Agriculture provides lots of opportunities for the nation. In a bid to promote agriculture, boost food security, reduce hunger, encourage youth employment, and support the diversification of the economy, FarmingFarmersFarms is born, with an array of experienced and seasoned professionals, to promote the cause of agriculture in Nigeria through specialised reporting and journalism by providing real-time agricultural information through online newspaper publishing. The motto of the newspaper is, To empower and live well; the vision is, To make life worthy of living for all; while the mission statement is, To use agricultural journalism to empower and make life worthy for all in an environmentally-friendly society.
Today, due to global recession, borrowings, and the negative impact of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), many people have continued to remain impoverished while Nigeria’s crude oil proceeds dropped by 41.60% in the first quarter of 2021 to $6.48 billion from $11.1bn in the first quarter of 2020, hence with the instability of the world crude oil market, an oil-based mono-economy like Nigeria cannot achieve economic stability. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has noted that despite the fact that the Nigerian economy exited the COVID-19 pandemic-induced recession in the fourth quarter of 2020, it still made a case for the government to provide credit to the non-oil sector and bold reforms in the agricultural sector.
The Global Food Security Index further observed that Nigeria has been deteriorating since 2013 by ranking it 94 among 113 countries in 2019 and with an unpleasant score of 29.2, out of 100, Nigeria has a level of hunger that is serious, according to the Global Hunger Index, which ranks Nigeria 98th out of 107 countries. Unfortunately, since the 1970s, even though Nigerian governments have recognised the need to diversify the economy, this has not translated into sustained and real measures. For instance, since gaining independence in 1963, Malaysia has invested heavily in research and development to increase agricultural production of crops like palm oil and rubber. Malaysia, which sourced its first oil-palm seed from Nigeria, is now the world’s second largest producer.
To accord agriculture its deserved pride of place, governments at all levels should move beyond lip service and pursue bold, realistic, and pragmatic agricultural programmes that would boost the fortunes of the nation. The three tiers of government should formulate coordinated economic policies that would leverage on their respective advantages in agriculture to attract local and foreign investors, be the basis for the much-needed industrial take-off. There is need to halt the migration of educated and youthful population to the urban centres in search of the almost non-existent white collar jobs. The largely subsistence agricultural sector has not kept up with Nigeria’s rapid population growth, which was once a large net exporter, but now had to import most of its food products. This should not be. We believe that all stakeholders, comprising governmental and non-governmental players, should be up and doing by ensuring that the way to go is agriculture.