Agriculture and Food Security in Nigeria

Unlocking Nigeria’s Agricultural Potential: Strategies for Growth, Employment, and Food Security

Among the most enduring and damaging impacts of Nigeria’s oil and gas resource curse has been the long, steady decline of the country’s agricultural sector. Once the primary source of government revenue and foreign exchange earnings, agriculture in Nigeria has suffered from decades of underinvestment, corruption, policy neglect, and lost opportunity. Today, despite its vast agricultural potential, the country is a net food importer of food, with the vast majority of people engaged in agriculture operating at subsistence level.

The CSIS Africa Program, in conjunction with the Global Food Security Project, will examine Nigeria’s evolving agricultural landscape, identifying the major obstacles to growth and productivity, the challenges that small holder farmers confront, and the drivers of food insecurity, particularly in parts of the country’s Northern states. The project will also identify positive examples of change and reform at state and federal levels as well as promising private sector investments that illustrate the possibilities of growth, broad-based employment, and shared prosperity. Finally, the project will examine Nigeria’s designation as an “aligned” country within the U.S. Feed the Future initiative to see how the assistance it receives compares with that of Feed the Future focus countries. Given Nigeria’s size and regional influence and the importance of the U.S.-Nigeria partnership, should the United States be doing more to work with Nigeria to address food security?

The project will include podcast interviews with a range of Nigerian public and private sector stakeholders, a series of background briefs on aspects of Nigeria’s agricultural and food security challenge, and, following field visits in 2016, a final report on the impact and potential of U.S. engagement.