The need to revive green revolution

Historically, the green revolution initiative was a major agriculture policy of the Shehu Shagari administration. It was introduced in April 1980 with the fundamental objective of ensuring self sufficiency in food production together with introduction of modern technology into the Nigerian agriculture sector.

The term green revolution relates to the use of high yielding variety (HYV) seeds and fertilizer to increase the grain yield. A research conducted by the International Institute for the Improvement of Maize and Wheat located in Mexico, produced the breeding of improved seeds leading to high yields of maize and wheat. Furthermore, scientists’ development in herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers together with the improved seeds makes a case for sustainable production of food.

Nevertheless, to achieve significant feat in green revolution, the need to improve supportive structures and inputs in agriculture i.e extension aids, storage and credit provision underscores the basis of a broader definition of the term.

Before the initiation of the project, a study was conducted by Nigeria in conjunction with World Bank consultants in 1980 which revealed a national food deficiency amounting to 2.6 million tons of grains for the 1979-1980 period and was predicted to rise to 5.3 million by 1985 with the situation in fish and livestock much worse than those of grains.

On the basis of increasing deficit, it was suggested that agricultural production needs a growth rate of about 6.6% per annum to eradicate the deficit in five years together with governmental spending totaling 500 million dollars per annum.

Even more important, the major objectives of the programme are essential enough to warrant its revival (given it more paper concentration than what it is).

The objectives of green revolution include:
1: To become self reliant in basic food requirement
2: To ensure adequate, reliable and safe food supplies for a rapidly growing population
3: To raise and stabilize the nutritional standards of Nigerians
4: To ensure stability in food commodity markets
5: To ensure fair and reasonable levels and distribution of income among food producers.
Thus, if the green revolution is be given more concentration, then it will allow agricultural operations on a large scale, increase potential to grow any crop anywhere and also eliminate the need to fallow lands.

Maawiya Abdullahi Katako,
Department of Mass Communication,
Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger state