Options for Enhancing Agricultural Productivity in Nigeria
"Since 2003, economic growth in Nigeria has been strong. Annual GDP grew by 9.1 percent per annum between 2003 and 2005 and by 6.1 percent per annum between 2006 and 2008. Much of this growth can be attributed to the non-oil economy which has grown rapidly. This is due primarily to agriculture, which contributes approximately 35 percent to total GDP and supports 70 percent of the population.But the recent agricultural growth has been driven mainly by expansion in areas planted with staple crops. Productivity has remained flat or declining. Yields of most crops have declined relative to a base period two decades ago. For that reason the Nigerian government’s main focus at present is on raising agricultural productivity, both in staples for local and regional consumption and for a wide range of products. With the current fall in oil prices, the Nigerian government is increasingly giving agriculture a higher priority in its effort to reduce poverty, diversify the national economy away from oil and ensure food security (NPC 2005; World Bank 2005). To achieve these objectives, the government initiated the presidential initiative, which gives cassava, rice, vegetable oil, tree crops, livestock, fisheries and aquaculture special priority in resource allocation."