“First we eat, and then we do everything else” – MFK Fisher. There are a lot of things one can go without for months, even weeks, but not food and water, because it is impossible to survive without them, right?
Now, let’s take a look at Nigeria and its fast rising population, and you will quickly understand how powerful and profitable the agricultural sector and other food related industries in Nigeria are going to be. Nigeria has one of the largest population in Africa and the world at large. We also have a large number of people under forty years old who will be both workers and consumers.
60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land suitable for crop production is located in Africa. Guess what, the world’s population is growing fast and so is Nigeria’s population; the demand for food is constantly on the rise. The demand will always be there, locally, regionally and globally. So it is important you understand that doing business in Nigeria’s agricultural sector and its related food-processing industries is definitely one of the bests for doing business in Nigeria.
When Nigeria became dependent on oil, there has been a neglect on the agricultural sector, and this has been a disaster for the country. Achieving the transformation of the agricultural sector requires a structural change in the labour composition of the sector. To feed our rising population well into the future, we need young commercial farmers. We also need to create wealth, provide jobs for our teeming unemployed youth and the agricultural sectors holds the greatest potential to create millions of jobs.
The food business in Nigeria is a multi-billion-dollar market that will be there no matter what, and it will continue to grow. But remember that this includes agriculture, agro-allied businesses such as food processing and everything else that contributes to the food value chain until the food gets to someone’s mouth.
You may think you don’t have any farming background and as such may have never considered agriculture. Well you should! And the good news: Agriculture is a growing trend and is very profitable. Many young Africans are now stepping into farming because they have seen others making profits.
The development of agriculture is now widely supported by sixty-nine governments across Africa, which means that you will find overall enabling policy frameworks for your venture.
Yes, Nigerian agriculture has potential. We must articulate a clear vision to make Nigeria an agriculturally industrialized economy, to create wealth, jobs and markets for farmers, ensure food security and revive the rural economy to reduce rural-urban migration.
Agriculture must become the engine for growth, employment generation and poverty reduction. We must turn Nigeria into a power house for food production. Agriculture should be seen as a business and not a development program. It must be structured, developed and financed as a business for us to fully unlock its potential to make Nigeria food sufficient. Gains will not come easy, but as we do the right things we will succeed in unleashing the power of agriculture to feed our nation and turn Nigeria into a leading exporter of food.