Kwara: Fresh Facts Emerge on Alleged Diversion of LG Funds

Crop Production in Kwara State: Prospects and Challenges

On this week’s edition of SpiceyGist Entrepreneurship Spotlight, our guest writer, Aregbesola Glory examines the Prospects and Challenges of Crop Production in Kwara State. 

Since time immemorial, human survival has been intrinsically linked to food. Recognising the importance of food to healthy living, the early-men developed the art of agriculture which has today been revolutionized to galvanize economic prosperity, while also ensuring food sufficiency for the populace.

Crop production is an important aspect of agriculture in most countries of the world; Nigeria is not an exception. Before the discovery of oil in 1956, agriculture was the fulcrum of the Nigerian economy. 

However, the discovery of crude oil in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria led to the neglect of the budding agricultural sector. The neglect of the agricultural sector subsequently culminated in Nigeria’s insatiable appetite for foreign goods which adversely affected the nation’s economy.

As part of the Nigerian Government’s efforts aimed at diversifying the nation’s economy to limit her over-reliance on oil as the major source of foreign exchange as well as to foster economic growth and ensure food-sufficiency, the country is currently experiencing agricultural rejuvenation.

Kwara state is one of the most agriculturally viable states in Nigeria. With a total land area of about 34,600 square kilometres and an annual rainfall of 1,500 mm, Kwara is richly endowed in agricultural terms. The state naturally produces large quantities of arable crops. 

Not only is the state blessed with rich flora and fauna, Kwara has dual ecological zones (Forest and Savannah) which makes it possible for producing a wide range of crops.

While the people of the Kwara North and South senatorial districts are known for producing tubers, grains and cash crops, those in the Central engage mostly in animal husbandry, probably due to the availability of an expanse of Savannah vegetation within the district.

Until recently, most farmers in Kwara state merely engaged in subsistence farming to provide food for their family while very little of their farm produce was made available for market sale. 

However, in recent times, growth in agricultural output in Kwara state in particular and Nigeria as a whole has no doubt, been on the rise as farmers are stepping away from subsistence agriculture to embrace large scale farming, thereby, increasing agricultural output.

Crop Production in Kwara State: Prospects and Challenges

The strategic importance of Kwara state in the spheres of agriculture is further underscored by the presence of the headquarters of three Federal Government Agricultural Agencies in the State. 

The agencies are – National Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation (NCAM), Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI), and Nigerian Stored Products and Research Institute (NSPRI).

Also, Kwara hosts one of the outstations of the National Cereal Research Institute (NCRI) which has the mandate of developing all cereal crops including – rice, sugarcane and oilseed. NCRI is located in Bacita. 

Besides, the North-Central office of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) is located in Ilorin, Kwara State.

Investigations have revealed that agricultural loans and some agricultural policies of the state government have significantly contributed to the surge in agricultural output in the state. 

However, despite the prospects of crop production in Kwara State, some factors are militating against its growth.

Challenges of Crop Production in Kwara State

  • Climate change
  • Destruction of farmlands by grazing cattle
  • Poor road network
  • Inadequate storage facilities
  • Bottlenecks involved in accessing farm inputs
  • Limited Agro-processing industries in the state
  • Inaccessibility of farming implements like tractors, planters, harvesters, etc for commercial crop production.
  • Flooding and massive erosion create gully erosion and the fertility of the soil is destroyed as the erosion washes the land.
  • Political interference in the distribution of farm implements, like fertilizers remains a serious problem.
  • The inefficiency of the Agricultural Development Programme (ADP)
  • The inefficiency of the meteorological unit of Kwara State Ministry of Agriculture.
  • Youth apathy for crop production. Crop production in the state is still left to the aged with obsolete practice and archaic tools.

Against the backdrop of the foregoing, Kwara has not been able to reap the dividends of crop production. 

Crop production, like other agricultural sectors, holds great prospects for the State. Aside from ensuring food-sufficiency for Kwara’s teeming population, massive crop production will lead to improved exports and a robust economy.

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However, for crop production to foster economic growth in the state, Kwara State Government should consider the following recommendations:

  • The nefarious activities of herdsmen is a major impediment to crop production. Herdsmen must be dissuaded from carrying sophisticated weapons. Also, the government should map out alternative grazing lands for herdsmen to prevent the incessant destruction of crops by cattle. This will help to improve the frosty relationship between herdsmen and farmers.
  • Premium should be placed on agro-processing as that would generate employment for the youths and also reduce the consumption of imported goods.
  • Crop farmers should be encouraged to utilize the opportunities provided by the Nigerian Stored Products and Research Institute (NSPRI) to prevent spoilage and wastage of farm produce.
  • Kwara State government should partner with the Federal Agricultural agencies situated in the state – National Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation (NCAM), Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI), Nigerian Stored Products and Research Institute (NSPRI), National Cereal Research Institute (NCRI), and National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) to provide agricultural resources and come up with robust programmes & training for crop farmers. 
  • The government cannot achieve its desires, objectives or goals for increased productivity in agriculture without investing in training and retraining, recruitment of more agriculture extension workers who are the machineries in the dissemination of information on the best agriculture practices in the country.
  • Climate change is a global menace but its negative impact on crop production can be maximally reduced if the meteorological department of the state ministry of Agriculture is repositioned to give farmers timely weather forecasts. This will help farmers to know what crops to plant per season.
  • To surmount the challenges posed by the cessation of rainfall, irrigation systems should be developed across the state to act as an alternative source of water for crops. This will, in turn, culminate in bumper yields.
Crop Production in Kwara State: Prospects and Challenges
Sprinkler Irrigation
  • Soil testing is important for bountiful yields. Apart from providing farm inputs for farmers, soil testing should be carried out so that the inputs would be put to good use.
  • Kwara State land policy should be flexible to enable more people to venture into crop production.
  • The policy of purchasing imported fertilizers should be jettisoned for the production of organic fertilizers. Kwara state government should set up a workshop and get experts to lecture farmers on how to produce organic fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Off-takers programme will go a long way in assisting farmers to sell their goods after harvest, while also making profits from their farming endeavours.
  • Rice is one of the most preferred staple foods in most homes in Kwara state and Nigeria as a whole. Aside from its economic importance, rice is rich in nutrients; it’s an excellent source of carbohydrates and it’s rich in vitamins and minerals. Kwara is blessed with fertile soils for robust rice production. However, the lack of rice processing machines impedes the quality of output. Kwara State Government should provide farmers with affordable rice processing implements to improve the quality of rice produced in the state. Presently, Kwara contributes merely 6.2 per cent of the total rice production in the country. Kwara state can become a hub of rice production with the support of the government.
  • The Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) should be revitalized so that extension workers can be deployed to give necessary support to farmers. The 1 per Local Government (LG) extension workers deployed by the Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI) is grossly insufficient. Also, while deploying extension workers to rural areas, logistics should be provided for effectiveness and efficiency.
  • While the provision of tractors at a subsidized rate by the present administration is commendable, more mechanized farming implements like planters, harvesters and others should be provided to encourage commercial crop production.
  • Development of good road networks will ease the transportation of agricultural produce from rural to urban areas.
  • The government should put in place measures aimed at getting feedback from farmers directly rather than going through political farmers with self-serving agendas.

These recommendations will greatly help to reduce youth apathy for crop production. Robust agricultural policies will help reawaken youth consciousness to the prospects of crop production in Kwara state, thereby, changing the narrative that crop production is the sole prerogative of the aged. Unless the Government makes farming enticing and alluring to youths, utilizing agriculture as a veritable tool for galvanizing economic growth will be unrealistic in Kwara State.

Glory Aregbesola

Researcher/Content Creator,




Hon. Dauda Lata

Former member, Kwara State House of Assembly,

Former TIC Chairman, Patigi LG/



Mr. Tunde Bakare

CEO, Kwara Tabloid Offline and Online/



Mr. Bioye Mumeen

Director, National Cereal Research Institute (NCRI),



Mr. David Nisi

Extension Officer,

Village Alive Development Initiative (VADI),


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