Why People Hate Farming

There are certain risks and challenges associated with farming as a profession. Below are some of the reasons why most people are not favorably disposed towards farming:

Traditional farming is laborious;

  • The profit margin for farming is low. Commercial and mechanized farming could provide higher returns;
  • There is a lot of uncertainties from uncontrollable sources e.g. weather, pest invasion, climate change, soil conditions, drought, desert encroachment; and
  • Most of these risk exposures are uninsurable.
Hence, many Nigerians prefer to be engaged in other professions with lesser risks’ exposures.

Risks and Challenges Associated with Agriculture

Apart from the above-mentioned risks, there are other factors, which hinder effective agricultural practices in the country. They are:

Acquisition of Land: Agriculture involves planting of crops and rearing of animals. In order to engage in farming, the first obstacle to contend with is the acquisition of sizable and suitable land for the type and scope of planned operation. Successful farmers operate on large scale. In several parts of Nigeria, most lands reserved for agricultural purposes have been taken over for residential and industrial purposes as a result of urbanization. The cash return from sale of land for residential and industrial purposes is extremely attractive compared to the return from agriculture.

Gestation Period And Seasonal Nature Of Products:
By its nature, time is required for agricultural products to mature, as each product must go through the natural life cycle. After land preparation, the fastest ones like vegetables mature within weeks, others run into months while cash crops like cocoa, rubber, and palm tree must grow for years before maturity to the cyclical/seasonal fruit yielding stage. It is the same process for animal rearing.

Farming does not produce instant cash return as in “buying and selling”. Farmers must wait for the gestation period and the season. There is time to sow, time to reap BUT the quantum of what to reap is not guaranteed – that is a big risk in agriculture.

Need For Storage And Preservation: Agricultural products are perishable. They require special storage and preservation if they must be useful at future time after their harvest. Modern storage and preservation facilities are very expensive and are beyond the reach of peasant farmers. Lack of infrastructural facilities like electricity, roads, railways, irrigation hinders the preservation of farm products – resulting in waste during the huge harvesting season. It also hinders the distribution and processing of agriculture products.

Fluctuation Of Price:
During the harvesting season, food-related-products are sold cheaply due to lack of storage, preservation and distribution channels. The reverse is the case during the farming season. A situation like this makes it difficult for the farmers to get maximum returns from their productive efforts in agriculture.

Theft: It is almost impossible to protect agricultural products from theft, especially in the area of animal husbandry. In rearing of animals like chicken, snails, pigs to mention just a few, pilferage is common. Robust and efficient guarding, supervision and monitoring systems including CCTV are required to control the risk of theft pilferage, sabotage and infidelity associated with agriculture. The cost of these resources is out of the reach of average farmers.

Lack of Agricultural Insurance: Fire outbreaks in farms are usually catastrophic. Farm fires are like bush fires and are difficult to control. The losses to farmers are usually unbearable being total loss of assets and crops in the farm. Flood losses are also catastrophic affecting practically the entire farm. The above experience notwithstanding, most farmers do not see the need for them to insure their farms against agricultural risks.

Contagious Diseases: Farm products (plants, fruits, seeds grains, crops, animals, birds etc) are often attacked by various diseases and wide spread infection which often wipe out the entire farm. Similarly, pest invasion do occur. The prevention and combat of these diseases are often beyond the knowledge or the capacity of individual farmers. The use of disease-resistant and high-yielding seeds is imperative, if the farmer wants to mitigate such risks.

TODAY the emphasis in Nigeria is RETURN  to Agriculture. It has started, it is happening and the results are coming up. Large scale farming are springing up in the North, Middle Belt and few parts of the South.

Rice importation has reduced drastically! Forecast states that Nigeria will stop rice importation in 2019. Agricultural exports have started, that's a major focus. Agric Insurance should be booming. Need for current information on Agriculture Risks/Current opportunities, Agriculture insurance. Google, you will find the answers.

Engr. Jacob Adeosun
Executive Director
Industrial Risks Protection Consultants

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