Agriculture, at one point in Nigeria’s history, had been the pillar on which Nigerians relied on, not just for food but also, for employment as well. From the year 1960 to 1969, the sector accounted for an average of 57.0% of gross domestic product (GDP) and generated 64.5% of export earnings. The GDP declined after the shift of focus from Agriculture to crude oil by the country, but in recent times, there seem to be a switch back, seeing as how crude oil is not doing so well anymore due to its fall in price.
What is Agro-value chain?
Agro-value chain involves people and activities that bring basic Agricultural products. It basically encompasses the flow of products, knowledge and information, finance payment and social capital that is needed to organize producers and communities.
The level at which Agriculture is in Nigeria is not where it is meant to be. According to research conducted, the level of agricultural yield in the country owes largely to the nonexistence of concentration on the agro-value chain, in spite of the vast arable land in our possession. There is close to 92 million hectares of land in Nigeria, 82 million hectares is arable but only 32 to 34 million hectares are being used. Over the years, the Nigerian agriculture sector has contributed around 21-25% GDP as its returns and this is quite low for a country with such great potential and advantage. Most people involved in Agriculture are more invested in the planting, and not the other parts of the value chain that brings in more profit.
In order to push forward Agro-value chain in Nigeria, so as to boost its returns as well, massive investments have to be made to increase production and boost the value chain system . Furthermore, strategies have to be put in place for upgrading the production and processing segments of the Agricultural value chain.