The economy of Nigeria is divided into various sector each contributing its own share to the GDP of the country. From the early 1970’s (crude) oil has been the major sector contributing massively in financing the nation’s budget and thus much attention was paid to it.
During the late 2015 the global oil price fell below $30, panicking the oil producing nations and putting Nigeria into a state of recession –since we depend a lot on oil.
Since the recession, the Federal and State Government and other private companies have been investing deeply in the agricultural sector.
About The Agricultural Sector
The agricultural sector in Nigeria is divided into the crop and animal segment, together provide employment to about 30% of the population as at 2010 and has continue to do so and it is predicted that it will provide employment for 70% of the population by 2020.
Before the Oil boom in Nigeria, “Nigeria was one of the most long-ranged agricultural producers in the entire world. Nigeria was the number one exporter of palm oil after Malaysia and Indonesia and also export about 47% of peanuts, which was exported to the United State of America and Argentina”.
Nigeria has lost its place over the years, but is determined to get it back. In 2011, His Excellency, the formal President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan lunched an Agricultural Transformation Agenda, which was managed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the reason for this agenda was is to promote agriculture as a form of business In Nigeria.
Policies Concerning Agriculture in Nigeria
The purpose of making agriculture as a form of business was to revive the economy of Nigeria and so far it has been working due to these policies, let take a look at some of them:
- No Currency Exchange Control (free transfer of capital and Dividend): This policy has made it easy to get loans from The Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and other commercial Banks.
- Zero percent (0%) duty on agriculture machinery and equipment import: This means that any machinery or equipment related to agriculture that is imported into the country will not require an import duty.
- Removal of restriction on areas of investment and maximum equity ownership on investment by foreign investor: This policy makes it easy for foreigners to invest and the right to own any part of in the agricultural sector.
NOTE: Though there are more policies that were made by the previous and present Administration. We cannot cover them in this article.
Investing in the agricultural sector in Nigeria can be a good long term investment plan. But for young investors especially newbies investing in agriculture, whether large or small scale can be hectic and risky without the right information. There are many ways to invest which we will examine.
Ways to Invest In Agriculture
Though there are many ways to invest in agriculture, we will look at the two popular ways which are the:
- Financial Investment
- Labour Investment
This mode of investing pertains the monetary aspect. Most people that comes into the agricultural sectors falls under this category. They are looking for people who they will fund to start faming or rearing.
Local investors might not necessary have millions of naira to invest but can still contribute in making the financial load lessen. This involves buying fertilizer, seeding, pesticide, machineries etc. anything to make the planting process easier.
This is the hectic part as it involves using physical strength, thanks to technology, the era of using crude tools are gradually wearing out and sophisticated implements such as harvester, planter, and sprayer are coming into play – making planting a lot easier and fun.
Deciding to invest using your physical strength will involve either owning a piece of land, having the equipment or even having the technical-know-how of an equipment.
NOTE: the terms “financial investment” and “labour investment” are my own words which I derived. It may be different from others but still contain the context meaning.
How to invest
I remember when I was much younger. I would usually follow by grandmother to the farm. I loved going to the farm but as I grew up I totally abandon it. There are lot of free lands available to be used for planting but due to the poor transfer of information, they are never utilized.
There are many people ready to hop into agriculture but they are facing some difficulties especially in the aspect of funding and the acquiring of knowledge.
I hope to use this article to connect those willing to invest financially and those with land or the effort to offer.
Crops to Invest In
The crops to invest in generally are cash crop such as cocoa and rubber but these are capital intensive and also requires land- lot of lands and resources.
But you can start with food crops especially cassava; the demand for cassava related produces are on the rise.
Yam and fruits are also on the increase and are worth the time and resources.
The demand for meat is always there, thanks to our growing population and the choice of “bush meat”. In case you do not have the capital to go deep into farming you can start rearing animals it mustn’t be cow or goats but little rodents such as rabbit.
Nigeria isn’t usually known to be exporters of animal produces but are known to have the largest herd of cattle in the whole West Africa region.
Little attention is paid to rearing animals but in reality they give profit with lesser effort and in my upcoming articles, I will show you all agricultural business, which will serve as eye openers to every Nigerian.
How to Be a Part in the Rearing Of Animals
When the word “rearing” is said, what comes to mind is the “rearing of cattle’s”, that’s not entirely true. Smaller animals can be reared such as rabbit, snail, fish etc.
Rearing just animal is not capital intensive but requires the right knowledge and right environments.
It’s such as pity that I cannot fully elaborate more about the various forms of planting and rearing of animals that individuals can tap into and make a profit but I hope to do that in the future as I will write more article concerning this.
Are you interested to dive into agriculture or you are already into it, please comment below I would love to hear from you.