Nigeria’s agriculture today is threatened by a number of substantial challenges, with some of them being existential. The duple challenge of insecurity and climate change compound the already calamitous situation in the country by rendering some areas either inaccessible or unproductive for agricultural purposes at a time when the country’s population is projected to increase from 216.7 million persons today to over 400 million persons in 2050 (Statista 2022). There is urgent need to bring together proven global innovative approaches with internal expertise to scale the void in sustainable agricultural development created by these challenges and exacerbated by the twin monsters.


The agricultural sector in Nigeria is a source of employment and livelihood for the majority of the population, a major foreign exchange earner and supplier of raw materials to local industry, and has important potential for the economic development of the country. However, the sector has been greatly weakened by insecurity and desertification. It has increasingly succeeded in ensuring dwindling income to small farmers, declining food security situation at national and household levels, waning support for other sectors and an unreliable basis for boosting socio-economic development.


A sharp detour from the use of primeval agricultural technologies and practices transmitted from generation to generation with no or little improvement, use of inefficient storage and transportation systems and ineffective agricultural product marketing structure hold promise for substantial improvement in agricultural productivity in the face of current Nigerian realities. Significant sustainable agricultural innovation is required to deal with these challenges.


While the Nigerian administration is working to improve the security situation in the country and fight back the impacts of climate change, government priority areas for bringing together innovative international best practices and global standards in agriculture with national expertise should include-


  1. Strengthening national food security and nutrition through enhanced nutrition-sensitive and climate smart food systems.

    2. Supporting appropriate and operationally effective agricultural policy and regulatory frameworks.

    3. Supporting Nigeria’s economic diversification agenda and promoting decent employment for youth and women in the agriculture value chains.

    4. Improving efficient and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems.

    5. Enhancing disaster risk reduction, resilience building and emergency management towards strengthening the Humanitarian Development Nexus (FAO).

These will address myriad of challenges and accelerate rapid development of the agricultural sector in Nigeria in spite of the current appalling state of insecurity and climate change.

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