DIVERSIFICATION OF NIGERIA ECONOMY
Nigeria’s economy crashed into recession as nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) dropped as low as 2.06 per cent in the second quarter of 2016. For the nation that was declared Africa’s biggest economy to sink into recession demand urgent attention. The nation’s GDP report for the second quarter released by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently showed that the GDP declined by -1.70 per cent points from the growth of -0.36 per cent recorded in the first quarter of 2016.
According to Economic and political Experts, the quick way out of this type of recession is to inject money into the systems, diversification of the economy especially on the area of youth development and empowerment, improved and mechanized agriculture/farming.
Also, with the recent release of The Nigeria economy news, and government conscious of the over-dependence on Oil which constitutes about 95% of generated revenue, has embarked on many measures and policies to give the Nigerian a new lease on life. To generate and stronger and stable growth rate, the Government is promoting the increased production in the non-oil sector of the economy by creating a level-playing field for private-sector led activity. Essentially, the pivots around which the framework for economic growth and development will revolve include the following:
- Improved agriculture and agro-business,
- youth empowerment training scheme
- development of other solid mineral resources,
- other manufacturing, including information and communications technology (ICT),
- crude oil,
- natural gas, and
- entertainment and other youth based empowerment programme
Other expected areas of concentration that will equally engender accelerated economic growth and poverty reduction are:
- diversification of the productive base of the economy,
- emphasis on agriculture and rural development to consolidate existing initiatives in ensuring food security and export possibilities, particularly in tomatoes, pepper, other fruits and vegetables, cassava, rice production, textiles, cash crops, livestock, and vegetable oil,
- Continued support of youths and local farmers through grants and low interest loans.
- Duty and tariff free on all Agricultural equipment
Diversification of Nigeria Economy through Mechanized Agriculture:
Agricultural mechanization can be define as the application of mechanical technology and improved power to agriculture, largely as a means to increase the productivity of the farmer and often to achieve results well beyond the capacity of human labor with optimum yield at minimal cost. This includes the use of tractors of various types, trucks, combined harvesters, airplane, improved seeds, as well as animal-powered and human-powered implements and tools, and internal combustion engines, electric motors, solar power and other methods of energy conversion. Mechanization also includes irrigation systems, food processing and related technologies and equipment. Mechanization is not an “all or nothing” process. Levels and types of improved mechanical technologies need to be appropriate, that is, compatible with local, agronomic, socio-economic, environmental and industrial conditions.
Mechanized Agriculture is a push to great increase to Farmer productivity; recently powered machinery has replaced major farm jobs formerly done by manual labour or working animals like Horses, Oxen, donkeys etc.
In the early days, some agricultural tools use now, such as the plough, harrow, ridger and planter etc.,were hardly used. The advent of Mechanized Agriculture brought relief to farmers and increase productivity. List of agricultural machinery: tractors, trucks, combine harvesters, airplanes (crop dusters), helicopters, and other vehicles. Modern farms even sometimes use computers in conjunction with satellite imagery and GPS guidance to increase yields.
Mechanization was one of the large factors responsible for urbanization and industrial economies. Besides improving production efficiency, mechanisation encourages large scale production and improves the quality of farm produce. On the other hand, it displaces unskilled farm labor, causes environmental pollution, deforestation and erosion. The greatest period of growth in agricultural productivity in the U.S. was from the 1940s to the 1970s, during which time agriculture was benefiting from internal combustion powered tractors and combine harvesters, chemical fertilizers and the green revolution.
Although farmers of corn, wheat, soy, and other commodity crops had replaced most of their workers with harvesting machines and combines enabling them to efficiently cut and gather grains, growers of produce continued to rely on human pickers to avoid the bruising of the product in order to maintain the blemish-free appearance demanded of consumers. The continuous supply of illegal workers from Latin America that were willing to harvest the crops for low wages further suppressed the need for mechanization. As the number of illegal workers has continued to decline since reaching its peak in 2007 due to increased border patrols and an improving Mexican economy, the industry is increasing the use of mechanization. Proponents argue that mechanization will boost productivity and help to maintain low food prices while farm worker advocates assert that it will eliminate jobs and will give an advantage to large growers who are able to afford the required equipment.
Dizengoff represents the very best in powerful farm machinery and vehicles internationally, such as genuine Massey Ferguson tractors, harvesters, ploughs and harrows, crop sprayers and post-hole diggers. Dizengoff provides farming implements and tools for small, medium and large scale agriculture. All their equipment is chosen for its durability and low running costs, and is backed by the expert installation services and support of Dizengoff Nigeria’s field technical team. An extensive range of powerful tractors, with rugged strength and massive build, enables best performance for high productivity.
With the present structure of Nigerian economy and continues increase in the population of her citizens, the diversification of Nigeria economy is prerequisite. The over dependence on oil in Nigeria contributed to the current economic woes (recession) resulting from the fall of oil price in the world market and the discovery of alternative sources of power by developed countries. Thus diversification is must especially in the area of Agriculture which has a multiple effect on the economy, of providing food for the people and creating employment. The federal government of Nigeria has to make frank effort to support big, medium and large scale farming through soft loans and grants to farmers. If private, public organization, NGOs and other charity foundations in Nigeria put hands on desk to improve Agriculture in Nigeria, poverty, and militancy, terrorist, religious and ethnic conflicts will be drastically minimized.
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