Tuesday, January 6, 2015
The outlook for Nigeria's agricultural sector.
The success of government policies on agriculture was central to the Finance Ministry's reassurances on Nigeria's ability to weather the oil price shock and increase non-oil revenue. The government has presided over a marked increase in food production over the past four years under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), arguably making it one of the main policy achievements of the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
- Commercial interest in African agribusiness often falls short given the difficulty of making smallholders competitive in dislocated markets.
- Input subsidy policies (fertiliser, seeds) often remain inseparable from political appeals to rural electorates.
- Such policies are not always amenable to 'transformative' interventions -- and in some cases, will actively distort them.