April 13, 2024




In Nigeria, our dependence on oil has shaped our economy for decades. Known globally for our vast petroleum resources, we have reaped economic benefits but also faced the volatility that comes with reliance on global oil markets. Today, as the world shifts towards more sustainable practices, we find ourselves at a pivotal moment. It’s time to turn our attention back to the soil, to agriculture—a sector that once defined our nation and holds the key to our sustainable future.

The Current Economic Landscape

For years, Nigeria has thrived on oil, which dominates our export earnings and significantly bolsters government revenues. This oil-centric economy has, however, exposed us to global price fluctuations, which often lead to economic instability affecting every one of us, from the bustling cities of Lagos and Abuja to the remote corners of the Niger Delta.

Rediscovering Our Agricultural Heritage

Before the oil boom in the 1970s, Nigeria was a predominantly agrarian society with robust cocoa, groundnut, and palm oil industries that drove our economy and supported local communities. Our land is fertile, and our climates vary enough to support a diverse range of agricultural activities. However, over the years, as we focused more on the black gold beneath our soil, our farming practices lagged, infrastructure deteriorated, and knowledge transfer slowed. It’s time to revive this once-thriving sector.

The Shift: Embracing Agricultural Innovation

We are now seeing a renewed focus from both the government and private sectors to reinvest in agriculture. It’s not just about going back to the basics but transforming the sector through innovation and technology. Initiatives to introduce modern farming techniques and improve crop yields are underway, and they promise to rejuvenate our land and our people’s livelihoods.

  • Investment in Technology: By adopting modern farming technology, we can increase productivity. Technologies like drip irrigation and crop biotechnology can help us produce more with less and sustainably.
  • Improving Infrastructure: Our rural infrastructure needs urgent upgrading to support agricultural logistics. Improved roads, storage facilities, and processing plants will help reduce post-harvest losses and increase market access, boosting profitability for our farmers.
  • Financial Empowerment: Access to finance remains a critical barrier for many small-scale farmers. Initiatives like the Anchor Borrowers’ Program by the Central Bank of Nigeria are essential in providing farmers with the capital needed to expand their operations.
  • Education and Training: Empowering our youth through agricultural education programs will equip them with the skills necessary to innovate and drive the sector forward. We must embrace agriculture as a viable career, not just a subsistence activity.

Overcoming Challenges

The transition is not without its challenges. Land tenure complexities, inadequate access to water, and the impacts of climate change are significant hurdles. We must also work towards sustainable practices that prevent overexploitation of our natural resources.

The Role of Technology and Community

Technological advancements, including mobile technology and data analytics, are critical in this new agricultural era. They can provide farmers with real-time information on weather patterns, market prices, and new agricultural techniques. Community involvement is also crucial—cooperative societies can pool resources, share knowledge and negotiate better terms in markets.


Shifting our focus from oil to soil isn’t merely an economic shift; it’s a transformation that can rekindle our connection with the land and with each other. This is about building a resilient, sustainable Nigeria where the economy thrives not just on oil, but on the greener, more sustainable wealth of agriculture. We all have a role to play—from government officials and business leaders to local farmers and consumers. Together, we can ensure that Nigeria’s agricultural sector flourishes once again. Let’s embrace this change, for our economy, for our environment, and for our future.

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