Nigerian farmers want more incentives as Buhari pushes for agriculture revival.

Nov 09, 2015 Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari recently announced his administration’s drive to boost the country’s agricultural sector.

According to him, this will reduce the country’s reliance on crude oil exports and effectively cut back on importation and generate jobs.

However, the sector is faced with a raft of challenges including poor transport infrastructures and a lack of storage facilities.

Adeniyi Bunmi, a farmer in the South Western part of the country, owns 150 acres of land set aside strictly for farming.

His passion for farming notwithstanding, he commented on the challenges he faces in selling his produce.

“Why toiling for one month, two months, three months or one year before you get your yam, before you get the yam into the market. So people don’t even want to invest, They would rather invest in a business that will bring the produce out very fast, so apart from the image problem that the agric, the set of the agric farmers have, another thing is the issue of funds. It requires a lot of capital,”

Aside from poor transportation, Nigeria still faces a challenge of storage facilities and power efficiency. With over 1.5 million tons of tomatoes produce annually in Nigeria, 45 percent perish due to poor storage.

Bunmi went on to outline other issues militating against the sector.

“Give me an enabling environment one, then give me… support me with a policy that supports local content. The meaning is after all this stress and money that has been spent on this farm and I am coming with my produce, I don’t want to compete with plantain from Tanzania or from Kenya,”

Liborous Oshoma, an economic analyst said the developmental strides by previous administrations were undermined by corruption and mismanagement.

“Fertilizer racketing was a big business in Nigeria until the last minister for agriculture tried as much as he can to streamline the process whereby fertilizers would get to the farmers directly but they still had a problem because distribution was a major problem because you need to have locations in almost all the local governments where farmers could access but there were still complains as to how much of the fertilizers was available. And the fertilizer plants that we have in Nigeria are no more producing, so they still have to rely on imports,”

Several farmers have complained that they have received little or no help from previous governments. However many still hope that the Buhari-led government will make good its promise of growing the sector.

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