Did you know that Nigeria’s population has grown by 284% since independence, and is expected to be larger than that of the US in 2050? Nigeria was self sufficient on agriculture and its commodities before 1960, but oil came and everything changed. With the envisaged surge in population and the clear fact that ‘man must eat’, one cannot but ask what the plan of the federal government is to reenact the existing and well crafted agricultural policies currently in place as developed by the former minister of Agriculture Mr Adewunmi Adesina and his team; and what possible roles individual and corporate entities can play in driving the development that is much needed. In all of the parties needed to drive this, particular interest is on the roles of individuals and families. In the US, 97% of the farms are operated by families, individuals, family partnerships or family corporations. An average Nigerian that thinks about the poor state of agriculture in Nigeria is always quick to blame the government and not critical to think about how he can be a player in driving the much-desired growth. How can the government and people work more closely together?
Problem: Non engagement and empowerment of young entrepreneurs who have interest in agriculture. Inadequate sensitization and support from the government and ministries with recourse to international bodies, on how Nigeria can, by 2050, feed herself and drive down world hunger.
Beneficiary: The Nigerian population
Proposed by: Mojisola Sonde
Idea Status: Pitch
HOW DOES IT WORK?
After reading and listening to several interviews of the former minister of Agriculture Mr Adewunmi Adesina, the former president Jonathan and the business mogul Aliko Dangote, one factor has stayed dominant and that is; the financial inclusion and availability of adequate funding for the sector. The idea of this post is to propose empowerment of small scale family-partnerships, and family corporations and well educated and meaning individuals with genuine entrepreneurial interest in agriculture. Statistically, 70% of Nigerians are employed by the agricultural sector. If this statistics stands clean then a good number of this employed people are ‘underemployed’. That is producing below the capacity that 70% of approximately 160million people can produce. We propose that the government relate more closely with the people to help to bring to life set policies and develop more advanced ones. Innovation drives every sector and even agriculture. The government should set up an organization, one similar to the ‘feed the future‘ set up by the US government. This organization would empower government on innovative and best ways to engage the available individual farmers and/or limited water and resources that are available to feed the growing population. The big dream is to see a more engaged and fulfilled people, family, individuals in farming, working and interacting closely with the government to end a nationwide disease.
Full impact potential: World hunger is the second of the Sustainable Development Goal. Nigeria’s strides in driving down her own hunger and utilizing her arable lands and productive people to produce healthy food even for the world would strongly impact the world’s success in achieving this goal.
Funding: Government would be responsible for providing agricultural funds and should create incentivized policies to banks and other financial institutions.
Other interesting facts:
Reduced agricultural involvement by educated Nigerians is first of all the government’s fault. Attractive policies and investment opportunities should be provided so that people can get a lot more involved.
Written by: Mojisola Sonde