History Of Agriculture In Nigeria: Quick Facts

Nigeria is regarded as the giant of Africa mainly because
of it's rich history,culture,economy and of course Agriculture. 

Although Agriculture in Nigeria has not been receiving enough attention because of Nigeria's discovery of oil,Agriculture still contribute to Nigeria’s economy. 
In this post we shall quickly list some of the quick facts about the history of Agriculture in Nigeria that you probably never knew. 

History Of Agriculture In Nigeria: Quick Facts

1. Nigeria is a country blessed with bountiful natural resources,it's natural resources are so bountiful that a very high percentage of the resources are still not explored. 

2. Nigeria has over 85 million hectares of fertile lands,majority of these lands lay fallow. 

3. The Nigerian soil has one of the richest soils in the world that favors agricultural production,there is no regular occurrence of natural disaster. 

4. The history of Agriculture in Nigeria started back in the pre-colonial and colonial days when Agriculture was the major source of livelihood to Nigerians,farmers back then practiced mostly subsistence farming and used crude inefficient methods of farming.

Back then (pre-colonial) before the introduction of currency a family will sell it's produce through the trade by barter system and will consume the remaining crops. 

5. The white man noticed that Nigeria had a fertile land and also had great farmers,during the british colonial era,the colonial administration established agricultural developments such as the establishment of the Department of Botanical Research in 1893, the acquisition of 10.35 square kilometres of land now called the Moor Plantation which was dedicated to the production of cotton in 1905,the establishment of the Department of Agriculture in the North in 1912,the Niger Agricultural Project in 1949.

Other notable development during the colonial era was the establishment of the Central Department of Agriculture.

6. All these establishment was aimed at helping the country to increase the production of export crops mainly for the British market,this actually yielded progress as there was a considerable increase in the production of crops.

7. After Nigeria gained her independence (Post-Colonial Period) some policies were further enacted to help and boost the Agricultural sector in Nigeria.
8. The Northern Region majored in groundnut production,Western region majored in Cocoa while the Eastern region produced Oil palm.

9. The Nigerian economy went further between 1962 and 1968 to adopt the mechanical technique of agriculture,hence they initiated agricultural development programs such as Operation Feed the Nation (1976),River Basin and Rural Development Authorities (1976)Agricultural Development Projects (ADP) Green Revolution Programme (1980) Etc,also back then,the use of inorganic fertilizers was encouraged among farmers. Nigeria was self sufficient in food before the civil war.

10. After the discovery of oil in the early 1970s,agriculture in Nigeria suffered a set back,to the extent that the Nigerian government began to import food which resulted to loss of revenue,before the oil boom Agriculture accounted for 65% of the nations GDP,but it fell to just 25%. 

11. Fast forward to recent times after the crash in oil prices,the Nigerian government began making efforts to revive the already crest fallen Agricultural industry,Nigeria already spends billions of Naira for food importation. 
12. The Nigerian Agriculture provides employment for about 30% of the population as of 2010.

13. Currently large scale Agricultural production is not common,subsistence farming is still practiced,in 2001 Agriculture contributed 32% to Nigeria’s GDP. 

See Also: Top 10 Richest Countries In Africa 

15. The Major crops produced in Nigeria include beans,cocoa beans,sesame,cashew nuts,cassava,groundnuts, gum arabic, kolanut,corn,melon,millet, palm kernels, palm oil, plantains, rice, rubber, sorghum, soybeans, bananas and yams also the production of  groundnut and palm kernel oil that Nigeria was known for in the 1970's has reduced greatly.

16. The highest earning cash crop that Nigeria export is cocoa,then followed by Rubber. 

17. Oil Palm is also a very important crop as it provides food and raw materials for the Food, Cosmetics,Plastics and other industry,because of this the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research was founded with the aim of researching into the production of oil palm.

18. The ministry of Agriculture is responsible for Agriculture development in Nigeria.

In Conclusion: 

Development of Agriculture will help to boost the economy and will also create more jobs in Nigeria.