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Nigerian agriculture is characterized by considerable regional and crop diversity. Analysis of this sector, particularly the food sub-sector, is fraught with serious data problems. However, the available statistics provide a broad overview of development in agriculture upon which we can make some broad generalizations about its role in economic development and structural change in Nigeria.
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 four decades later with the exception that it is no longer the principal foreign exchange earner, a role now being played by oil.
The decline in agricultural production in Nigeria has lead to massive importation of food products in Nigeria. It is on record that Nigeria spends about $2 billion annually in importing food items. Recent reports show that each year, Nigeria spends $132 million on importation…
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