56% of Nigeria’s agricultural land remains unexploited

  • The Ministry of Agriculture disclosed that 56%% of arable lands are currently not in use
  • The government is making efforts in growing the agricultural sector through an array of programs
  • The Nigerian government plans to diversify Nigeria’s economy by investing more in the agricultural sector

The Federal Government of Nigeria recently disclosed that untapped agricultural wealth is abundant across the country. About 56% of arable land in the country is presently not in use, leaving this natural asset unexplored.

Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, mentioned this during the 45th meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development, as he addressed the participants.

During the meeting, he presented empirical data that showed how little the sector has exploited the land resource available in the country. This data highlighted the opportunities the sector could potentially harness and its feasibility.

“Nigeria is endowed with a total of 79million hectares of agricultural land with only 44% being cultivated. The nation also has 267 billion cubic meters of fresh surface water and 58 billion cubic meters of underground water, with 37 billion cubic meters only stored in dams. Annual rainfall in the country is within 300mm to 4,000mm. Conversely, the potential irrigable area is about 3.14 million hectares, less than 7% presently utilized.” Dr. Mohammad Abubaka stated.

Sensitization is a key strategy of the Nigerian government, the ministry noted, as efforts to train and educate farmers have been promising so far. 153,124 women and youths had been trained in crop science, fishery, and livestock value chains. About 142,703 have been empowered to take on projects, the Minister noted. It was also revealed that the government had trained 214,787 farmers in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and 220,018 farmers in Farmer Business School.

Diversification of the Nigerian economy from oil, and integration of technology to agriculture, are two crucial strategies the Federal Government of Nigeria is hitched upon.

This is being guided by the new framework of the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy, 2022-2027, launched in August 2022, which seeks to modernize the agricultural sector in line with changing global food systems and supply chains.” The Minister said.

He continued; “Actually, NATIP is the Ministry’s response to the present Administration Agenda of diversifying the nation’s economy from petroleum oil-based to Agriculture and solid minerals. The document serves as the successor policy of the Agricultural Promotion Policy, 2016-2020, with a view to developing priority value chains based on comparative ecological advantage across crops, livestock, and fisheries sub-sectors in collaboration with the States Government.”

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