In the 1960s, the agricultural sector was the most important in terms of contributions to domestic production, employment and foreign exchange earnings. The situation remained almost the same three decades later with the exception that it is no longer the principal foreign exchange earner, a role now being played by oil.
The sector remained stagnant during the oil boom decade of the 1970s, and this accounted largely for the declining share of its contributions. The trend in the share of agriculture in the GDP shows a substantial variation and long-term decline from 60% in the early 1960s through 48.8% in the 1970s and 22.2% in the 1980s. Unstable and often inappropriate economic policies (of pricing, trade and exchange rate), the relative neglect of the sector and the negative impact of oil boom were also important factors responsible for the decline in its contributions.
On its diversity, Nigerian agriculture features tree and food crops, forestry, livestock and fisheries. In 1993 at 1984 constant factor cost, crops (the major source of food) accounted for about 30% of the Gross Domestic Products (GDP), livestock about 5%, forestry and wildlife about 1.3% and fisheries accounted 1.2%.
One of the food crops grown in Nigeria is Maize. Nigeria has an annual maize production in excess of 7 million metric tons and ranges as the ten largest producers in the world and Foraminifera Market Research seeks to expose the investment opportunity in the supply of the product to local industries in Nigeria through feasibility report.
Maize (Zea mays, L.) is a staple food of great socio-economic importance in the Sub-Saharan Africa of which Nigeria is inclusive with per capital kg/year of 40. Nigeria has an annual maize production in excess of 7 million metric tons. In terms of volume produced, maize is the third most important cereal grown in Nigeria after sorghum and millet.It comes after wheat and rice in terms of world importance.
The total land area planted to maize in Nigeria is above 2.5 million hectares with an estimated yield of about 1.4 metric tones per hectare.
However, the unfolding performance of maize can be attributed to the fact that, bulk of the country’s farm, over 90% is dependent on subsistence agriculture (small holder farmers) with rudimentary farm system, low capitalization and low yield per hectare. Moreover, price fluctuation, diseases and pest, poor storage facilities and efficiency of resource utilization are the identified problems of low maize production in Nigeria.
The situation highlighted above has lead to a deficit in supply of maize which current stands at about 8.5 million tones annually to the 7 million tones being supplied annually. This is a seller’s market and an opportunity for savvy investors to take position.
The return on investment on the trading of maize is estimated between 10%- 15%.