Nigeria’s Agricultural policies Vol.1


It is interesting to note that the desire of government to increase food production by formulating policies for implementation by the administration at both central and regional levels began in 1900 with establishment of the Forestry Department.
The first Agricultural Department (Southern Nigeria) was established in 1910 and it was quickly followed by the second Agricultural Department (Northern Nigeria) in 1912. The Second World War ended in 1918 and three years after (in 1921), both Agricultural Departments were merged to form one Agricultural Department for Nigeria. Consequently, a Director of Agriculture who was responsible for the overall agricultural administration of the country was appointed by successive administrations.
The regional constitution was launched in 1954 with each of the three new regions (Eastern, Western Northern) establishing its own Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MANR). An additional MANR was established (1963) when the Mid-Western Region was created. From 1954 through 1967, there was no MANR at the federal level as a result of the inclusion of agricultural development on the “residual legislative list.” By a special clause of the constitution, therefore, agricultural administration and policy became responsibility of the region. However, the military government created a full-fledge federal MANR in 1967 following expert advice (FAO, 1966). The four regions were also restructured into twelve states and later nineteen states (Ayoola, 2001).
In Nigeria today, we have 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. In addition to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, all the states and federal government have their respective Ministries of Agriculture. The nomenclature of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture had also changed over the years:
•    Federal Ministry of Agriculture
•    Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources
•    Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Development
•    Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources
•    Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources
Today, it is called the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, headed by the Honourable Minister in its present structure.
Successive governments in Nigeria over the years have executed several agricultural development interventions aimed at boosting the level of agricultural production that will enable us attain self-sufficiency in food production. Initially, policies were been inferred from implemented programs by successive governments rather than been stated explicitly, but they were subsequently documented and articulated. These intervention programs are policy and agenda based in nature, below are reviews on each category.



Author Bio


Mrs. Yemisi Akibu ( nee Awokoya) is the Chief Executive Officer of Belvyna Global, an agricultural consultancy service firm based in Lagos, Nigeria She is a former Team Member of the Agricultural Department of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, one of Nigeria's first generation banks. She holds a B.Sc degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a Masters degree in National Development and Project Planning from the University of Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. She is passionate about the role agriculture plays in the social, economic, political development of a nation. She holds the view that one of the pillars of stability of a nation food security and this can only be achieved through the holistic development of the agricultural sector. She can be contacted via: or Remember, The Farmer Is King Enjoy my blog

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