ENDING POVERTY BY AGRICULTURE REVOLUTION
BY DR. ELISHAMA IDEH -PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRANT
A Nation like Nigeria should not be mentioned as the capital of Extreme Poverty today because it is an Oxymoron. How can a nation who has over 65% of Arable land become so poor and many of her children go to bed hungry. We are the largest producers of cassava even at minimal production levels. Yet we have denied our people the opportunity to mechanise and industrialise our Agriculture that will open up our economy.
According to World Bank news online China reduced poverty by 2015 through massive Agriculture and access to market. Sustaining Agriculture became the key driving force for poverty reduction through equitable land distribution and technology. China partnered with World Bank and others by organising themselves.
Many nations in the world have used Agriculture to reduce poverty including nations like Brazil, Cameron, Kenya, Malaysia, Senegal, etc. Agriculture was a major shift in the economy.
NON- AGRIC SECTOR
Today, every State in Nigeria has an Agricultural opportunity from Fisheries; Poultry; Animal husbandry; land products like grains to tubers; to fruit trees to Bananas and plantains to Palm products. We are blessed by God and yet we have made our people poor because of poor leadership, inadequate Policies; Lack of Access to funds and corruption.
CONVERTING OUR AGRICULTURE PRODUCTS TO TERTIARY PRODUCTS- THE REVOLUTION
Shimon Perez once said that Agriculture is 95% technology. Israel had converted their communities to Agro- processing and Industries where jobs are created for her citizens. Malaysia came to take our Palm products from Ifo- Benin many years ago and through that
become the agric centre of Palm products of the world. Nigeria can create millions of Jobs through Agricultural processing and industrialisation.
We lose so much from exporting our products raw without processing them ourselves.
I will declare an agricultural emergency on the first day of resumption. The groundnut pyramids must return and the Industries required to process these products too. The abundance of food in the Middle belt known as the North central is blessed with Agro- products that can be processed to various levels. Cassava derivatives are beyond this earth and needed by the world. Our Mango alone can give us Juice factories, pharmaceutical industries and food flavours like Healthy fruit sugars. It was discovered years ago and reported by Businessday that Nigeria looses almost 900% for refusing to process our cocoa before exporting them.
The opportunity for this to happen is not rocket science, it is making the decision to make it happen and hiring innovative, bright and energetic minds to do thing in new and easier ways to do things by partnering with the best of the best in the globe to achieve this revolution.
One of the keys of Global Trend 2025 is that there will be population increase and even Nigeria has been predicted to be the 3rd largest population by 2050 in another report. The Global trend report 2025 mentions increase in food and water demand will be so high. Should Nigeria not position herself as the solution with over 65% arable land? Should Nigeria not process her Agro- product to maximise yield and increase Job opportunity? Should Nigeria not become the centre of organic Agriculture for the world?
Through this revolution we can meet some of the SDGs especially #1, #2, #3, #7 & #17.
It is time for an agriculture revolution. It is time to take Agriculture to the highest level ever possible to man and Nigeria can be the headquarters of the revolution and not the headquarters of extreme poverty.