Thursday, 4 February 2016

Everyone feels the impact of the present global collapse of the fall of prices of crude oil. Governments of countries who operate oil-driven economies are worst affected. One such government is the federal government of Nigeria. It is an irony to recall that before the Nigerian oil boom which occurred in the late 60s and early 70s, Nigeria was being propelled on the wheels of Agriculture-driven economy. To say the least, this West African country was doing greatly well with huge exportation of diverse Agricultural products and enormous foreign exchange revenue. Most remarkable was the fact the larger Nigeria’s successful Agricultural exploits were profitably ran because indigenous technology was in use.

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Today the same technology has advanced, manual jobs which wasted more time, energy and resources are now automated with greater efficiency and reduced turn-around time. Oil prices have fallen but technology has remained ever most relevant. As the world fights to shift its economic attention from Oil to mostly Agriculture, it is not doing so without incorporating technology. I hope Nigeria and her governments are taking proper note. Subsistent agriculture on its own cannot successfully drive its economy. The agricultural requirements of Nigeria and the rest of the world as at the 70s cannot be compared with the present day Gross Domestic Product (GDP) demands.
The Nigerian government wants every citizen to return to the farm – this ought not to be the agenda. What would it profit the nation if every citizen produces subsistent, feeds their immediate families but there are no organized systems whereby these farm produce are collected and prepared on large scales for exports? With the United States of America as a case study, only about 10% or less of its citizens produces, feeds the nation and exports agricultural products sufficiently. This is possible because of the technology-driven commercial system of agricultural which they practice.
Machineries are employed, scientific research and development results are inculcated into their farming activities and there are well-structured and corruption-free systems of government-private partnerships. All these work together to create an agricultural system that works for the developed countries. If the Nigerian government is sincere in its fight against corruption and diversification of the nation’s economy, they ought to adopt this style for the Agricultural sector. There should be no space for politics in dealing with the nation’s resolve to resurrect agriculture as an alternative source of income with the downfall of price of crude oil. It is an understatement to say that technology cuts across every sector, subsector and industry hence, the need to attach great importance to its emancipation in this country.
Nigerians indeed need change – but positive change!

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