Nigeria’s overall farm yield remained below the African and global average in 2017 due to climate change, the absence of government input support, inefficient agricultural extension services and insecurity arising from militancy in various parts of the country.
The 2017 national agricultural performance survey was done by the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), a department of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. According to the survey crops, livestock, fisheries, and the agro-forestry value chain were underperformed in 2017.
Although there was an increase in land use, this only translated to marginal increases in livestock and aquaculture productivity. Across Nigeria, maize was the most widely cultivated crop in 2017. NAERLS Executive Director Prof. Mohammed Othman said farm mechanisation remained low, with farmers in 34 states of the Nigerian federation failing to access tractor tillage services in 2017.
The high cost of buying and hiring also constricted farmer uptake of tractors and other mechanised equipment. However, Nigerian Minister of State Agriculture Heineken Lokpobiri dismissed the report as inconsistent with the situation on the ground.
He said the survey was flawed as it concentrated only on wet season farming and ignored the meaningful contribution of dry season agriculture in 2017.