(THE RIVERS STATE PERSPECTIVE)
Complete Material Cost #3,000
The study evaluated the role of agriculture in the economic development of a nation. The specific objectives of the study are to know the extent to which Rivers State is currently equipped to increase production in the agricultural sector, to examine the extent to which agriculture can add as a component of the country’s economic market, to determine now Nigeria can successfully diversity into agriculture, to find out the challenges facing the agricultural sector in Rivers State. The population of the study was made of the entire staffs of state ministry of agriculture in Port Harcourt. Therefore the population of the study is unknown. The sample size of this study is judgmental sample of 100 respondents which comprise of both the senior and junior staffs of the state and federal ministry of agriculture in Port Harcourt. Data used in this study were obtained from two source namely, primary and secondary sources. Findings revealed that Agricultural sector has significant impact on economic development of Rivers State, and there is significant relationship between diversification into agriculture and economic development of Rivers State. Based on the findings of the study summary, conclusion and recommendations were made that in order to facilitate agricultural development, government should adopt an integrated approach which is a multidimensional strategy for improving the quality of the life of the people by supporting farmers so they can acquire machines and other farm equipments, Rivers State should be deeply involved in agriculture since it has positive impact on the economy, there is the need for training and retraining of the people to enhance the dissemination of new skills and ideas on the establishment, management and skills of small scale industries.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Even though Nigeria has a high poverty rate, it still has a higher GDP in comparison to other countries of Africa. Till now Nigeria has been trailing behind Western economies. Today, almost fifty years after gaining independence, Nigeria should compete with economies of the world rather than just African economies. The country is rich in natural resources and has identified the fact that taking appropriate measures can speed its economic development.
With this foresight, it crafted the vision 20-20-20 program. This program aims to make Nigeria one of the twenty largest world economies by the year 2020. The seven points in the 20-20-20 program are: power and energy, food security and agriculture, wealth creation and employment, mass transportation, land reforms security and functional education.
The country seeks to become a leading economy in Africa and a major player in the world’s economic and political affairs and their 20-20-20 plan is their guideline. To become a developed nation, Nigeria needs to speed up its economic growth by focussing on vital economic sectors like education, energy, agriculture and manufacturing. At this point in Nigeria’s development, the best approach is to focus on the agricultural sector. By focusing on agricultural development, Nigeria can speed up its economic growth in the coming decade.
Currently, Nigeria has 75 percent of its land suitable for agriculture, but only 40% is cultivated. That indicates there is much room for the county to focus on. This addresses the food security and agriculture component of their plan along with the focus on employment for all. However, to move forward, the country must increase the low productivity of current agricultural companies, engage competition within the agricultural sector, develop domestic policies and increase funding (Ayodele, Obafemi and Ebong, 2013).
In terms of the 20-20-20 plan for agriculture, growth promotion is the first goal. There are also goals in the areas of livelihoods improvement, sustainable development and policy and institutional reforms. This involves conducting agricultural surveys, and establishing smallholder fattening schemes for livestock. It also includes the rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructures and expansion of those structures as well. There is also a call for a 1,000 capacity community farm center; there is also a plan for increasing the effectiveness of fish hatcheries by establishing parent stock programs and there will also be vaccination programs for livestock. There will be a revision of the guaranteed minimum price system for crops and livestock; as well there will also be government training for the first 10,000 new agricultural workers (Ayoola, 2009).
One component in determining how to use agriculture to improve economics in Nigeria is to evaluate the historical efforts in terms of agriculture that Nigeria has engaged in since its independence. This will ensure that the country does not repeat past mistakes. In addition, this evidence will demonstrate whether or not it is feasible for agriculture to be a primary factor in Nigerian economic development.
Along with historical factors, there must be an evaluation of both internal and external factors that could impact the Nigerian agriculture market. In addition, it is important to identify the strategies needed to enhance economic growth through the use of agriculture.
Under right condition, increase in agriculture productivity causes the incomes of both small and large farmers to increase and generate employment opportunities. These increases in income is particularly important because the proportion of people mainly dependent on agriculture for their income remains high; ranging from 45% in East and South Asia, to 53.2% in Asia and 63.5% in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ogen, 2007). The agricultural sector has a traditional role to play in the path of economic development. But in an economy like Nigeria, the agricultural sector had suffered set back in recent times, which has attributed to widespread poverty and insecurity experienced today. Though, no so-called developed nation today actualized this status solely by agricultural transformation, but in many, conscious efforts on agriculture at the early stage of development played a critical role in economic development.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
Agriculture is faced with fundamental changes. Human population growth, improved incomes and shifting dietary patterns are increasing the demand for food and other agricultural products. At the same time, however, the natural resource base underpinning agricultural production is under threat, with growing threats to genetic diversity and the degradation of land and water resources. Agriculture improves food security in many ways, most fundamentally by increasing the amount of food but also by providing the means to purchase food. Through growth in agricultural productivity and higher farm profits, the rural poor can generate additional income to purchase more food, including more diverse kinds of food.
Despite the strategies adopted by various governments in Nigeria to address agriculture and rural underdevelopment problem, the story remains the same. There are still inequality and poverty particularly in the rural areas. There are a lot of public complaints on the underdevelopment situations of many rural areas which constitutes a threat to Nigeria’s vision of becoming one of the twenty strongest economies by the year 2020 (vision 2020). A lot of resources (financial) have been injected, but all in vain (Yakubu, 2009).
1.3 PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to examine the role of agriculture in the economic development of a nation. The specific objectives are as follows:
1.To know the extent to which agriculture can add as a component of the country’s economic market
- To examine the extent to which Nigeria is currently equipped to increase production in their agricultural sector?
- To determine how Nigeria can successfully diversify into agriculture.
- To find out the challenges facing the agricultural sector in Nigeria.
- To find lasting solution to the problems of agriculture in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
These questions will be addressed via a detailed review of the literature and careful analysis of historical data and current data.
- What is needed in order for Nigeria to add agriculture as a component of the country’s economic market?
- How is Nigeria currently equipped to increase production in their agricultural sector?
- Is it plausible for Nigeria to successfully diversify into agriculture?
- What are the challenges facing the agricultural sector in Nigeria?
- Are there solutions to the problems of agriculture in Nigeria.
HO: Agricultural Sector has no significant impact on Economic Development of Nigeria.
HI: Agricultural Sector has significant impact on Economic Development of Nigeria.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is expected to make recommendations to the government and the general public on the roles of agriculture on the economic development of Nigeria.
The study will also help policy makers to ascertain the need for carrying out effective agricultural system in nigeria.
The opinions of this study will also open up future vents for young practitioners /scholars in the academic field in topical area under investigation and finally, this study will also be a useful guide and information to other students that will carry out their studies in the future.
1.7 SCOPE OR DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study limit scope to the agricultural with emphasis on state and federal ministries of agriculture Port Harcourt.
1.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
In carrying out an investigation of this native the researcher must of necessity be faced the following constraint.
Time: The time frame provision for this study was too short.
Financial constraints: Usually, a study of this nature involved some level of expenditure therefore; finance was also a limiting factor.
Poor response: The poor response from the respondent and inability to access the entire population also was another constrain to the study.
Organizational policy: The policies of the organizations also were another factor that limited the study.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Agriculture: The science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products.
Economic development: It is the efforts that seek to improve the economic well-being and quality of life for a community by creating and/or retaining jobs and supporting or growing incomes and the tax base.
Economy: The wealth and resources of a country or region, especially in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services.
Development: The process of developing or being developed.
Economic growth: The increase in the amount of goods and services produced per head of the population over a period of time.
Complete Material Cost #3,000