INVESTING IN AGRICULTURE- TOP REASONS TO INVEST IN AGRICULTURE

Before proceeding, note that the greatest investment a nation can make is investing in agriculture! Why? This article will explain why.

Basically, agriculture is the art and science of cultivating the soil, growing crops, and raising livestock. It includes the preparation of plant and animal products for people to use and their distribution to markets… These products, as well as the agricultural methods used, may vary from one part of the world to another. Agriculture is the practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities. The history of agriculture began thousands of years ago.

Nigeria as the main case study — with the increasing number of its population, that’s a feasible and strong market for agricultural products!

Agriculture in Nigeria is a branch of the economy in Nigeria, employing about 30% of the population as of 2010. The sector is being transformed by commercialization at the small, medium, and large-scale enterprise levels. Most of the agricultural products consumed in Nigeria are being imported which leads to a great induction in the circular flow of income for all basic farmers in Nigeria. Thereby resulting in a low standard of living and an illegal increase in the price of agricultural products. Between January and March 2021, agriculture contributed to 22.35 per cent of the total Gross Domestic Product. 70 per cent of Nigerians engage in the agriculture sector mainly at a subsistence level.

Despite the contribution to the economy, Nigeria’s agricultural sector faces many challenges which impact its productivity. These include; poor land tenure system, low level of irrigation farming, climate change, and land degradation. Others are low technology, high production cost and poor distribution of inputs, limited financing, high post-harvest losses, and poor access to markets. These challenges have stifled agricultural productivity affecting the sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP as well as increased food imports due to population rise hence declining levels of food sufficiency. For instance, between 2016 and 2019 Nigeria’s cumulative agricultural imports stood at N3.35 trillion, four times higher than the agricultural export of N803 billion within the same period.

The Government has implemented several initiatives and programs to address the situation including the Agriculture Promotion Policy (APP), Nigeria–Africa Trade and Investment Promotion Programme, Presidential Economic Diversification Initiative, Economic and Export Promotion Incentives, and the Zero Reject Initiative, Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+); Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP); Action Against Desertification (AAD) Programme, among others. All these efforts aim to increase agricultural productivity to provide sufficient quantities of food to meet domestic demand as well as an abundance of commodity crops for export in the international market. Besides, they aim at reversing forest loss and degradation; promoting sustainable management of natural resources, rehabilitation of degraded lands, and reducing erosion and climate vulnerability.

Nigeria has 70.8 million hectares of agricultural land area with maize, cassava, guinea corn, yam beans, millet, and rice being the major crops. Nigeria’s rice production rose from 3.7 million metric tons in 2017 to 4.0 million metric tons in 2018. Despite this, only 57percent of the 6.7 million metric tons of rice consumed in Nigeria annually is locally produced leading to a deficit of about 3 million metric tons, which is either imported or smuggled into the country illegally. To stimulate local production, the Government banned the importation of rice in 2019.

Below are detailed reasons why you need to invest in agriculture mainly Nigeria and Africa at large –

Existence of passion-driven farmers:

The efficiency of labour can fully be measured and rated in African farmers, these farmers work with passion which makes their productions, capabilities, operations increase rapidly without increasing the number of farmers (labour). A country with efficient use of labour should scale higher in productions. But indeed it isn’t. Why? Farmers are humans not machines, the use of machines will greatly foster the work. But they have no access to it due to the high cost of purchasing various machines.

Your investments in vision-driven organizations like Royal Niger Green Farms (who makes tools available to farmers on a symbiotic business motive) would make a move in our agricultural system.

Involvement in scaleless / commercial cultivation:

Since the demand for agricultural produce is relatively higher than the productions made within the country which leads to the importation of more produces to meet the market demand. Investments in farms would create more opportunities for greater farming inputs thereby resulting in greater productions. When productions made within the country covers the market demand, definitely there will be no room for other importations on agric produce.

Poor storage techniques/systems:

Farmers who luckily have the capacity of high cultivation/planting lack adequate knowledge on how to preserve their produce to be available ahead of demand. Investing in organizations that train farmers about the modern use of storage systems and various storage techniques, would be a piece of profitable advice to reduce loss of products since they will be stored properly. Historically, practically, idealistically agriculture contributes.

Keeping Farmers in the Business of Farming:

Investing in agriculture and farmers keeps people fed and clothed. We all need to eat. Trends show that the amount of food, especially protein, people take in per day is steadily increasing. At the same time, some experts fear that at the rate of the population’s consumption, the soil could become a scarce commodity, making the demand for fertile agricultural land even larger.

Something else to consider is the eat clean and eat local movement. People are growing more and more selective in the food that they put in their bodies. Farm-to-table-style restaurants and markets are extremely popular right now, and even more so if they’re local. Knowing that the burger you’re eating came from a farm five miles away, right in your community, is extremely attractive to the consumer.

In many ways, investing in agriculture can be a strong and fruitful venture. Farmland in itself is a useful, tangible thing and agriculture yields physical results that can be directly correlated to the success of the farm. By investing in a farm, you are investing in the success of a community and securing a piece of land that will appreciate year after year.

Irrigation systems :

During the dry seasons, some regions find it hard to plant due to a lack of water for their crops and livestock. It’s convincing to invest in projects (working towards mapping a well-structured irrigation system to farms). There is a great need for investment in providing irrigation systems because naturally some lakes/dams are reported to be shrinking thereby resulting in a reduction in the supply of water! This system must be looked into as fast as possible to avoid any other form of a disaster occurring.

There are some farming organizations available for investments who are working towards making agriculture the backbone of every economy which means Investing In Agriculture will never be a loss.

A good example of an organization is Royal Niger Green Farms — they work with practically tested strategies in farming (that is, in deciding what to plant, when to plant, where to plant, how to plant, and many more). They are working tirelessly in ensuring that agricultural investors enjoy the utmost profit from every single investment made. They already digitized farming by creating an online farm where you have access to various farms and learn about what they do which makes it easy for investors to invest in various farms wisely. with these few key reasons, it is quite advisable to start investing in Agriculture to make Nigeria a better place of living.