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Agriculture Is The Alternative, Please!

15 October 2012, 11:03

Since the discovery of oil in Nigeria, it has become the mainstay of the country’s economy. The country derives her revenue mainly from the sale of crude oil to other countries and this development has been with attendant problems. It has remained the only source of revenue for the country and the hub of the Nigerian economy. As a result of this, other sources through which country can make money have been neglected.

Gone are those days when Nigerians were proud of being citizens a country which supplied the world with palm oil, cocoa, groundnuts and cotton. Then Nigerians were proud of being the owners of the much talked about groundnut pyramids in the north, vast palm oil farms in the east and cocoa in the western part of the country.

All these vanished with the discovery of crude oil in commercial quantities to the detriment of the economy of the country.

Now that the country’s economy is depressed, there is need for the economy to be diversified so that every region would have a sense of belonging as it used to be. The country stands to gain a lot from diversifying her economy from oil to agriculture.

First and foremost, developing the agricultural sector of our economy will lead to increase in the production of food in the country because when there is increase in food production, prices of food will come down and many Nigerians will at the same time, feed well. This would go a long way to reduce hunger and poverty drastically among the citizenry.

Apart from this, unemployment which is a very big challenge in the country today would be reduced to the barest minimum. If the government can begin to pay serious attention to agriculture, many unemployed but able bodied youths would consider farming as a worthwhile venture because with adequate incentive from the government, many Nigerians would be employed in the agricultural sector economy as it would have been made attractive.

Furthermore, substantial foreign exchange earnings would be achieved through exportation of excess food to other countries of the world. Nigeria, with her vast expanse of land, can become the food basket of West Africa sub region in particular and the whole world in general, if her economy is diversified into agricultural production.

With this, oil will become less important when agriculture is given a priority and this would lead to reduction in the violent agitation from the people of the region where crude oil is explored; cases of kidnapping of foreigners, young and old people in the region will be solved thereby erasing the bad image that the country has unduly earned through such acts of violence.

Most countries that have developed best in the world today are those that have no oil. God help Nigeria to think beyond oil!

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