by Alexander O.Onukwue
Agriculture was third in terms of sector contributions to the GDP according to the NBS number published today, September 5.
While the services sector, with 53.73%, contributed most to the Real GDP in 2017, industries contributed 23.31% and agriculture 22.97%.
One of the major effects of recession was the rapid rise of the cost of commodities, many going up as much as 100% in their prices. Government intervention in agriculture has been substantial in the past years though many farmers still fall short of getting the value for their investments.
TO boost the agricultural sector, it will help if fertilizer provisions and subsidies are more transparently delivered to those who indicate their interest, through a scheme that is open and retraceable. The sector could benefit from concerted infrastructural makeover but other necessities like storage and transportation continue to stand as impediments.
The Government’s rail projects could be timely in solving the challenges of Agriculture as persons in the business would want to be accessible to as many markets as possible within the shortest possible time. Bad Road networks have been stumbling blocks and led many to down their tools in frustration; fixing connecting roads remain inevitable if farmers and investors are to derive maximum utility from their produce.
And youth involvement, more than ever before, is necessary. The majority of the population of young people look forward to the so-called white collar jobs. However, attracting them, on a massive scale, to Agriculture would bode well to both reduce unemployment and to build a significant raw material base that will make Nigeria more of a non-oil economy that it has ever been.