A review of the existing agricultural policies in Nigeria and their implications for effective implementation of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda
Although several agricultural policies have been implemented in Nigeria, the agriculture sector is yet to bring about the desired growth and achieve food security for the country’s over 140 million population. However, it is expected that the on-going Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) of the present administration of Dr.Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will break the jinx of ironies and contradictions of the country’s agriculture. This paper therefore reviewed the performance of the immediate past (2001) agricultural policy, detailed the bottlenecks in the past policies, key resultant constraints of agriculture and assessed the extent to which the ATA policy thrust is in the right direction. The paper depends mainly on content analysis and secondary information. It identified the gaps and weaknesses in the existing policy to include over-centralization of implementation, role conflict, undue emphasis to upstream activities, overcrowding of the private sector, multiplicity of donor supported projects, input dependency, amongst others. Adjustments proposed include: sustained political commitment, effective synergy in the operations of the
value chains, provision of optimum resources; institutionalization of a viable monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework, and review of targets in the light of available resources.
Keywords: Agricultural Policies; Agricultural Transformation Agenda.