techniques in Nigeria. Increased agricultural production and conservation of land can both be achieved through the adoption of biotechnology. Adopting the use of genetically modified seedlings and livestock improvement techniques will significantly increase Nigeria’s agricultural productivity, enhance food security and improve the quality of its agricultural exports to meet international standards. In doing this however, due consideration must be given to the ethics of the Biotechnology practice. Farming TechniquesMono culture, organic farming, green house farming, selective breeding, dry land farming and use of remote sensing to aid agricultural activities are some of the improved farming techniques that are leveraged by some of the leading agricultural producing countries to enhance their agricultural development. All these techniques have significant positive impacts on agricultural productivity.

Development Imperatives
Currently, limitations in the level of mechanization and technology may hinder the immediate adoption of some of these modern farming techniques in Nigeria. For instance, mono culture is typically practised on many large scale farms and is dependent on mechanization. The support of Nigerian agricultural research institutes is required in developing or adapting some of these techniques to suit local conditions. Public-Private Partnership funding is equally crucial in ensuring long term sustained support for the required R&D activities.

2.3 Current Operational Considerations and Constraints
2.3.1 Key Issues and Challenges

In spite of consistent growth in the agricultural sector in recent years, it is not yet performing to its optimum in terms of productivity, wealth creation, foreign exchange generation and food security. The agricultural sector has been constrained by various challenges that have impeded the development of the sector. These challenges need to be addressed in order to sustain and even surpass the current agricultural growth rate. A review of National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) programs implementation highlighted the challenges to include inadequate funding which limits the scope of intervention, absence of institutional mechanisms in the area of input production and distribution particularly in the case of seeds, fertilizer and credit, poor infrastructure and low or inappropriate technologies which have also limited the growth of the sector. Others include gender inequality and the scourge of HIV/AIDS in agricultural production communities in the country. The overall consequences relate to food insecurity, intensification of poverty and inadequate wealth creation. In order to properly tackle these challenges and position. Nigeria in the path of attaining the ambitious target of becoming one of the leading 20 economies by year 2020, the following key issues must be addressed: Agriculture – Industry Linkage
The linkage between agriculture and industry in Nigeria is still very weak. A good synergy between agriculture and industry will involve the existence of processing firms for perishable and marginal products for the purpose of value addition in order to reduce losses (currently estimated at about 15–40%), enhance food security, stimulate production and increase employment generation.  More so, agriculture still employs over 70% of the labour force in Nigeria. This is mainly at the primary production level because of low mechanization and small holding. To promote national development, agriculture must release labour to other sectors of the economy. It is envisaged that as agricultural mechanization improves and the food processing capacities of Nigeria expands, agriculture will need less people to till the soil, harvest the crops and handle raw yield. The concomitant effect will be reduced human labour and increased industrialization. However, such “released” labour need to be
trained with new skills to fit into the merging industrial economy. Inconsistent Agricultural policies
Agricultural policies in Nigeria have not only been inconsistent but they have often been poorly coordinated as well. Against a background of short political cycles, agricultural policies tended to change frequently with changes in political leadership, and often the political will to implement the policies had also varied as well. The history of Nigerian agriculture is littered with abandoned policies, programs, and initiatives. The fragmented approach to policy-making has constrained agricultural growth because it has prevented a sustained commitment to a coherent, integrated strategy for agricultural development.Such a sustained commitment is needed to achieve good results in a sector that not only requires longer time spans to yield desired outcomes, but also relies on other sectors for its development. Finance

Nigerian financial policies have been designed to ensure the stability of the financial system and, thereby, guarantee the flow of credit to all the economic sectors including agriculture. Although several reforms have been designed to redress the abuses inherent in credit rationing, the issue of inadequate access to credit by farmers has persisted. The high interest rate constrains demand for credit by farmers whose returns have remained low. When concessionary and agricultural credit support schemes were introduced, their administration have often been bedeviled with abuses and lack of access by those that need the support most. Hence, there is need to provide a structure to ensure that the rural resource-limited farmers have unfettered access to credit. Land Reform

Incentives to invest in agriculture are also undermined by policies regarding land ownership and land tenure. The Land Use Act (LUA), introduced in 1978, invested proprietary rights to land in the state. User rights are granted to individuals through administrative systems rather than a market allocation system. While uniformity and equity in land allocation are major areas of emphasis in the LUA, various tenure systems are in practice around the country that fall outside the provisions of the LUA. While cosmopolitan and enlightened land owners can obtain deeds and use their land as collateral, it has not been easy for rural based small holder farmers. Hence their access to credit continued to be limited to the level not requiring collateral. Improved Seeds & Chemical Inputs

One reason why agricultural productivity has remains low in Nigeria is that adoption of improved varieties and improved breeds is extremely low. Improved varieties of most leading food crops are available through many Agricultural Development Programs (ADPs), but the area planted with the improved varieties has remained modest. Most farmers still plant traditional varieties using seed and planting materials saved from their own harvest or obtained from local sources, including relatives, neighbors, or local traders (Cromwell et al. 1992, Jaffee and Srivastava 1994, Louwaars and Marrewijk 1999). Rapid and sustainable growth in Nigeria’s agricultural sector has further been constrained by low adoption of chemical inputs. In the crops sub-sector, the use of fertilizer and pesticides is very low. For example, in 2000 the amount of fertilizer applied to field crops represented only about 3 percent of the total agronomic requirements (FMARD 2004). Appropriate Technologies
There is the need for the identification of appropriate technologies for the downstream agricultural activities. The significance of effective linkages between agriculture and industries to achieve maximum value-addition and processing for exports cannot be overemphasized. The appropriate technologies and institutions for the achievement of this objective must promote desired linkage effects. Deployed technologies must support farm and community level processing to reduce high post-harvest losses and must also be sensitive to the diversity in soil structure and chemistry across the country. Irrigation

The area under irrigation will need to expand at unprecedented rates if irrigation is to make a significant contribution to agricultural growth. Estimates of Nigeria’s irrigation potential ranges from 1.6 million ha (FAO 1991) to 2.5 million ha (FAO 2000). Currently, only 0.7 percent of the nation’s cultivated land is under irrigation, or roughly 220,000 ha. Constraints to continued development of irrigation in Nigeria include: 
(i) high cost of constructing irrigation infrastructure 
(ii) poor public management of water resources; and 
(iii) weak management capacity Infrastructural deficiencies
Private investment in agriculture is discouraged by infrastructural deficiencies: a national road network that is limited in its coverage and poorly maintained ports and customs facilities that are undersized and overtaxed, an electricity grid that suffers from frequent disruptions, water supply systems of spotty coverage and uncertain reliability, and communication systems that fail to reach many in the population. (Manyong et al. 2004). These deficiencies contribute to high production costs of agricultural outputs and further undermine the profitability of agriculture and discourage export initiatives. Research and Training
The government has long recognized that technology development is vital to the development of the agriculture sector, yet the national research system has enjoyed only limited success in generating new technologies—at least new technologies that have been adopted by farmers. The disappointing impact of the research system can be attributed to three main factors: (i) public research organizations are poorly funded and financially unsustainable; (ii) coordination within the Nigerian agricultural research community is weak, resulting in unnecessary duplication of effort; and (iii) research tends
to be supply-driven, with little accountability to end-users. Also, a close collaboration between the academic institutions and the agricultural ministry/institutes in training agricultural professionals is required to enhance manpower development for the sector. The recent establishment of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria should enhance coordination and provide focus for the research institutes, agricultural faculties and universities, and the Federal Agricultural Colleges Agricultural Extension
Agricultural extension in Nigeria suffers from lack of coordination and duplication of efforts, financial unsustainability and poor accountability to farmers and processors (World Bank 2004). Key challenges, therefore, include improving coordination and reducing duplication of effort in the Agricultural Development Programs (ADPs), improving the financial sustainability of extension services, increasing the accountability of extension agents to farmers and agribusiness firms. The national extension strategy also needs to be diversified from its focus on crops to provide services that meet a broader range of needs of farmers and agribusiness firms. Conflict Resolution Strategies
Incessant conflicts exist between crop and livestock farmers, pastoralists (mainly Fulani nomads) and arable crop farmers, fadama users and non-fadama users, female farmers (especially female-household heads/widows) and their male relatives and neighbours. There is also the sustaining threat to security in some regions. Such conflicts disrupt production and discourage private sector investment. There is need therefore, to set up conflict resolution mechanisms to handle farm-level conflicts between individuals and communities. There should be effective development of the grazing reserves and stock routes to ensure availability of forage and opportunities to transform pastoralists to
livestock ranchers. This should greatly reduce the pastoralist – crop farmer conflicts. Value Re-orientation
There is need to re-orient the values of the populace, especially youths, on work ethics and value for money. The old idea of farmers and farming being associated with old and poor, uneducated and unkempt members of the society needs to be reversed. The benefits of agriculture as a vibrant and enterprising sector with demonstrable indicators should be portrayed.

Opportunities for Sector Performance Improvement and Growth
In order to fully identify, assess and evaluate the various growth opportunities in the agricultural sector, a ‘value chain’ approach (see Figure 5) has been adopted. This approach will enhance a comprehensive assessment of all the possible opportunities across the value chain i.e. from the upstream to the downstream segments of the sector and applying same to each sub sector.

A number of high impact opportunities have been identified across the agricultural value chain including; Research & Development initiatives, accelerated mechanization and irrigation programs, improved farming techniques and extension programs to increase productivity, self sustenance through import substitution initiatives; reduction of post harvest losses through expansion of storage facilities and creation of strategic storage infrastructure towards food security; increased export earnings through food processing and acceleration of agro-industrial linkages to diversify the economy and boost development of other sectors; creation of strategic marketing boards and launch of sustained capacity development programs. Detailed description of the opportunities, recommended initiatives, implementation strategies and action plans are contained in the subsequent chapters of this report.

3.1. Growth projections for Global Agriculture and Food Security
According to FAO (2002), the world agricultural production can grow in line with demand, provided that the necessary national and international policies to promote agriculture are put in place. Global progress in food security and nutrition is expected to continue, in parallel with a reduction in poverty as projected by the World Bank. The incidence of undernourishment is expected to fall from 17% of the population of developing countries at present to 11% in 2015 and 6% in 2030. Yield growth will continue to be the dominant factor underlying increases in crop production in the future. In developing countries, it will account for 70% of growth in crop production up to 2030. Overall, it is estimated that some 80% of future increases in crop production in developing countries will come from agricultural intensification. In the livestock sector, productivity improvements are likely to be a major source of growth. Milk yields should improve while breeding and improved management will increase average carcass weights and off take rates. This will allow increased production with lower growth in animal numbers and a corresponding slow down in the growth of environmental damage from grazing or wastes. The central challenges for the forestry sector are to find ways of managing natural and cultivated tree resources so as to increase production, improve the food security and energy supply of the poor, and safeguard the environmental services and biodiversity provided by forests. Current world average intake of fish, crustaceans and mollusks is about 16.3kg per person. By 2030, annual fish consumption is likely to rise to between 19 and 20kg per person. Aquaculture is expected to grow rapidly at rates of 5 to 7% a year up to 2015. In all sectors of fisheries, it will be essential to pursue forms of management conducive to sustainable exploitation, especially for resources under common ownership or no ownership.

3.2. Vision for the Nigerian Agricultural Sector
Nigeria aims at becoming one of the largest 20 economies in the world by 2020. In view of the fact that agriculture is a major driver of growth of the Nigerian economy, it must play a crucial role in achieving this vision. Accordingly, the vision for the agricultural sector shall be:
“A Technology Driven Agricultural Sector that Is Profitable, Sustainable and Meets the Socio-Economic Aspirations Of The Nation”

3.3. Objective, Goals/Targets, Strategies and Initiatives for the Nigerian
Agricultural Sector

In a bid to ensure that the laudable vision for the agricultural sector is achieved, a critical analysis of the entire agricultural value chain was conducted. Below are the objectives, goals/ targets, strategies and initiatives that were developed based on the analysis.

3.4. Key Growth Drivers/ Enablers For agriculture to make more significant contribution to the growth of the Nigerian economy, major key drivers which include the following must be addressed: 

3.4.1. Legal & Regulatory regime
As modernization of agriculture is expected to become increasingly private-sector led, government should take active role in providing legal and regulatory framework for accelerated development of the sector. Agricultural policies relating to the enhancement of agricultural competitiveness (biosafety, SPS, Sanitary etc), provision of necessary agricultural support, establishment of vital agencies and so on should be accorded high priority. One way of enhancing the competitiveness of agricultural export commodities is for the government to review the existing legislation on export incentives and to introduce production incentives to ensure that not only the exporters but also the farmers derive some benefits. The incentives have to be commodity specific and should be realistically determined through correct and reliable data on the number of producers, processors and exporters, area under cultivation, quantity produced and exported, production costs, domestic prices and other information relevant to the value chain of each commodity. Financial resources from the Agricultural Development Fund and other sources could be earmarked to provide necessary incentives. With regard to the international dimensions of the legal framework, a participatory approach involving the three arms of government, civil societies, farmers’ organizations should be adopted, especially in handling issues relating to EPA, NEPAD/CAADP, WTO etc.

3.4.2. Fiscal Regime
Nigerian agriculture is under-capitalized and therefore, it has not been possible to transform and diversify opportunities in the sector. Also, Nigeria falls far behind in agricultural expenditure by international standards, especially on account of its level of income as an oil exporting country. Private investment in agriculture, both in primary production as well as processing, is still very low which is primarily attributed to the sector’s low profitability. Other factors contributing to the low level of investment include:

i. an unfavourable business climate
ii. infrastructural deficiencies
iii. limited access to medium and long-term credit
iv. financial, policy and natural risks associated with agricultural investments

In addition, the low level and dwindling investment in agriculture is not unconnected with the lack of political influence by the smallholders. The small scale farmers are largely unorganized and therefore, unable to garner the necessary political pressure to attract greater public investment into the sector. Thus, in spite of the rising consciousness among policy makers to balance the food equation, the political variables are not within the control of the farmers. Without political influence, the small scale farmers are easily left out of the priority list of public investment. In the light of the foregoing, fiscal policies should be aligned with the goals and objectives of the Vision to promote macroeconomic stability and food security from time to time. It is expected that government will continue with the policy of duty-free importation of agricultural equipment and machinery. Moreover, important agricultural inputs are to be exempted from VAT. The budget process should be carefully managed to ensure that the agricultural sector does not suffer unduly from fiscal imbalances. Specifically, to enhance productivity and stimulate agricultural growth, fiscal policies aimed at the formulation of agricultural financing strategies that will identify alternative sources of funding agriculture, maintain a minimum of 10% budgetary allocation to agriculture in line with the Maputo declaration should be enforced. Other catalysts include adequate funding of the Nigeria Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank (NACRDB), NAIC and micro-finance institutions at community levels, and the adoption of appropriate interest rate policy that promotes agricultural development.

3.4.3. Institutional Framework
The existing institutional arrangement for agricultural development in Nigeria is complex. It involves numerous ministries, agencies, public corporations and companies operating at different levels of governments, sometimes with overlapping responsibilities. Although the system has achieved some success, over the years it has resulted in duplication of efforts, inefficient use of scarce human and financial resources, conflicting interests, misunderstanding of roles. These erode trusts among various institutions, making collaboration and coordination difficult. This complicates project planning, implementation and evaluation and impedes sustainable rural and agricultural development. In order to overcome these bottlenecks, the approach should be towards focusing more attention on some critical institutional framework issues such as: reducing the overbearing influence of the Federal Government on States and the Local Governments with regard to control over the sector. There should be delineation of roles among the stakeholders in the agricultural sector; i.e. Federal, States and Local Governments and the private sector and allowing the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources to focus primarily on sectoral policies regulatory mechanisms and enforcement of
standards in collaboration with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Other issues include the reformulation of the nation’s fertilizer policy to ensure effectiveness and efficiency through private sector participation, the creation of an agricultural information system that will enhance the flow of agricultural information at a low cost, revitalization of Farmers’ Associations to enhance their bargaining power and establishment of Community Driven Development (CDD) approach in policy formulation, research and extension and monitoring and evaluation of government implementation of projects.

Agricultural policy attention should focus on:
(i) reforming existing legislation and introduction of new laws especially on land ownership/tenure, water rights and farmer organizations;
(ii) provision of favourable policy environment to enhance private sector investment in research for agriculture and food security e.g. tax holiday, favourable tariff regime on agricultural implements and other inputs; 
(iii) enabling legislation to guarantee and protect private sector investment in agriculture,
(iv) strengthening and streamlining of mandates of agricultural research institutes towards demand driven research and extension, and
(v) involvement of private sector, NGOs and communities in the formulation, implementation and M&E of government agricultural projects.

3.4.4. Human Capital & Infrastructure Requirements
Skills and entrepreneurship improvement in agriculture are crucial for the attainment of the goals of Vision 20-2020. It is therefore, important to strengthen the employ mentcapacity of the active population through education and skills acquisition. Skills development involving the provision of assistance in the form of training, access to credit and/or equipment. Provision of a broad range of business support services to facilitate the setting up agri-businesses by interested individuals is critical especially at the grassroots level for income-generation and poverty reduction. Universities, Mono- and Polytechnics curricula should be reviewed to meet the need of the sector to the attainment of Vision 20:2020 goal. Agriculture human capital development should involve activities such as investment plans, food safety, grading and quality control & standards, exhibitions, production techniques and marketing strategies along the value chain as well as maintenance of machines and equipment. Furthermore, the skills of extension agents must be upgraded to enable them to cope with modern trends in agricultural technology dissemination. Their number should be increase to reach the acceptable ratio of extension to farmers (1:500), and better contracting arrangements should be put in place to retain the extension agents, e.g. putting the extension staff on pensionable appointment, etc. The capacity of the farmers must be strengthened to ensure wider adoption of modern techniques and ability to acquire the tools to mechanize their operations. Gender mainstreaming and social impacts should also be given adequate attention. Measures should also be taken to improve women’s contribution to and participation in the agricultural sector, including better access to land, credit, processing and marketing facilities.

3.5. Environmental Implications of the Agricultural Vision

It has been projected that over the next 30 years, many of the environmental problems associated with agriculture will remain serious. Loss of biodiversity caused by the expansion and intensification of production is likely to continue. Given the proposed interventions in Nigeria Vision 20: 2020, the following will likely emerge as areas of concern that will need priority attention:

a) Nitrogenous fertilizers and eutrophication could be major sources of water and air pollution.
b) Global warming, although not expected to depress food availability at the global level, may at the regional and local levels have significant impacts.
c) The burning of biomass in deforestation – savannah fires, disposal of crop residues and cooking with firewood, is a major source of atmospheric carbondioxide, while fertilizers and animal wastes create large emissions of nitrous oxide, ammonia and methane (greenhouse gases).
d) Increase in flooding and erosion due to land and forest clearing.
e) Drought and associated desertification in the northern extremes of Nigeria, leading to drastic reductions in the availability of agricultural water, and reduction in production of crop and livestock.
f) Massive salinization and drying of wet lands.

3.6. Key Competitive Challenges
3.6.1. Political will of the government

The achievement of objectives and goals/ targets of the agricultural vision will depend, to a large extent, on the willingness of government power during the intervening and successive years, to implement them. The instability in government and policy reversals often place constraints on the implementation of policies, no matter how good. 

3.6.2. Perception of agriculture
Nigerians perceive agriculture as a means of subsistence and/or hobby rather than a business. Therefore, a great deal of re-orientation will be required to achieve a paradigm shift.

3.6.3. Funding and investment
Inadequate and untimely funding of agriculture by the public sector, coupled with inefficient and/or ineffective application of such funds (budgetary or otherwise) constitute bottlenecks to agricultural project implementation. The success in the realization of the vision, objectives and goals, will be ensured if the present and future administrations will allocate at least 15% of annual budgets to agriculture. Reluctance of commercial banks to finance agricultural enterprises is also a major hindrance to agricultural growth.

3.6.4. Biofuel versus food supply
Biofuels are natural liquid fuels made from renewable agricultural resource. Recently, biofuels have gained more popularity globally as a result of concerns over the environment and rising oil prices. However, biofuels are becoming increasingly controversial due to concerns over food shortages. This competition can be averted if emphasis is placed on other raw materials such as Jatropha plant and waste from sweet sorghum, sugar cane and other non-food sources which do not impact negatively on the food chain.

3.6.5. Inter-sectoral competition
Due to resource limitation, there is intense competition for funds among the different sectors of the economy. Unless agriculture is accorded the priority it deserves in resource allocation, for the duration of its revival, growth and sustained growth, the implementation of the agricultural vision may suffer serious drawbacks. Equally important is the need for equitable distribution of resources within the agricultural sector itself. Furthermore, there is need for a major improvement in the inter-sectoral collaboration to ensure effective and comprehensive planning, implementation and monitoring.

3.6.6. Energy
The need for adequate and constant energy supply, harnessed through different sources (solar, wind, coal, nuclear etc) for value addition, is critical to agricultural development.

To realize the vision for Nigeria’s Agriculture by the year 2020, a set of objectives with goals, strategies and initiatives were developed. Implementing agencies, collaborating agencies, sources of funding, key performance indicators (KPIs), monitoring and evaluating agencies, and timelines to implement the strategies and achieve the goals were also set (Tables 5 and 6). Implementation of the initiatives is expected to span over a period of 11 years (2009 – 2020). The period has been categorized into three phases namely; short term (2009 – 2011); medium term (2012 – 2015); and long term (2016 – 2020). The outcomes and achievements during these phases should result into significant cumulative improvement on the agricultural sector as a whole. In the context of the V20:2020, the short term can be regarded as a take-off (growth) stage, the medium term as the consolidation stage while the long term stage would represent the sustenance of the set goals and achievement of the objectives. (see Fig.6).
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