The agricultural industry in Nigeria is responsible for the employment of about 70% of the nation’s working population. The sector is also 2-3 times more effective in reducing poverty than other sectors.
Agriculture is more important than ever and thus, it needs your support to thrive. Below are some of the practical steps you can take towards this:
1. Teach Children About Agriculture:
The future of agriculture lies in the youths. There are many ways to increase youth involvement in agriculture but one of the understated ways is to pique their interest from childhood. Kids are naturally curious about everything so discussing the subject of agriculture, games, and Q & A sessions can be a really good way to get them started early on.
Parents can also encourage their kids to keep a small garden. Caring for their small garden will not only elevate their interest in agriculture but will also help them learn some life skills such as caring for others and raising food.
Small gardens don’t require a lot of space. If you have a backyard, you can convert it into a garden. Plants like ginger don’t require a lot of space to grow and can even be grown indoors. Schools can also have school gardens for kids with farm animals and plants for them to look after.
They can also be allowed farm animals as pets, which they can name and care for. However, it is important not to present these agricultural activities as some sort of punishment, but as a recreational activity which they can enjoy.
Another way to get children interested in agriculture is through agro-tourism. Yes, taking them to fun parks and water slides is fun but agricultural destinations can be just as fun, if not more. Schools can take kids to places such as zoos, farms, the Yankari National Park, Obudu Mountain Resort, and many others for excursions.
Finally, with the improvement in technology, there are many media of communication in today’s sphere. You can expose kids to channels where they can learn more on the subject.
2. Attend Agro-related Events:
There are many benefits you can get from attending seminars, lectures, and trade shows relating to agriculture. Aside from showing your support for the industry, you also open yourself to networking opportunities with other attendees of the event.
These programs also give you a platform to ask questions and receive in-person access to experts from the sector. You can also learn tips on how to profit from the agricultural industry, what businesses you can open in the industry, and what investments you can make.
You can also learn about new technology and the latest agro innovations from attending agro-related events.
If you’re interested in attending, below is a list of some agro-related events coming up in Nigeria:
- Lagos International Food and Beverage Fair, Lagos, Nigeria.
- Palmex Africa, Owerri, Imo.
- The Nigerian Food Event, Lagos, Nigeria.
- Palmtech Nigeria Expo, Enugu.
- FOODBEXT West Africa Food and NAFDAC Conference, Lagos, Nigeria.
3. Donate, Volunteer, and Donate Some More:
Agricultural Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), are dependent on donations and volunteers to function efficiently. These organizations are not designed for profit-making purposes and thus, their budget is limited and there is always space for volunteering.
You can show support by donating your time, labor, and money to agricultural NGOs. Through this, you’ll be indirectly impacting the lives of the people these NGOs are built to support.
You can also offer innovative ideas to NGOs on how to help solve problems for better results. Although you may not profit from the idea, you will be contributing to sustaining the agricultural industry.
Below is a list of some agricultural organizations in Nigeria:
- Food for All International of Nigeria.
- Farm Awareness for Food Preservation Initiative.
- Agricultural Extension Society of Nigeria.
- Nigerian Organic Agriculture Network.
- Nigerian Association of Agricultural Economists.
You can also donate to agricultural departments of universities, polytechnics, and secondary schools to fund research.
4. Use Social Media to Promote Agriculture:
There are many wrong perceptions of agriculture out there and you can use your social media platform to change them.
Many farmers are not on social media due to lack of time, technological know-how, and other factors so you can step in and use your platform to broadcast their work. With the right captions, hashtags, and photos, you can promote agriculture.
Using your platform to shed a positive light on agriculture is a good way of supporting the industry. The internet can also serve as a platform to invite people into the agricultural industry so they can see and appreciate the work that farmers are putting in.
You can also use your social media platform to shed more light on agricultural NGOs and encourage others to donate to their cause.
5. Shop Local:
Getting your groceries from local farmers will not only save cost but will also strengthen the local economy. This way, you are sure that the farmers who toiled to make the food are getting adequate compensation.
You also get the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about where and how your food was produced when you shop local. It also helps support family farmers and guarantees your purchase of organic products.
Local food spends less time in transit and thus, is more likely to remain fresher than store-bought items. Shopping locally also helps you to build a community through relationships built from buying directly from farmers.
6. Grow Your Own Food:
One of the best ways to support sustainable agriculture is by growing your own food. This does not require owning a large farm. You can grow crops such as tomatoes, ginger, and peppers in your backyard.
You can also take a step further to make your own fruit juices, jams, and butter. This will also help you save cost as well as give your food fresher and more organic taste against processed foods.
It also helps reduce food wastage because when shopping from the store, you might take more than enough in order to save yourself two trips to the store. This extra groceries might sit around in the refrigerator unused till it’s no longer fresh.
However, when you grow your own food, you’ll take exactly what you need and if it’s not enough, more is always within reach.
7. Crowdfund Farm Projects:
Crowdfunding platforms such as Farmcrowdy, serves as a bridge between farmers and sponsors. When a farm is sponsored, the funds are used to enable farmers carry out farming activities and after a given farm cycle, the sponsor receives the initial sponsorship with ROI. It’s a win-win situation.
Family farming accounts for about 14 million farmers in Nigeria, most of which are small scale farmers who do not have access to funds. Crowdfunding is an effective way to impact more farmers and farm families with the end goal of achieving global food security.
Usually, you can crowdfund farm projects from the comfort of your own home, just ensure you do your own research before getting involved in any crowdfunding project.
These are just some of the ways you can support the agricultural industry in Nigeria. Are you already lending your support? Please share in the comments below.