When looking at the trends in crop production both Nationally and Globally, then it is only right to say that Agricultural growth contributes directly to food security. It also supports poverty reduction and acts as an engine of overall economic growth in much of the developing world.
The success of the agricultural sector has not been shared uniformly across regions and countries, however, and it is unclear whether this success can be sustained much less extended to those left behind.
Trends in Crop Production Nationally and Globally
Now let us look at the trends in crop production both Nationally and Globally using cereals and cassava production as an example:
World cereal production in 1999 is forecast at 1870 million tons (including milled rice). While on the supply side, the estimates are becoming firmer, the demand-related issues have yet to be determined. Global cereal utilization in 1999/2000 is forecast to rise only slightly, just less than one percent.
Overall, the growth in direct food consumption of cereals is expected to keep pace with population increase. Nigeria with a total cereal production of 18 million tones representing only 1% of the world cereal as reported by the food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nation (FAO) year book of 2002 and presented in tab.1.1 and fig.1.1.
Table 1.1 Cereal production in Nigeria 1990-2000 in 000, metric tones
Source FAO year book 2002
In sub-Saharan Africa, 1999 was another disappointing year in terms of agricultural output, as overall agricultural production lagged behind population growth rates for the third consecutive year. Output increased by 2.1 percent in 1999, after increasing by 0.4 and 2.3 percent in 1997 and 1998, respectively.
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In Nigeria, production growth slowed from more than 4 percent in 1998 to slightly less than 3 percent. The preliminary estimates for 2000 suggest no improvement in the sluggish performance of the last few years and overall agricultural production appears to have expanded by only 0.5 percent.
(Source FAO year book 2002)
The steady rise in the imports and decline in export of cereal crops in Nigeria from 1990 to 2000 as is evidenced in tab. 1.2 and fig 1.2. These are direct indications that food crop production in the country is lagging behind the demand for demand for food.
The rapid increase in the Nigeria population (3.5%) annually which is considered among the highest in the world has necessitated the need to massively import food to feed the teaming population.
Agricultural production within the same period recorded a modest growth rate of 1.5%, but the growth is mostly associated with cassava production which is currently enjoying a boom on crop production.
This scenario of massive importation of cereals and sharp decline in export could be attributed not only to growth in population and stagnation of internal production levels but also on other equally important factors such as natural and socio-economic factors.
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Natural factors in form of drought and flooding that affected the major crop producing areas of the country within the reported period.
Drought which affected the Northern Savanna zone where the bulk of country’s cereals is produced, thereby, leads to shortages of major foodstuff which necessitated massive importation of cereals to supplement the shortfall.
The growth of poultry industry in the country also lead to increased demand for cereals to be used in the production of feeds, this triggered massive importation of maize to be processed into poultry feeds.
The shift in government policy that do not accord food production the priority it deserved in terms of adequate funding and supply of needed inputs to sustain the current production levels.
The fiscal and monetary effected food production especially cereals in the country by making importation of maize to be processed into poultry feeds.
Lack of stability in the farm prices and poor marketing system of major cereal crop in the country discourage farmers from making investment to produce more. These and many more socio-economic factors have contributed to the present scenario of massive food importation by Nigeria.
2) Cassava Production
Nigerian cassava production is by far the largest in the world; a third more than production in Brazil and almost double the production of Indonesia and Thailand.
Cassava production in other African countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo,Ghana, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda appears small in comparison to Nigeria’s substantial output.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome (FAO, 2004a) estimated 2002 cassava production in Nigeria to be approximately 34 million tonnes.
The trend for cassava production reported by the Central Bank of Nigeria mirrored the FAO data until 1996 and thereafter it rises to the highest estimate of production at 37 million tonnes in 2000 (FMANR, 1997; Central Bank of Nigeria).
The third series provided by the Projects Coordinating Unit PCU (PCU, 2003) had the most conservative estimate of production at 28 million tonnes in 2002. PCU data collates state level data provided by the ADP offices in each state.
Comparing the output of various crops in Nigeria, cassava production ranks first, followed by yam production at 27 million tonnes in 2002, sorghum at 7 million tonnes, millet at 6 million tonnes and rice at 5 million tonnes (FAO, 2004a.)
Expansion of cassava production has been relatively steady since 1980 with an additional push between the years 1988 to 1992 owing to the release of improved IITA varieties.
By zone, the North Central zone produced over 7 million tonnes of cassava a year between 1999 to 2002 south south produces over 6 less than 6 million tonnes a year. The North West and North East are small by comparison at 2 and 0.14 million tonnes respectively ( Table 1.3).
Table 1.3 Cassava Production by Nigeria geographical zones. 2000-2002 (tonnes)
|South West||4 993 380||5 663 614||5 883 805|
|South South||6 268 114||6 533 944||6 321 674|
|South East||5 384 130||5 542 412||5 846 310|
|North West||2 435 211||2 395 543||2 340 000|
|North Central||7 116 920||7 243 970||7 405 640|
|North East||165 344||141 533||140 520|
|Total||26 363 099||27 521 016||27 938 049|
On a per capital basis, North Central is the highest producing region at 720kg/per person in 2002, followed by South East (560kg), South South (470kg), South West (340kg), North West (100kg) and North East (10kg).
National per capital production of cassava is 320kg/per person. Benue and Kogi state in the North Central Zone are the hargest producers of cassava in the country, while Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Delta state dominate cassava production in the South South.
Ogun, Ondo, and Oyo dominate in the South West and Enugu and Imo dominate production in the South East. Kaduna state alone in the North West is comparable in output to many of the states in the Southern regions at almost 2 million tonnes a year. The production in the North East is currently very little.
Table 1.4 Ranking of Nigeria in the World production of some field crops in 2005
|Commodity||Nigeria||World||Ranking in the world|
|Cassava||41,565.000 MT||208,559,340 MT||1|
|Yams||34,000.000 MT||44,276,130 MT||1|
|Cowpeas||2,815000 MT||22,880,290 MT||1|
|Melon seeds||451,000.000 MT||691,605.00 MT||1|
|Taro||5,068000 MT||11,538,705 MT||1|
|Citrus fruits||3,545, 841.00 MT||6,999,186 MT||1|
|Green Maize||4,779000 MT||9,216,770.00 MT||2|
|Millet||6,282000 MT||30,522,860 MT||2|
|Sorghum||8,028000 MT||59,153,380 MT||2|
|Okra||730,000 MT||5,357.927 MT||2|
|Groundnuts in shell||3,478.000 MT||37,763.330 MT||3|
|Sweet potatoes||3,205.000 MT||123,271.111 MT||3|
|Papaya||834,040.00 MT||6,666.540 MT||3|
|Cashew nuts||594,000. MT||2,864.270 MT||4|
|Cocoa beans||366,000 MT||3,924.770 MT||4|
|Ginger||110,000 MT||1,270.400 MT||4|
|Vegetables||4,285,000 MT||261,732.740 MT||5|
|Pineapple||976,920,000 MT||17,692.310 MT||6|
|Sesame seed||100,000 MT||3,322.080 MT||6|
Source FAO year book 2005
According to FAO year book 2005, Nigeria account for more than 77% of world yam production under crop production as well as occupied first position in the world production of cassava, taro, citrus fruits, melon seeds and cowpeas.
During the same year under review, Nigeria rank second in the world production of millet, sorghum, okra and green maize and came third in sweet potatoes, groundnuts, and papaya on crop production.
The tremendous rise in the status of food crop production in the country from the year 2002 up wards could be attributed to recent shift in government policy that favors massive food production program internally with the hope of attaining sustainable food security status and meet up with Millennium Development Goals of the country.