Agriculture in the context of the economy is tied with the various sectors and is essential for generating broad based growth necessary for development. Agriculture I~ fundamental to the sustenance of life and is the bedrock of economic development, especially in the provision of adequate and nutritious food so vital for human development and industrial raw materials for industry. Sustainable agricultural development is propelled by agricultural policy. The first national policy on agriculture was adopted in 1988 and was expected to remain valid for about fifteen years, that is, up to year 2000.
THE AGRICULTURAL POLICY
Nigeria’s agricultural policy is the synthesis of the framework and action plans of Government designed to achieve overall agricultural growth and development. The policy aims at the attainment of self sustaining growth in all the sub-sectors of agriculture and the structural transformation necessary for the overall socio-economic development of the country as well as the improvement in the quality of life of Nigerians.
The Broad Policy objectives Include:
- Attainment of self-sufficiency in basic food commodities With particular reference to those which consume considerable shares of Nigeria’s foreign exchange and for which the country has comparative advantage in local production;
- Increase in production of agricultural raw materials to meet the growth of an expanding industrial sector;
- Increase in production and processing of exportable Commodities with a view to increasing their foreign exchange earning capacity and further diversifying the country’s export base and sources of foreign exchange earnings;
- Modernization of agricultural production, processing, Storage and distribution through the infusion of improved technologies and management so that agriculture can be more responsive to the demands of other sectors of that Nigerian economy;
- Creation of more agricultural and rural employment Opportunities to increase the income of farmers and rural dwellers and to productively absorb an increasing labour force in the nation;
- Protection and improvement of agricultural land resources and preservation of the environment for sustainable agricultural production;
- Establishment of appropriate institutions and creation of administrative organs to facilitate the integrated development and realization of the country’s agricultural potentials.