For many years, Nigeria has prided herself on being ‘Africa’s giant’ by being one of the main exporters of petroleum, a resource present in large quantities in its southern states, notably the Niger Delta region. With the current decrease in oil price, it is no longer news that Nigeria’s economy has taken a downward bow, with recent currency strength struggles becoming more appalling and driving the country into an “asymmetrical recession” where the masses had it going really tough for them while the elites seemed not to notice.
Even though recent reports from Nigeria news suggest that the current recession period is over, the downward spike in oil prices this past season has dealt quite the blow to the nation’s economic strength because of her over-dependence on petroleum. To get Nigeria back on her feet, the need to focus on other sectors is being stressed every day. One of such sectors is agriculture.
A look at Nigeria’s history will show us that there was a time when agriculture was booming and was a vital propeller to the nation’s economy. Up until petroleum’s discovery, agriculture was the source of jobs for a lot of people. But it is not too late to begin diverting the nation’s economic power base from oil and gas towards agriculture. Here are 5 crops we think have the potential to boost the country’s economy.
Cacao or cocoa is cultivated extensively for its bean pods, which contain some of the most important ingredients in making beverages, fertilizers, soft soaps, moisturizing creams, cosmetic products and even organic creams. With the majority of people today becoming environment conscious and seeking out organic products, Nigeria as a country can seize this chance by boosting production of cacao and encouraging local farmers with necessary equipment that will enhance large scale production. Education on potential benefits in cacao farming is essential; it will help the youths and even long-time farmers get a clearer understanding of why cacao farming is a good idea.
2. Palm Kernels
One of the earliest crops in history to have boosted this nation’s economy, based on economic statistics was palm oil. The oily extract gotten from palm kernels has been used industrially in many countries and is considered as one of the primary ingredients for some of Nigeria’s delicious indigenous cuisines and soups. The country’s cuisines are becoming popular in some European countries, and this crop can be cultivated large-scale, processed at home and exported to bring in revenue for the nation. The kernels themselves are useful in making cattle feed and are being considered as potential sources of bioenergy which is more environment-friendly.
To talk about this crop, you can visit Eduzaurus.com and find out that this is one of the most popular nuts in the world. Taken with a variety of drinks, staples or fruits and even processed for its oil, groundnuts are quite prolific, offering a wide range of economic benefits even within the borders of the country. This crop can be harnessed to add some strength to Nigeria’s economy by encouraging farmers, educating them on potentials hidden in the crop and joining forces with them to promote large-scale farming of this nut.
This was also one of the earlier contributors to Nigeria’s economy. Rubber is a major product for a lot of industries, especially those dealing with tires, hoses, toys, belts, gloves, adhesives – the list is endless. And the possibilities of cultivating this crop are very promising. By processing and exporting rubber to other countries, with time rubber can progress to having the same economic effect as petroleum in the country.
Our list would not be complete without mentioning this crop, which is the most consumed cereal in the world as of today. A lot of recipes have rice as the main ingredient, and some countries include rice in preparing their national dishes. With cases of ‘plastic rice’ gradually increasing, the country’s leadership can seize the chance to propagate rice cultivation, especially in the rainforest areas of the country. If handled well and with seriousness, rice production can serve as a catalyst in reforming Nigeria’s economy.
At the end of it all, the process involved in making Nigeria great lies in the hands of Nigerians. Nigeria is a nation with a lot of undiscovered potentials. If all the country’s people decide to take a stand, throw tribal sentiments away, voice out an end to unjust leadership and join hands to promote agriculture and exportation of ingrown crops such as the ones mentioned in this article and others as well, this country is all set to regain her position as the true ‘Africa’s forerunner’ that she is.
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