Workers clear land to plant cassava along the river bank at Ogoniland's village of K-Dere, near Bodo, which is part of the Niger Delta region, Feb. 20. Decades of oil spills leave the Ogoniland region in southern Nigeria an environmental disaster zone -- but now hopes are high for a rebirth of farming, fishing and clean water.
By Efem Nkam Ubi for Financial Nigeria At the early stages of political independence, many countries in Africa were major exporters of agricultural products. With particular reference to Nigeria, agriculture was the main source of revenue before the discovery of oil in 1956 and two years later when Nigeria became an oil producer. Ever since, Nigeria has witnessed a continuous decline of the agricultural sector. But the importance of the sector is seen in the efforts by different administrations to implement various policies and programs aimed at increasing the productivity of the sector, albeit without much success. Agriculture has also been the favorite sector to drive the economic diversification agenda of various administrations. Many of the initiatives failed for different reasons, including a lack of commitment and corruption. Noting the important role agriculture could play in a nation's growth, the government of President Goodluck Jonathan launched the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), whose aim...
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