Agriculture is one of the main sources of Nigerian economy. It is a source of livelihood for the majority of Nigerian. Agriculture used to be the mainstay of Nigeria economy before the oil bloom. President Muhammadu Buhari promised Nigerian diversification of the economy by focusing more on Agriculture. The president launched the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) to ensure the provision of the required legislative and agricultural framework, macro policies, security, infrastructure and institutional mechanisms to allow farmers access essential inputs, finance, information, agricultural services and markets.
This article seeks to examine various legal frameworks that are put in place to encourage farming.
Legal Framework on Agriculture in Nigeria
1. Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020: For any entity to operate as a business in Nigeria, it must be incorporated and regulated by the Corporate Affairs Commission, a body established under CAMA. The recently passed law sets out options through which and the parameters within which a business can operate in Nigeria. Some of these options include – Limited Liability Company (Ltd), Limited Partnership (LP), Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) or a Business Name.
2. The National Agricultural Seeds Act Cap. N5 Vol. 10 LFN 2004
The overall objective of this Act is to harmonise the seed industry with other agricultural input industries to meet the increasing demand of the agricultural sector. The Act also proposes various programs, policies and actions regarding seed development and the seed industry.
3. National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) Act Cap. N5 Vol.10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004:
This Act seeks to provide strategic public support for land development.
4. The Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund Act Cap. A10 LFN 2004: This Act established a fund into which a certain sum of money is to be subscribed to, making provision for and guaranteeing loans for agricultural purposes by any bank.
5. Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) Act Cap. N89 LFN 2004 : This Act provides a scheme to protect the Nigerian farmer from the effect of natural hazards by introducing measures which ensure sufficient indemnity to keep the farmer in business and to establish the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation.
6. Agricultural (Control of Importation) Act Cap. A13 LFN 2004:
This Act provides for the regulation of the importation of articles used for controlling plant diseases and pests which are injurious to agricultural or horticultural crops.
7. Environmental Impact Assessment Act Cap. E 12, LFN 2004
This Act set out the general principles, procedures and methods to enable the prior consideration of environmental impact assessment on certain public or private projects. It provides the framework for assessment of the impact of activities likely to have significant impacts on natural resources and the environment.
8. The Sea Fisheries Act Cap S4 LFN 2004)
This Act provides for the control, regulation and protection of sea fisheries in the territorial waters of Nigeria. Section 1 states that “No person shall operate or navigate any motor fishing boat for the purpose of fishing or a reefer vessel for the purpose of discharging frozen fish within the territorial waters of Nigeria or its exclusive economic zone unless that boat or reefer vessel has been duly registered and licensed.”
Nigeria is a blessed country with an abundance of natural resources. The problem lies in the way the resources are managed. But over the years the agricultural sector has suffered a series of setback. Regardless of the challenges, the agriculture sector remains very important to the Nigerian economy.