More Nigerians are becoming farmers without actually going to farms. This is been made possible by dwindling supply of farm produce and other agro-allied products from sections of the country traditionally associated with agricultural production.
The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has repeatedly warned of the effect of insecurity and climate change on food security across the globe with many heeding the warning to engage in more agricultural production.
Olalekan Abdusalami writes that “poverty is a major problem in many developing countries in the world, including Nigeria. It has been described as a vicious cycle, causing hunger and malnutrition, and is aggravated by rapid population growth. The causes of poverty have been linked to food insecurity, adverse development of international schemes, world economic recession, foreign debt burden, and a series of economic reforms.”
“Nigeria is currently facing a food crisis, with the population—especially the poor—having limited access to adequate quantity and quality of food. Food security reﬂects the stability of the food supply and availability of and access to food. These, in turn, inﬂuence the amount of food consumed and have implications for the health of consumers.”
“Food insecurity can be addressed by sustainable agriculture, which has been described as an agricultural system adapted to a particular area so that crop and animal products do not decline over time and are reasonably stable over normal ﬂuctuations of weather. Food production declined between 1970 and 1998, due to the oil boom era when many workers abandoned farm work.
“This led to food importation and rural-urban migration. The meaningful development of the Nigerian economy cannot be achieved outside of agriculture. Sustainable agriculture has the beneﬁts of satisfying human needs for food, protecting natural resources, and ensuring environmental quality. Agriculture is the main-stay of the West African economy and, even in Nigeria, where crude oil accounts for over 90% of the government’s earnings, over 70% of the population derive their livelihood from agriculture”
The working class of the Nigerian populace who are too busy to farm are now resorting to farm holding organizations who offer shares of farm ownership in exchange for set financial involvement with some offering 35% of profit on harvest.
Those who have their own farms are also resorting to mobile applications systems like the Nubian Gem mobile app which connects buyers and sellers of agricultural produce in a digital market junction.
With sustained involvement of more Nigerians in farming and other kinds agricultural production sectors like non-food crop farming.
The Nubian Gem app which is available on Google playstore on any android phone has had it use spreading gradually with more people utilizing the services in southern Nigeria and some parts of the middle belter areas of Nigeria indicating their interest to be included in the database.
Youths are also being encouraged to take advantage of the scarcity of food crops to engage in backyard farming and earn some money for themselves in a few months farming vegetables and other bi-annual crops.
This renewed interest will have to be sustained if the quest by Nigerians to ameliorate the unpleasant situation of food insecurity is anything to go by.
Agricultural extension services should be extended to these youths and soft loans from banks and other donor agencies extended to the budding entrepreneurs in agricultural production to enhance the prospects of diminishing hunger and creating wealth especially amid the devastating effects of the Covid19 pandemic.