This paper uses the case of the Nigerian food and agricultural
sector to deduce implications for engendering economic policy for the
development of Africa. The food and agricultural problems of Nigeria include
low productivity and output, due to such factors as limited access to input
sources, the use of traditional technologies and ineffective government and
improvement policies. Gender related studies on Nigerian agriculture reveal
that women are pivotal to the rural economies of Africa, as food and
agricultural producers, processors and traders. In this paper, their strategic
position is juxtaposed with the fact that they often operate on the margin of
society, due to their low control of inputs and output. A paradigm
shift is advocated in the paper. This is to be effected through
deliberate incorporation of gender as a separate variable into development
programming and projects. This will ensure, among other things that production
inputs get to the real producers, many of whom are small scale women farmers.
The issue therefore, is not whether economic development policy needs to be
engendered in Africa. It is how quickly it can be done to stimulate the
development of African rural economics.
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Development efforts in the post-independence period in Nigeria
have produced mixed results. These results are due largely to the
growth-oriented approach to development planning which emphasized growth in
macroeconomic variables such as Gross National Product (GNP), investment, etc.
Thus Nigeria experienced growth up until the 1970s. Average annual rate of
growth of GDP was 4% in the 1950s, 3,5% per annum in the 1960s, and 6,5% per
annum in the 1970s (Diejomaoh, 1984). Growth rates in the 1970s were very
impressive: 8,7% in 1976-77; 7,5% in 1977-78; and 8,8% in 1979-80. In many
sectors, however, performance was poor. The agricultural sector in particular
performed very poorly.
When the first National Development Plan was launched (1962-68),
agriculture contributed 61,2% of GDP and was the chief foreign exchange earner
for the nation. Planning efforts placed emphasis on industrialization, and
concentration on industry led to the neglect of agriculture. This neglect was
worsened by the discovery and exploitation of crude oil in Nigeria. The 'oil boom' made
Nigeria heavily dependent on oil revenues, to the neglect of other section,
The neglect of the agricultural sector meant that it could not
perform the is expected of it, such as providing employment opportunities,
self-reliance in food production, higher per capital income, foreign exchange
earnings and industrial raw materials (Federal Ministry of National Planning,
1975). Instead rising food prices, growing food import bills, decline of
traditional exports, and increasing rural-urban migration were the results.
Imports of food and beverages rose from N61,6 million in 1970 to N2,1 billion
by 1981 (Adeyemo, 1984). In per capita terms, food production showed a declining
trend. In the Third Development Plan Period (1975-1980) efforts were made to
revive the agricultural sector. The growth rate of food demand was estimated to
be 3,5% per annum while that of food production was only one per cent per
annum. Thus increasing food deficits were expected if no
efforts were made to increase food production. One of the objectives for the
agricultural sector for the fourth plan period was to (Federal Ministry of
National Planning, 1981): promote increased production of food and other raw
materials to meet the needs of a growing population and rising
industrial production, a basic objective in this respect is the attainment of
self sufficiency in food within the plan period.
The Fourth Plan period witnessed the launching of the Green
Revolution Programme and implementation of various other agricultural policies.
as Table 1 shows, total food production did not grow significantly
and per capital
food production declined. While Nigeria could finance food import
bills, deficits in food production could be absorbed. However, the oil glut of
the 19808 led to dwindling foreign exchange and an inability to pay for food or
raw material imports. This, in addition to mounting foreign debt, allude it necessary to
revamp the economy. The major economic policy instrument of the 19808, to bring
about greater balance in the economies of developing countries, was the concept
of 'structural adjustment'. The Structural Adjustment Programme was adopted in
Nigeria in 1986. Among its objectives were to (Central Bank
of Nigeria, 1986):
* restructure and
diversify the productive base of the economy so as to reduce dependence on the
oil sector and imports
* achieve a
fiscal and balance of payments viability
* lay the basis
for a reasonable non-inflationary growth
* lessen the
dominance of unproductive investments in the public sector, improve the
sector's efficiency and intensify the growth potential of the private sector.
Emphasis was to be on demand management policies which were to
include (Ikpeze, 1988):
* curtailment of
recurrent expenditure through restraint on wage increases and employment freezes
* reduction in
transfers to parastatals, coupled with a policy of cost recovery.
In addition to
monetary, fiscal and external policy measures, various sectoral policies were also strengthened
to expand and diversify the production base of the economy. In the agricultural
sector, for example, the major objectives were to:
domestic food production in order to improve nutritional standards and
eliminate food imports
* increase the
supply of raw materials to the manufacturing sector
production of exportable cash crops
* raise rural
employment and incomes.
The general emphasis was on the attainment of self sufficiency in
food production and basic raw materials. Measures adopted included:
by government from direct involvement in food
* setting up the
Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI) in conjunction with
* provision of
necessary support services to private farmers.
Since the adoption of the Structural Adjustment Programme, an
Agricultural Policy was launched in 1988. This was a comprehensive policy
package to be used over the next fifteen years to improve the
performance of the nation's agricultural sector. The main goals
of the policy were (Central Bank of Nigeria, 1988):
* attainment of
self sufficiency in food production
* self sustained
growth in the agricultural sector.
Policy instruments to achieve these objectives included:
subsidies on farm inputs and equipment in order to reduce the cost of
agricultural production and producer prices
regulations to help promote exports and discourage non-essential imports
fiscal and credit guidelines to increase the competitiveness of agricultural
commodities on world markets
* review of land
acquisition and allocation laws in favour of agriculture.
Strategies to achieve these objectives included (Central Bank of Nigeria.
specialization in crops, livestock and forestry production
* encouraging all
scales of production, namely ,large, medium and smallsca1e
* input supply,
ie production/procurement and distribution of relevant agricultural inputs by government
* expansion and
rationalization of the various support services rendered by government
While the Federal Government is to provide a general policy frame work:
agricultural development, state governments were to be
primarily responsible for.
* promotion of
* ensuring effective
access to land for farming
* involvement in
training and development of appropriate personnel
* pest and
disease control at state level
credit administration at state level
* provision of
storage for price stabilization.
Local governments were to assist in extension services, the provision of
rural infrastructure and the promotion of farmers' organizations, while the
private sector was expected to play a leading role in
investment, and the production, marketing, processing and storage of farm
produce. It was also expected to participate in input supply and distribution,
agricultural mechanisation, and research and the provision of basic
infrastructure (Central Bank of Nigeria. 1988).
Thus over the years, an overriding objective for Nigeria's
agricultural sector has been the attainment of self-sufficiency in food
production. Self-sufficiency in food production implies that Nigeria should grow
enough food to feed herself and have a surplus to export if
possible. In the past, agricultural policies have tended to focus on male
farmers who grow most of the cash crops which are exported a: used as
industrial raw materials. Increasingly, however, available data shows that
food crop production and processing in Nigeria are dominated by rural
women, a in many other Mrican countries. This project work examines the survey
of food production in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Agriculture used to be the prime mover of the Nigerian economy,
especially up to the 1970s before petroleum became important. Agricultural
exports drove the economy forward. However, even at that time, the food
sub-sector was stagnating. Subsequently, stagnation and decline covered the
whole agricultural sector. Thus, for much of the period from about 1970,
agriculture has been unable to spear – head the development of the Nigerian
economy. Even, the Structural Adjustment Policy (SAP) of the 1980s was not able
to bring about development in agriculture. Much of the increase in the growth
indices for agriculture was notional, with little change in real terms. This
study hereby outline some of the problem that the agricultural sector facing
Problems of capital
Method of land acquisition
Lack of farming machineries
Marketing of farm produce
Bad road network and
Neglect by the government.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
This research work is on a survey on food production. Therefore
the objective of this study is to:
1.Identify the level of food/agricultural
production in the study area.
2.Problem facing the agricultural sector today.
3.Identify the role of the government in food
4.Identify source of capital to the farmers
5.Identify how the farmers market their goods.
1. Does increase domestic food production
improve nutritional standards and eliminate food imports?
2. Does disengagement of the government in
the agricultural sector reduce food production in the country?
3. Does the provision of necessary support
service to the farmers increase food production in Nigeria?
4. Does government makes policies that are
in favour of the farmers?
5. Is Nigeria self-sufficient in food
6. Is the land acquisition policy in
favour of the farmers
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
Nigerian food production had been neglected by the Government
since the Colonial Era. This supported the uncertain belief that Nigeria has
enough food to feed the nation. It was not until the latter half of the 1970s,
when the Government took measures to increase food production, that the
Government admitted that there is a food shortage in this country. The measures
taken by the Government, however, had little impact for food crop production
and cash crop production. It is ironic that many plans in which the Government
took the initiative and mobilized her institutions fully did not have significant
but the programs which the Government was reluctant to start had the most significant
impact on agricultural production. It is apparent that governmental or
semi-governmental agricultural institutions, which are supposed to increase
agricultural production in the country, were not efficient
but rather hindered. Therefore this study will be of importance both to the
government and the private farmers.
This study will also provide an insight into the level of food
production and Nigeria. Stating the problems faced by the agricultural sectors
and ways to resolving these problems.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
research work is titled “A survey on food production” and it is restricted only
to Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
This refers to laws made by the government to regulate the agricultural sectors
in the country.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY
For more informations on project materials and more