The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is one of the cardinal ministries that should drive the economy of Nigeria if the country has not neglected it for decades.
This is a ministry under the regional government before the military takeover that drove the economy of the regions and they were able to build several projects that are still relevant today.
The current minister of Agriculture is Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, a former minister of the Nigeria’s ministry of environment. He replaced Sabo Nanono.
Origin of Federal Ministry of Agriculture in Nigeria
The creation of 12 states from the existing four regions by the military regime of Gen Yakubu Gowon in 1967 brought a lot of restructuring into some ministries.
One of them is the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, where each of the new states has a Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Before then, agriculture exports contributed immensely to Nigeria’s revenue and reserve because each of the regions have specific non-oil produce they generated revenue from.
The Northern region generated revenue from groundnut and were famous for groundnut pyramid and sesame seeds cultivation, the Western region created wealth from cultivation and exports of cocoa while Eastern and Mid-western region dominated the global stage with their palm oil.
However, the ministry has undergone several changes in names and sometimes in re-defined responsibility.
One of such was undertaken by the former President Goodluck Jonathan when he split Water resources from the Ministry of Agriculture
The ministry has several units, departments, agencies that help it in achieving its mandates. They include:
- 15 Research Institutes
- 16 Federal Colleges and Forestry
- 17 departments
- Universities of Agriculture
11 parastatal under Nigeria’s ministry of agriculture and rural development are:
- Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Abuja
- Bank Of Agriculture (BOA), Kaduna
- Agricultural And Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI), Ilorin
- Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIS), Abuja
- Nigeria Agricultural Seed Council, Abuja
- National Centre For Agricultural Mechanization (NCAM), Ilorin
- Nigeria Institute Of Animal Science (NIAS), Abuja
- Nigeria Institute Of Soil Science (NISS), Abuja
- Veterinary Council Of Nigeria (VCN), Abuja
- National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), Abuja
- Agricultural Research Council Of Nigeria (ARCN), Abuja
|Agencies||Year of Establishment||Core Mandate|
|NAQS||2017||To prevent the entry and spread of exotic pests and diseases of plants, animals and aquatic resources and their products into Nigeria|
|BOA||1972||To provide credit facilities to small and large scale farmers and small businesses within rural areas to boost food production and agricultural products|
|ARMTI||1980||To build and strengthen human resources management capacity in the agricultural and rural sectors of the Nigerian economy.|
|NAIS||November 15, 1987||To insure agricultural projects against natural hazards|
|NASC||December 2007||To develop and regulate the national seed industry|
|NCAM||1990||To engage in innovative and adaptive research leading to the design and development of efficient agricultural machinery and technologies in Nigeria|
|NIAS||2007||To regulate Animal Science practice in Nigeria.|
|NISS||2017||To regulate the profession of Soil Science in Nigeria.|
|VCN||1952||To register and maintain a register of persons qualified to practice as Veterinary Surgeons in Nigeria|
|NALDA||1992||To make provision for strategic public support for land development so as to make Nigerians produce what they consume|
|ARCN||May 26, 1999||To coordinate, supervise, monitor, and evaluate agricultural research institutes in Nigeria|
Core Mandates of FMARD:
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has the most elaborate functions in Nigeria’s economy, here is the highlight of 11 core mandates of the ministry:
1) To promote agro-processing, preservation, and storage to reduce pre and post-harvest losses to the barest minimum.
2) To develop an efficient competitive and self–sustaining production, health and management of improved livestock species
3) To provide necessary facilities at the grazing reserves and support ranching facilities.
4) To consistently encourage agricultural commodities development and marketing institutions.
5) To develop integrated Pest Control and Management System for sustainable crop and livestock production in Nigeria
6) To ensure that foreign pests and animal-related diseases do not penetrate the Nigerian market
7) To build capacity and vocational skills for Agric sector and stakeholders.
8) To collaborate with the 36 states and LGA, and other stakeholders in the planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of agricultural policies throughout Nigeria
9) To create an enabling environment for the cultivation of agricultural products
10) To create marketing opportunities for agricultural products through promotion and support
11) To enhance agricultural production and productivity through the development of agricultural technology
Head office of FMARD:
- Kapital Road, Area 11, Abuja, Nigeria
- Official website: fmard.gov.ng
With 11 agencies and several other departments, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development needs to do more to ensure that some of the incentives, grants, and agric loans get to the rural framer who needs the supports to increase production.
Giving incentives to party members who are not real farmers will not make Nigeria food sufficient country.
Most of the real farmers do not speak English, FMARD needs to develop their programmes in local dialect to reach the farmers at the rural areas.