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Scholarly Journal of Agricultural Science Vol. 7(1), pp. 1-5 February, 2017
Available online at http://
ISSN 2276-7118 © 2016 Scholarly-Journals

Role of Smallholder Farmers in Nigeria’s Food Security

Sabo, B.B.*1, Isah, S.D.2, Chamo, A.M.3 and Rabiu, M.A.4

1,2,3,4Jigawa Research Institute, PMB 5015, Kazaure, Jigawa State

Abstract :


The study reviewed the role of smallholder farmers in ensuring food security in Nigeria. Smallholder farmers are those farmers owning small-based plots of land on which they grow subsistence crops and one or two cash crops relying almost exclusively on family labor. More than 80 percent of farmers in Nigeria are small holder farmers. Agriculture is a major contributor to Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) and small-scale farmers play a dominant role in this contribution. A small scale farmer depends on his efficiency in the utilization of basic production resources available to him. He makes a significant and important contribution to the national product, about 99 percent of total crops output. The small scale farmer is the main producer of 98 percent of the food consumed in Nigeria with the exception of wheat. Over the years, deliberate efforts have been made to improve agricultural production by Nigerian governments and some foreign bodies but these efforts have not yielded expected results. The Nigerian economy has what it takes to be food-secured given the enormous natural resources endowed with. What is required is a re-orientation of the agricultural sector by properly repositioning the peasant farmers who are the providers of food in Nigeria. With their immense collective experience and intimate knowledge of local conditions, smallholders hold many of the practical solutions that can help place agriculture on a more sustainable and equitable footing. To do this, they need help to overcome market failures and other disincentives for sustainable land use, including insecure land tenure, high transaction costs and weak institutional support. A major challenge will be to address the discrepancies of scale between decisions made at the farm level and impacts at larger ecosystem scales.


Key words: Smallholder, Farmer, Food security.

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