Tuesday, January 11, 2011

food basket

Over the past 30 years, the world’s population has grown by more than 50 per cent to over 6 billion, and is expected to increase by the same proportion again by 2050. Yet the world’s food supplies are failing to keep up. Many of the farms in developing countries produce small yields, and need help and more modern farming equipment to help them produce larger amounts of crops. And there is still plenty of unused land around the world, suitable for agricultural expansion.

Nigeria has the potential not only to meet its growing food needs but also to become one of the leading food producing countries in the sub-region and the world at large. Nigeria has about 79 million hectares of arable land (less than half of which is under cultivation); and is blessed with highly diversified ecological conditions suitable for the production of a wide range of agricultural products. The country has 267 billion cubic meters of surface water; 57.9 billion cubic meters of underground water; an annual rainfall range of 300 mm to 400 mm; and potential irrigable area of 3.14 million hectares (seven per cent of which is utilised).

Yet it cannot feed itself. Why?


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