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Poll ended at Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:02 pm

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I am Maclatunji, your moderator.

The Topic: Agriculture is Fundamental to Nigeria's Emergence as a Global Economic Power: Agree or Disagree?

The Debating Teams

JARUS CAREER CLUB 2 (JCC 2) was created in May 29, 2016 on WhatsApp to mark Democracy Day and we had Jarus giving tips about how to navigate the different industries in Nigeria, the group has been very lively ever sense.

JCC 2 is represented by:

1. Lead Debater: BrainyWritings

2. Supporting Debater: MagReuby

3.Reserved Debater: kuljoe

JARUS CAREER CLUB 3 (JCC 3) was created in May 1, 2017 on WhatsApp to mark Democracy Day and we had Jarus giving tips about how to navigate the different industries in Nigeria, the group has been dynamic and lively, showing a lot of passion and interest in JarusHub activities including this debate.

JCC 3 is represented by:
1. Lead Debater: Gerrard59

2. Supporting Debater: Ayeenkuz

3. Reserve Debater: Timmyblinks

We have a panel of 5 judges including:

1. Jacob

2. Mayowaak

3. Aishatu

4. Majente

We will provide the handle of the last judge as soon as we get them.

Chairman of the debate


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2.30PM (Nigerian time): Moderator opens the debate thread

2.31-2.40: Introduction of the debating teams and key stakeholders

2.41-2.50: Debaters from both teams signify presence on thread

2.51-3.05: Group 1 Lead debater makes opening presentation

3.06-3.20: Group 3 Lead debater makes opening presentation

3.21-3.30: Group 1 Supporting debater makes opening presentation

3.31-3.40: Group 3 Supporting debater makes opening presentation

3.41-4.25: Opening rebuttal stage; both sides ask questions and counter each other

4.26-5’ O’Clock Hour: Judges make comments and ask questions

5’ O’Clock Hour: Closing remarks and opening of voting poll for 24 hours to decide winner

You are welcome to the final.

I have been told that BrainyWritings is yielding his Lead Debater position to Reuben.

Reuben you now have the floor to make the opening presentation for Team 2


JCC 2 is supporting the notion that Agriculture is fundamental to Nigeria’s emergence as a global economic power.


Today, fifty-seven years of post-independence, Nigeria should compete favourably with global economies rather than just African economies. This motivated the vision 20-20-20 program which aims to make our country one of the twenty largest global economies by the year 2020 and agriculture is fundamental in making this a reality.

Economic history is replete with ample evidence that agricultural revolution is a pre-requisite for economic growth, especially in developing countries (Byerlee et al., 2005; Woolf and Jones, 1969).
The importance of agriculture development in ensuring poverty reduction and the economic growth hinges on the fact that 70% of the population is employed in the agriculture sector. The sector’s role of food production, provision of resources for other sectors, creation of viable market and domestic savings gives credence to its importance in economic growth (CIA, 2013).

In 1960, petroleum contributed 0.6% to GDP while agriculture’s contribution stood at 67% (Yakub, 2008). In the 1960s, Nigeria was the world’s largest exporter of groundnut, the second largest exporter of cocoa and palm produce and an important exporter of rubber and cotton (Sekunmade, 2009). Last year, non-oil sector was the major driver of the economy, contributing 91.6% to Nigeria's GDP. Agriculture was the best performing sector, followed by Information and Communication, and Education emerged sectors with respective y/y (year-on-year) growth of 4.1 percent, 3.9 percent and 1.4 percent.

A majority of agricultural land in Nigeria remains uncultivated. About 34 million hectares of the land area is under cultivation and the diverse climate makes production of a variety of products, from tropical and semitropical areas of the world possible (Chauvin et al., 2012).


Dependence on oil
Originally an agriculture dependent country, Nigeria shifted focus to oil exports in the 1970s. By 1974, shares of petroleum had increased to 45.5% almost doubling that of agriculture which had decreased to 23.4% (Yakub, 2008). Quest for cleaner energy to curtail climate change has led to drop in demand and price of oil making it insufficient in sustaining the economy and stimulating needed economic growth hence the need to refocus on agriculture.

Untapped potentials
The sector has several untapped potentials for growth and development in the availability of
land, water, labour and its large internal markets (Lipton, 2012). It is estimated that about 84 million hectares of Nigeria’s total land area has potential for agriculture; however, only about 40% of this is under cultivation (CIA, 2013).

Productivity in the cultivated lands is low due to small farm holdings and primitive farming methods. Nigeria has therefore become heavily dependent on food imports. In 2012 alone, importation of wheat was valued at $1billion (Nzeka, 2013). This does not promote savings and not economically friendly.

Way forward

There are five inter-sectoral linkages through which agriculture contributes to economic growth: provision of food, labour, market, domestic saving and foreign exchange. These linkages can serve as reference points through which the government can target development policies and disburse investment funds tactically ensuring agriculture development which is a prerequisite for industrialization.

An offshoot of income growth is increased domestic savings, both at micro and macro levels as observed in developed economies like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and recently, China (Harbaugh, 2004). Agriculture therefore contributes to economic growth by increasing the incomes of majority of the population thereby strengthening their saving capacity (Engida et al., 2011).

Processing raw materials into finished goods to improve its price in the international market. For example, the 72 tonnes of yam exported by Pa Audu to the US and UK could have been processed to pharmaceutical grade starch (PGS) which is a major component of tablets and capsules and would weigh 9.7 tonnes of pure PGS which will yield more than five times the revenue gotten from the yam. Same goes for cassava, instead of just consuming it, we could convert it to PGS and make good money. Building and reviving facilities for processing raw materials gotten from farm produce and livestock rearing would boost local production, export, minimize imports and spending, create jobs, reduce poverty and starvation.


Imagine what would happen to our economy if Nigeria repeats the agricultural feats in the 1960s but this time leverage on the availability of land, water, labour, large internal and external markets, mechanized farming, training of farmers, making viable farm inputs easily accessible and building processing plants. It is incontrovertible that Agriculture is fundamental in helping Nigeria emerge one of the best global economies.


Byerlee, D., Diao, X., & Jackson, C. (2005). Agriculture, Rural Development and Pro-poor growth: Country experiences in the post-reform era. Agriculture and Rural Development Discussion Paper 21. The World Bank.

Chauvin, N., Mulangu, F., & Porto, G. (2012). Food Production and Consumption Trends in Sub-Saharan Africa: Prospects for the Transformation of the Agricultural Sector. UNDP Working Paper for African Human Development Report, pp. 1-74

CIA. (2013). The World Fact Book. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from https://www.cia.gov/library/publication ... os/ni.html

Eicher, C. & Witt, L. (1964). Agriculture in Economic Development New York: McGraw Hill, London

Engida, E., Tamru, S., Tsehaye, Debowicz, D., Dorosh, P. & Robinson, S. (2011). Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis of Alternative Financing Options. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Development Strategy and Governance Division, Ethiopia Strategy Support Program II (ESSP II). Washington DC: IFPRI

Harbaugh (2004). China’s High Savings Rates. Prepared for conference on “The Rise of China Revisited: Perception and Reality”, National Chengchi University, published in Chinese in conference volume.

Lipton, M. (2012). Learning from others: Increasing Agricultural Productivity for Human Development in Sub-Saharan. United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa.
http://web.undp.org/africa/knowledge/WP ... tivity.pdf

Nzeka, U. (2013). Grain and Feed Annual; Annual Report 2013. USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. http://gain.fas.usda.gov/Recent%20GAIN% ... 3-2013.pdf

Sekunmade, A. (2009). The effects of petroleum dependency on agricultural trade in Nigeria: An error correlation modeling (ECM) approach. Scientific Research and Essay, 4 (11), pp. 1385-1391

Woolf, S.S. & Jones, E.I. (1969). Agrarian change and economic development: the historical problem London: Methuen.

Yakub, M. (2008). The Impact of Oil on Nigeria's Economy: The Boom and Bust Cycles. Central Bank of Nigeria Bullion, 32 (2), pp. 41-50

https://www.focus-economics.com/country ... igeria/gdp

Essay composed by MagReuby, Supporting Debater.

BrainyWritings eventually presented but your team took about 30 minutes more than your allotted time to do so. Hopefully, we will not experience such again.

JCC 3 now have the floor. Presenting for them is their Lead Debater, Gerrard59, over to you.

Agriculture is Fundamental to Nigeria's Emergence as a Global Economic Power: Agree or Disagree?

Firstly, the key terms have to be defined:
Agriculture: Colloquially known as farming. It is the cultivation and breeding of animals, plants and fungi for food, fibre, biofuel, medicinal plants and other products utilised to sustain and enhance human life.(1)
Economic Power: Economic power can be broadly defined as the ability to control or influence the behaviour of others through the deliberate and politically motivated use of economic assets. (2). It can also be defined the ability to drive world economy and have a significant economy influence across the world is an economic powerhouse.

Agriculture cannot be an ingredient for Nigeria’s Emergence as a Global Economic Power.

Good day everyone,
My name is Uchechi Moses, a final year student in a Nigerian tertiary institution. The lead debater in Jarushub Group 3, and I am here to defend the notion that Agriculture cannot be Fundamental to Nigeria’s emergence as a Global Economic Power.

Few countries among the top 20 have agriculture constituting 10% of the GDP

The G20 is a powerful international forum that gathers world leaders, economic leaders and bankers from the top 20 of the world’s most successful and emerging economies. Collectively the group accounts for roughly 85 per cent of the world’s GDP and a staggering two-thirds of the global population. Founded in 1999, to increase global economic cooperation. These initiatives also included the founding of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. (5) They are the biggest economies in the world (6). These are the Global Economic Powers. Now read this: The Netherlands is the second biggest agricultural exporter globally and a G20 member, however, agriculture and allied services constitute a meager 1.6% of her GDP and 2% of the labour force. (7). She is not known for her foodstuffs, rather it is her knowledge driven services that make her amongst the G20 group of nations. The US is the biggest exporter of agricultural products and an economic power. But what percentage does agriculture constitute in her GDP? 1.62! From Australia’s 3.6 to South Korea’s 2.6 to France’s 1.9 to Canada’s 1.7 and lots more. Other than India and Indonesia, none of the G20 nations have agriculture constituting more than 10% of her GDP. The labour pool is even lower (6). Even Brazil that is normally described as a “breadbasket” has agriculture constituting 5.5% of her $2.14 trillion economy. Who knows of South Korean farmers? What we know are Samsung, Daewoo, Kia, her shipping industry etc.

South Korea suffered from a devastating war with her northern neighbours and had a lower GDP per Capita than Nigeria in the ‘50s, did not develop economically through agriculture. Japan that got nearly annihilated through nuclear warfare did not develop economically through agriculture. What about the most recent success of capitalism, China? It was the massive industrialisation by Deng Xiaoping after visiting Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew that made him liberalised the economy and it boomed, not cultivating cucumber or palm trees (8). So why then should we accept that agriculture will make Nigeria an economic giant?

Nigeria can be an economic giant without Agriculture

Yes, agriculture as a business goes beyond tilling the soil and herding animals. However, agriculture cannot make us an economic giant. Becoming an economic giant goes beyond cultivating palm trees in Cross River, growing yams in Benue, planting sugar in Taraba or ploughing cocoa in Ondo.. Deng Xiaoping of China did not use agriculture to kick-start her economic miracle in the ‘80s. Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore did not constitute an Operation Feed the Nation Programme to develop from a Third World country status to First World. From Singapore (biggest country without farms (4) to Malaysia to the US to Japan etc. Majority of the poorest nations are in Africa and parts of Asia, majority also have agriculture as their main foreign earner and a big percentage of the GDP. So why should we believe Nigeria can become an economic giant through agriculture? Who agriculture epp?

Agriculture employs less people in Global Economic Powers

The proportion of employment by agriculture is minute in global economic power horses. Yes, it produces food for the populace, but less people are employed in the industry in economic giants. From Japan of 3.43% to Switzerland of 3.1% to the US of 1.62%, (3) the proportion that agriculture employs is low. And these nations are in the top ten amongst global economies. Agriculture being fundamental to high global economic status, but employing less people. Is that one agriculture?

1. International Labour Organization. (1999). Safety and health in agriculture, 7 ISBN 978-92-2-111517-5. Retrieved 6th July 2017.
2. Frost, E.L (2009). https://www.questia.com/magazine/1G1-19 ... omic-power Questia: Joint-Force Quarterly, 53.
3. The World Bank (2016). Employment in agriculture (% of total employment) http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.AGR.EMPL.ZS
4. Which is largest country without any farms? Answers. http://www.answers.com/Q/Which_is_large ... _any_farms
5. What is the G20? The annual summit of global leaders in Hamburg explained. Express, http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/825 ... -explained
6. Biggest Economy (GDP Nominal). Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_c ... DP(nominal)
7. Largest Food Exports by Country. World Atlas. http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the- ... world.html
8. Lee Kuan Yew (2002). China: The Dragon with a Long Tail. From Third World to First: The Singapore Story - 1965-2000. Harper; 1st edition. New York. 595

A very nice and timely presentation Gerrard59.

We now revert to JCC2 for their Supporting debater's post. MagReuby.Over to you MagReuby.

JCC 2 have informed me they are waiving the chance to have their supporting debater present. We now move on to JCC 3 with TimmyBlinks replacing Ayeenkuz as supporting debater. Over to you TimmyBlinks.

Timmyblinks, the supporting debater for Jarushub Group 3.

Every Country is Producing Food

Most African nations produce food – yet most are in penury. So what difference will our agric sector be? Nadir! What kind and amount of agricultural products are we to produce that will be the engine room of the society? There are Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, The Netherlands, Vietnam, Thailand etc producing lots of food/agric products. What difference will ours make?

As compared to industrial products or services, that few countries are proficient in – and is their economic engine room. Agriculture can be performed by anyone, whether in Fiji, Kiribati, Zambia, Laos, and Bolivia. Unsurprisingly, they are not world economic powers or in the G20 as my co-debater mentioned.

There is a global glut in Agricultural Produce

Presently, there exist a glut in major agric produce (REF). Dairy, beef, pork, corn, sugar etc. Due to excessive production, everyone producing same products, a glut has emerged. The European Union and Japan recently agreed a trade deal in which the EU is hoping to find NEW markets for cheese products due to the glut in the bloc. Also, US farmers dived into debt because Chinese authorities refused entry of un-examined corn products. EU dairy farmers have been seen throwing and dumping milk in the fields, gutters, roads and even parliamentarian buildings due to over-production. These examples and many others are possible because the agricultural sector is not an economic engine room of any of the countries.

So ladies and gentlemen, I humbly ask, with these points, do you (still) believe that Agriculture is fundamental to Nigeria’s Emergence as an Economic giant? I presume NO as the answer emphatically.

Modern Agriculture cannot support our population in employment terms

Nigeria has a population of 180 million people, agriculture as practised presently cannot be the economic engine of the country. It cannot employ as much persons as the service or industrial sectors. Most countries that are classified as emerging economies were not classified based on agriculture. Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, South Korea etc. Agriculture cannot be the engine room of the economy considering our population.

What’s Behind the Glut in Agricultural Commodities? The Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/whats-behi ... 1476670020
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