Precision Agriculture: What Next for Farmers in Nigeria.

Agriculture is a vital occupation in Nigeria with increasing awareness to mitigate hunger, over 60% of her population depends on it directly and indirectly. Agriculture strongly relies on irrigation and fertilizer application in Nigeria. A total of 3.4 million hectares of land in Nigeria require irrigation. However, only 88,95 hectares currently benefit from the practice, leaving the rest to depend on the forces of nature. In the last few decades, the growing population and demand for agricultural commodities have translated into increasing pressure on global freshwater resources, often leading to their unsustainable use. Currently, only 1 per cent of Nigerian cropland is irrigated, meaning most farmers can only cultivate their fields during the rainy season. This also leaves farmers and food-insecure populations vulnerable to the changing and unpredictable climate. Expanding automated soil monitoring and sustainable irrigation systems in Nigeria would reduce some of the risks of the current system lessening the impact of droughts that have contributed to widespread famine and extending the productive growing season. For an improved yield of crops, active monitoring of the irrigation and the soil nutrient system is needed, especially in areas where resources are scarce. Real-time soil moisture monitoring in the root-zone depth is essential for effective irrigation control. Therefore, a soil nutrient and moisture monitoring instrument based on crop needs with real-time and self–powering functionality that can meet the farmer’s needs at a considerable cost is required.

Precision Agriculture in Nigeria

Precision agriculture in Nigeria is in continuous development to tackle the variation in soil and crop conditions on farmland to ensure that farmers are enabled with advanced technologies that increase profits while reducing risks. Farm management practices can be meticulously planned, measured, monitored, and controlled before planting to the distribution stage.

Precision Agriculture technological options are not yet widely used by farmers it is at the pilot stage even when used.  Little or no local management tool utilization.  Elaborate studies in the local context to show the status of adoption, efficiency, and profitability are not available. Mapping for crop and soil properties provides spatial variability for decision support. National Space Research and Development Agency provides Satellite imagery with little or no ground sensed data reducing the impact, we need to validate on the ground the high-resolution images which will reduce the discrepancies from interpretation.  Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are being used in agriculture for mapping, scouting, and spraying.

The sharing of short message services with farmers is the beginning of the use of ICT tools in the Nigerian agricultural sector, but now there are few apps developed for agricultural practices by the government and individuals.  Low public advocacy and limited access to extension services lead to limited technical knowledge by farmers due to poor funding and inadequate staffing of ADPs.  None-integration of precision agriculture into public advisory services and low capacity to use emerging technologies by agronomists and farmers.

What is next for Nigeria in Precision Agriculture?

Further research and development are necessary for a better understanding of local conditions that lead to enhanced profitability of precision agriculture: like profitability and risk, and High initial cost of investment. Support and knowledge to aid adoption are essential to be transferred to small-scale farmers. Education of farmers should be to deliver specific PA options will have to be based on the local context of factors affecting the adoption of practices like smart irrigation, and Variable rate application of fertilizers based on crop need, soil health and type, at the right location, at the right time maximizing profit for a sustainable environment.

Precision Agriculture

The adoption of precision Agriculture in Nigeria

The adoption of precision Agriculture in Nigeria is just an inevitable farming practice for Nigeria farmers to manage their farms effectively and efficiently, thereby tackling the issue of food insecurity as Nigeria is currently the world’s 7th largest at 200 million plus and is projected to become the third-largest country in the world shortly before 2050.

Emerging technologies in precision agriculture in Nigeria

 Agricultural Robots, Unmanned aerial vehicles and IoT but most of the technologies need to be combined to meet farmers’ needs effectively and efficiently with scalability.

  • Geographical Information System (GIS)
    The integrated open-source software solution can be used by agronomists and farmers to store, analyze, collate, and display temporally and spatially received geographical information from yield monitors and Global Positioning System (GPS) in a map-like form.
  • Yield Monitors

Planting without smart monitoring is not enough anymore in Nigeria, to get a maximum harvest. Farmers need information on crop yield at regular intervals by time or distance. The yield data from the advance monitors are recorded and stored at regular time intervals to a corresponding location data as received from the GPS unit, then the GIS software is used to produce yield maps.

  • Global Positioning System (GPS)

This will provide Nigeria farmers with yield data locations for the field generated from a satellite network which gives precise satellite time and location information to ground receivers within one to three meters of the field.

  • Ground sensors

These are sensors that detect light intensity, moisture, pH, temperature etc. from the soil the on-site data generated is processed and then added to the GIS database.

  • Remote Sensors

These are sensors that detect light intensity, moisture, temperature from the crop and soil etc. the remotely sensed data generated is processed and then added to the GIS database.

  • Variable Rate Technology
    These are solutions that work with precise geographical information received regarding the field state and the crop need, in terms of moisture, weather, PH, temperature, humidity and nutrients of each grid location. Which are programmed in a precise and manageable way into agricultural tools and equipment.


We need to think, plan, and see agriculture as a business. The National government need to link their policies with thinking at the local level before enforcing them. They should ensure that the policies are knowledge-based not just money based. The new goal of the precision agriculture program in Nigeria would be to develop apps and solutions to improve the productivity and income of smallholder farmers through their widespread adoption of smart and optimized management practices.