Agriculture is the main occupation of Borno State. It involves 80 per cent of the population. Farming, fishing and animal husbandry represent the main agricultural activities in the state.
The key agricultural produce of the state include millet, sorghum, wheat, rice, mangoes, citrus fruits, vegetable, gum-Arabic, onions, carrots, groundnuts, berries etc. The state has consolidated its hold in these areas.
The goal of the government is to increase food production to achieve internal food sufficiency, while providing the enabling environment to boost export production.
Experts in the industry see the opportunities and bright promise that Borno State is holding out for the future. A strong agricultural state, good climate and a lot of land for agricultural production to feed the Northern region.
Following the Federal Government efforts to boost the production of major cash crops, farmers in the state can benefited from strong economic performance. Continued high prices in crop and livestock markets are predicted, meaning that prospects for the farmers look solid in the year ahead.”
The sector will see an increase in overall farm income levels due to higher prices for grains and oilseeds. The government needs private investors to play an important role its agriculture and agri-food sector. The Ministry of Agriculture is targeting development of agriculture and related industries.
This means increasing the competitiveness of the sector, increased volumes of production, and improved the social sphere in rural areas. The governments want to keep positive growth in livestock breeding and the livestock industry. This will include increasing meat production by construction and upgrading of livestock and poultry facilities. Share of pedigree livestock has increased. There is state wide effort to improve quality of cattle and, replace less productive breeds with more productive breeds. The main goals of the state programme on development of agriculture is food security, support of adequate level of farmers’ profits, support of the attractiveness of agriculture for investment, and the complex development of the social sphere in rural areas.
Subsequently, the government has outlined new priorities including, development of agro-food market infrastructure, support of private farms and small agricultural enterprises, support of exports of agricultural products, upgrading of food and processing industries and strategic measures aimed at mitigation of weather and climate risks.
The state government ha planned to increase competitiveness of the agricultural sector using the negotiated favourable terms to woo foreign and local investors. The strategy supports infrastructure development, social development of rural territories, irrigation and land reclamation. The state governments want to use agric to promote employment and advance the social and economic welfare of residents, ensure small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have opportunity to participate in the sector and review its policies to ascertain restrictive practices which may adversely affect the economic interests of farmers.
The sector is witnessing considerable transformation and commercial orientation and it has to be strengthened for effective competition.
The government is providing a wide range of farm inputs, including fertilisers, improved seeds, herbicides, pesticides and agricultural implements and machinery. Certain farm services are also subsidised.These include land clearing and tractor hiring services, irrigation, farm credit, extension services, and agricultural insurance. Fertiliser was the most prominent of the various inputs and activities subsidised by the government. To improve competitiveness, the government is improving access to market information not only for the traditional food crops but also for other crops of industrial importance. The state is establishing the environment for a thriving and competitive indigenous agribusiness sector that relies on a-system of flourishing and innovative enterprises.
The frame work will be sustained by good infrastructure, regulations and access to appropriate financing. Addition to access to proper equipment and maintenance services, the government wants agric entrepreneurs to be able to assess market feasibility and raise investment capital. The considerable amount of training is involved address the needs of farmers in the rural areas on the need to embrace modern farming technology. Farmers are taught new technologies and connected to the state’s agriculture ministry, and research centres.
The government believes harnessing its agricultural resources will contribute to the national income.
To this end, it is championing mechanised and commercial arable farming.
The government hopes to improve the living standard of farmers and increased productivity.