7 ways to raise farm productivity and boost growth

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7 ways to raise farm productivity and boost growth

Driven partly by the growth of international supermarket chains, African economies have progressively diversified from traditional cash crops into fruits, vegetables, fish, and flowers. Basically, lack of access to finance and poor infrastructure have slowed progress. Government support is crucial to coordinate the integration of smallholder farmers into larger cooperatives and groups, may be needed in other areas that aid integration with wider markets. Other factors crawling profitable yield in output are hereby under listed amongst others;

Reform land ownership with productivity and inclusiveness in mind:

Africa has one of the highest area of arable uncultivated land in the world (202 million hectares) yet most farms occupy less than 2 hectare which is below the standard of a commercial Agriculture. This results from poor land governance and ownership which often times results in clashes and misunderstanding between communities leading to damage in crops and lowering productivity. Land reform has had mixed results on the African continent but changes that clearly define property rights, ensure the security of land tenure, and enable land to be used as collateral will be necessary if many African nations are to realise potential productivity gains.

Develop high-yield crops:

Increased research into plant breeding, which takes into account the unique soil types of Africa, is a major requirement. According to a report, a dollar invested in such research by the CGIAR consortium of agricultural research centres is estimated to yield six dollars in benefits.  Taking the international institute of tropical Agriculture in Nigeria as an example 100 cultivars of cassava have been successfully developed and more are yet under research, this will -no doubt- boost productivity.

 Boost irrigation:

For a successful germination, the role of water cannot be undermined. However, with the growing effects of climate change on weather patterns, more irrigation will be needed. Average yields in irrigated farms are 90% higher than those of nearby rain-fed farms.

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 Increase the use of fertilizers:

As soil fertility deteriorates, fertilizer use must increase. Governments need to ensure the right type of fertilizers are available at the right price, and at the right times. Thanks to various governmental and non governmental initiatives that invests heavily in this context. Fertilizer education lessens the environmental impact and an analysis of such training programs in East Africa found they boosted average incomes by 61%.

 Adopt genetically modified (GM) crops:

The adoption of GM crops in Africa remains limited. Resistance from overseas customers, particularly in Europe, has been a hindrance. But with Africa’s rapid population growth, especially Nigeria, high-yield GM crops that are resistant to weather shocks provide an opportunity for Africa to address food insecurity. An analysis of more than one hundred studies found that GM crops  reduced pesticide use by 37%, increased yields by 22%, and farmer profits by 68farmImprove market access, regulations, and governance.

Improving rural infrastructures and facilities:

Improving rural infrastructure such as roads is crucial to raising productivity through reductions in shipping costs and the loss of perishable produce. Meanwhile, providing better incentives to farmers, including reductions in food subsidies, could raise agricultural output and profit consequently.
As a matter of importance, improving rural infrastructure and facilities will help reduce the risk of rural-urban migration. This will also help to maintain a balance in the ratio of population of the rural and urban societies.

Better use of information technology:

Information technology can support better crop, fertilizer and pesticide selection. It also improves land and water management, provides access to weather information, and connects farmers to sources of credit. Simply giving farmers information about crop prices in different markets has increased their bargaining power. For instance the use of aeroponics in planting yam is an advancement in the technology and this has also been practiced by the international institute of tropical Agriculture. Other various sophisticated technological gadgets has been put in practice in Agriculture that has proven the proportional increase in yield with the better use of information technology

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In lieu of the aforementioned, the need to boost productivity and consequently Agricultural output and profit is of a considerable importance in Agriculture and therefore, all effort geared towards eradicating obstructives shall be welcomed.

#Let’s stand to boost productivity#

Written by: Al-Mustapha Ibrahim I
University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria.
Edited by: Campus Agriculture Network Editorial Board.

Categories: Uncategorized

1 Comment

Unknown · July 2, 2019 at 4:45 pm

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