PROBLEMS FACING FARMERS / Published December 13, 2016 by Olumide Durotoluwa

Olumide Durotoluwa


Fertile fields, thriving crops, high quality and plentiful yields, healthy and numerous cattle, financial security, good education for the children, a better home, a better life for all. The African land can provide all these and much more to the hardworking smallholder African farmer, the large scale African farmer, entire countries, Africa as a continent, and even the world at large.

The potential is phenomenal. Unfortunately though, this potential remains largely untapped and the majority of African farmers today face great challenges in their daily lives. Most farmers in Africa today are smallholder or subsistence farmers who grow crops and rear animals just to feed themselves and their families.

LACK OF INFORMATION: Lack of information remains number one problem facing most small scale farmers in Africa today. Most miss out on new and improved methods of farming. Some especially those in the remote areas have no access to information at all (not even radio sets). Even those in the sub-urban areas with some limited access to information, lack what it takes to process the information they receive.

POOR FINANCIAL SUPPORT: Lack of financial support systems to enable farmers grow, expand, and maintain their yields. Although there are several Micro finance groups operating in Africa today, not so many farmers have access to these groups and not so many farmers even know how these groups operate and how such groups can help them in the long run.

LACK OF ACCESS TO FERTILIZERS: This falls under the poor financial system mentioned above. Because agricultural lands have become so expensive in Africa, most poor farmers have no choice than to farm on same pieces of land over and over again. Farming on same pieces of land for years leads to land degradation whereby fertile lands loose most of their nutrients and become unproductive or barren.

POOR TRANSPORTATION: This is a major issue facing not just agriculture but the economy in general throughout Africa. Most of the farm produce in Africa just go waste in the remote areas and it is mostly because farmers find it very difficult transporting their farm produce to the market to sell.

POOR MARKETS: Market for farmers has become one of the biggest issues for Africa today affecting the lives and living standards of millions of people. But how do we create markets and how do we make them sustainable and more importantly, how do we make them grow?