Agricultural products in Nigeria at the subsistence level is manageable to an extent specially at rural areas where local farmers produce what they can eat with their family and sell a little as exchange for other food stuffs. To compete favorably in the global agricultural market, it is quit unfortunate that, with what we have, we may still depend on foreign agricultural products. How did I know this?
Checking through some of the agricultural project topics for research conducted here in Nigeria, I took time to study a research from the lot about - a Survey of Tractors and Implements availability and farm mechanization. The study revealed that the average farm size in what seems like a commercial farm structure is less than five hectares of land. Plus tractor use intensity was far below recommended average.
With this in view, Nigeria may continue to depend on foreign agricultural products when the quantity produced cannot go round for the entire masses.
Secondly, due to sub-standard equipment, agricultural products will not be processed to a standard that gains acceptance to the majority of the masses even at the international market. For instance, the idea of closing the borders for rice importation has raised intense debate in the Red chambers and among the masses. Even business men understand the market demand of foreign rice over local rice which is way cheaper than foreign rice.
Funny enough, Nigeria can afford agricultural equipment for refining rice, but the way agricultural projects are politicized often frustrates development in the agricultural sector.
Again, some perishable agricultural products hardly find place for storage after harvest. The loss incurred by waste of such agric. Products cuts down on the consumable quantity and makes them hardly available on a ‘rainy day’.
Now, preserving these agricultural products would be a perfect idea, but it seems a very difficult task because we do not have the technology to do so. Instead, we tend to depend on the foreign products when we are really in need of such products.