Agricultural Science

Roles of Government in Agriculture

Alfred Ajibola - Tue, 28th May, 2019 @ 15:12: PM

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Roles of government in agricultural production:

Government plays an important role in the development of agriculture. Every government has an annual budget and agriculture happens to be a major sector to which an annual financial allocation is given. Taking Nigeria as a reference, the country once depended almost entirely on agriculture for her external revenue during which the citizens lived like kings at that time. It was then reported that the Nigerian currency (Naira) had more value that the dollar, but right now, the reverse is the case. It was the discovery of oil in an era called (the oil boom) that brought about negligence of the agricultural sector by the government as all the focus was placed on oil. As it stands now, the government of Nigeria must be proactive towards agriculture, education and technology because the era of oil is gradually coming to a decline with the emergence of electric cars.

The points below explain how the government can enhance agriculture in a nation.


1. Education to farmers

Knowledge is the key to everything that has been successfully done. The more education a farmer has, the better his quality and quantity of produce. Unfortunately, majority of the farmers in Nigeria, for instance, are from the rural areas with little or no education. The government should set up agricultural schools and institutes in these rural communities to help foster agriculture produce. Education is always the key to a prosperous nation.


2. Provision of financial assistance

The government should provide financial assistance in the form of subsidies, loans and grants to farmers to boost agriculture in each state. Most of the farmers in developing countries are actually very poor because they are neglected by the government and thus lack the capital to increase their agricultural output. For this reason, some farmers practice subsistence farming.

Subsistence farming is a type of farming where a farmer grows crop or rear animals for themselves and their families. They do not farm for financial returns.


3. Provision of agro-chemicals

Agro-chemicals are substances or chemicals that are used for increasing agricultural yield and produce when applied to farmland. They include fertilizers, herbicides, drugs, fungicides, insecticides, vaccines and so on. The government should provide all of these at a subsidized rate to improve agricultural activities.


4. Provision of storage and processing facilities

Storage facilities help to prevent the wastage and spoilage of agriculture produce. Lack of storage facilities will bring about financial loss to farmers since crops will be destroyed by insect pests. Please read on pest of agricultural importance  here. The government must therefore assist in providing storage facilities in each state of the country.


5. Provision of good roads and effective transportation network

Bad roads will cause accidents; resulting to the loss of life and properties. Agricultural produce may also be destroyed and damaged as a result of bad roads. Also, bad road network can elongate the journey of agricultural produce from the state where they are produced to another state where they will be sold. A 24 hours journey might end up becoming 96 hours journey, thus resulting in the spoilage and wastage of agricultural produce.


6. Provision of tractors and other agricultural machineries

It is the responsibility of government to provide agricultural machines like tractors, ploughs, harvester, planters and so on. These farm machines may be subsidized to farmers since they can be quite expensive to purchase. Also, these machineries are very important for cultivation on large farmlands. Please read on agricultural tools and uses here.


7. Provision of high quality agricultural materials

High quality seeds and animal species should be provided to farmers. These high qualities agricultural materials will bring about the followings:

  • Higher agricultural yield
  • Resistance to pest and disease
  • Resistance to drought


8. Proper quarantine measures

Government should provide an efficient quarantine measures to check and control the inflow of agricultural materials like seeds, animals and animal products. The goal is to identify and prevent infected agricultural materials from entering into a country. An adequate quarantine measure will prevent certain disease pathogen from gaining entrance into a country.


9. Provision of research works

It is the responsibility of government to provide research institutes which will carry out studies and researches in food and animal breed. The goal is to improve the level of food and animal breed in agriculture. Some of the research institutes present in Nigeria includes:

  • IITA: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture. IITA is located in Ibadan.
  • CRIN: Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria. CRIN is located in Ibadan.
  • NVRI: National Veterinary Research Institute. NVRI is located in Jos.
  • NIOMAR: National Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research. NIOMAR is located in Lagos.
  • NIFOR: Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research. NIFOR is located in Benin.


10. Establishment of River Basin Authorities

It is the responsibility of government to establish river basin authorities so as to make water available to farmers especially during dry seasons. This is sometimes referred to as irrigation farming.

Irrigation may be defined as the supply of water to agricultural land or crops through various means and channels in order to enhance plant growth and development.


11. Government Annual Budget and Allocation

The government should set aside a reasonable percentage of the budget to agriculture. They should also see that the financial allocation to the agricultural ministry is judiciously utilized so that the nation, farmers and citizens will benefit from the agricultural sector.


12. Reduction of corruption to its barest minimum

If the agencies responsible for all the aforementioned government roles in agriculture are corrupt, little or no progress will be seen in the agricultural sector. The government should set up necessary institutions to punish corrupt officials according to the law. Also, salaries should be paid to the various agricultural agencies when due.


Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

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