The New Nigerian Agricultural Policy
The previous agricultural policy document was finalized in 1988 and was supposed to remain operative until the year 2000. Hence, in year 2001, a new policy document was launched. The new policy document bears most of the features of the old one, but with more focused direction and better articulation.
Objectives of New Agricultural Policy
In a broad sense, the objectives of the new agricultural policy (as stated in the document) are very similar to those of the old one. They include:(i) The achievement of self-sufficiency in basic food supply and the attainment of food security;(ii) Increased production of agricultural raw materials for industries;(iii) Increased production and processing of export crops, using improved production and processing technologies; (iv) Generating gainful employment; (v) Rational utilization of agricultural resources, improved protection of agricultural land resources from drought, desert encroachment, soil erosion and flood, and the general preservation of the environment for the sustainability of agricultural production; (vi) Promotion of the increased application of modern technology to agricultural production; and, (vii) Improvement in the quality of life of rural dwellers.
Key Features of the New Policy
The key features of the new policy are as follows:
▪ Evolution of strategies that will ensure self-sufficiency and improvement in the level of technical and economic efficiency in food production. This is to be achieved through (i) the introduction and adoption of improved seeds and seed stock, (ii) adoption of improved husbandry and appropriate machinery and equipment, (iii) efficient utilization of resources, (iv) encouragement of ecological specialization, and (v) recognition of the roles and potentials of small -scale farmers as the major producers of food in the country.
▪ Reduction of risks and uncertainties in agriculture, to be achieved through the introduction...