The Constraints Of Agricultural Development

Project and Seminar Material for Agricultural Engineering AE

The Constraints Of Agricultural Development


Abstract


Agriculture is the most basic form of human activities in the whole world. It is the most important occupation. Infact, the source of food and development in Oredo Local Government Area. Yet agricultural development is still at primary level in study area. The research looks at the climate, soils, relief, economic market and social factors as constants of agricultural development in the study area. The farmers from the Local Government Area were randomly selected. 200 questionnaires were distributed to various farmers in the area of study.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Agriculture is the most basic form of human activities in the whole world. It includes the cultivation of crops as well as rearing of animals for human uses. Today in Nigeria, about 70% of its population is engaged in this activity. Despite the large number of people engaged in this activity in the country and the whole world in general, the activity is not 100% successful. Norman (1981) grouped the development of agriculture in the world into four. Thus: physical, social, economical and political constraints. In the developed countries the physical and economic constraints are taken care of: now left with the problem of the land scarcity. In the developing countries especially in the savannahs (Sudan and Sahel) where there is series of aridity condition, the most dominant problem in every country or nation, at least must have one or two of these problems which militate against the development of agriculture in the region.

Nigeria has a highly diversified agro ecological condition which makes possible the production of a wide range of agricultural products. Over the past two decades, agricultural yields have remained the same or worse still declined. Nigeria’s agriculture to a large extent still possesses the characteristics of a peasant economy that was prominent in the pre-independence period (Adewumi & Omotesho, 2002). More than 70 per cent of the farming population in Nigeria consists of smallholder farmers, each of whom owns or cultivates less than 5 hectares of farmland (NARP, 1994). Less than 50% of the country’s cultivable agricultural land is under cultivation. Even then, smallholder and traditional farmers who use rudimentary production techniques, with resultant low yields, cultivate most of this land. The smallholder farmers are constrained by many problems including those of poor access to modern inputs and credit, poor infrastructure, inadequate access to markets, land and environmental degradation, inadequate research and extension services, etc. Although there has been a recent rise in agricultural productivity, such improvement is derived more from expanded planting areas for staple crops than from yield increases. Howbeit, agriculture constitutes one of the most important sectors of the economy. The sector is primarily important, given its employment generation potential and its contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) and export revenue earnings (Ogen, 2002; Essien, 2005). A vibrant agricultural sector is capable of ensuring the supply of raw materials for the industrial sector as well as providing gainful employment for the teeming population (Ukeje, 2007). The emergence of the petroleum sector in the early 1970’s resulted in significant structural changes in the Nigeria economy which negatively affected the agricultural sector. In response to the oil boom, public expenditures grew, fostering many other economic activities, including infrastructural development, creation of new institutions and expansion of existing ones, and importation of all kinds of consumer goods (Essien, 2005; Ukeje, 2007). Earnings from petroleum resources favoured these developments, but tradable agricultural commodities did not experience similar growth. The share of the oil sector in the total value of exports, which was under 60 per cent in 1970, rose to over 90 per cent after 1973. The non-oil exports declined from about 30 per cent in 1970 to less than 10 per cent by 1980 (Ojo, 1992). Agricultural productivity estimates for Nigeria showed a decline in productivity growth from the 1960s to the 1980s. Nigeria has witnessed strong economic growth in the past few years, averaging 8.8 per cent real annual GDP growth from 2000 to 2007. However, the agricultural sector has lagged behind GDP growth at 3.7 per cent in 2007.

In spite of the various agricultural programmes and policies initiated by different administrations for the development of Agriculture in Nigeria, there has not been any phenomenal growth in agricultural output since the 1970s. Agriculture’s contribution to the non-oil gross domestic product (GDP) was stable at about 40 per cent in recent years (FDA/FMARI, 2005). The index of agricultural output declined from 75.5 in 1970 to 35.2 in 1979. Although the index increased steadily from 35.2 in 1979 to 40.10 in 2005, the growth rate shows complete absence of sustainability. For instance, the growth rate was negative throughout the 1970s; declined from 6.34 to 3.04 between 1982 and 1986, and then fluctuated to 8.33 in 2003 and -3.24 in 2005. The rate was worsened in 2010 (4.2) due to the high price of oil. The question agitating the minds of scholars is why agricultural output is low amidst the huge expenditure via the different programmes implemented in Nigeria. Consequently, there has been a dramatic increase in the incidence and severity of poverty in Nigeria, arising in part from the dwindling performance of the agricultural sector where a preponderant majority of the poor are employed. Furthermore, poverty in Nigeria has been assuming wider dimensions including household, income poverty, food poverty/insecurity, poor access to public services and infrastructure, unsanitary environment, illiteracy and ignorance, insecurity of life and property, and poor governance. Arising from this backdrop, this paper is poised to investigate the nexus between food export and import on agricultural sector performance. Also, the study is apt to assess the relationship between agricultural credit financing and the sector’s productivity, while attempting to unravel the major determinants of agricultural output in Nigeria


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Despite the large number of people engaged in agricultural activity in the study area, yet agriculture is still at the primary level. The study is therefore set out to find out the solution to the following questions:

  1. What are the factors militating against agricultural development in the study area?
  2. To what extent does the factors militating against agricultural development affects agricultural development in the study area?
  3. What are then possible solutions to the problem caused by these factors in the study area?

1.3 Objective of the Study

The objectives of the study are;

  1. To find out the factors militating against the agricultural development in Oredo Local Government Area.
  2. To find out the extent to which the problem affects the development of agriculture in the study area.
  3. To offer suggestions for the solution to the problem

1.4 Research Hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

  1. H0: there are no factors militating against the agricultural development in Oredo Local Government Area
    H1: there are factors militating against the agricultural development in Oredo Local Government Area
  2. H02: there is no extent to which the problem affects the development of agriculture in the study area.
    H2: there is extent to which the problem affects the development of agriculture in the study area.

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study will give a clear insight in the constraint of agricultural development. The study will be beneficial to student, ministry of agriculture and the general public. The study will sought out what constraint the development of agriculture in Nigeria. It will also suggest the solution and the forward to agriculture development in Nigeria. The study will also serve as a reference to other researcher that will embark on this topic


1.5 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study covers the constraints of agricultural development. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.


1.7 Definition of Terms

Constraint:

Stiffness of manner and inhibition in relations between people.

Agricultural Development:

Agricultural Development and Policy. Working to reduce hunger and poverty, and improve the sustainability of rural livelihoods in the face of increasing social, economic and physical shocks and stresses.


1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain the constraints of agricultural development

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of the constraints of agricultural development


5.2 Summary

This study was on the constraints of agricultural development. Three objectives were raised which included: To find out the factors militating against the agricultural development in Oredo Local Government Area, to find out the extent to which the problem affects the development of agriculture in the study area, to offer suggestions for the solution to the problem. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 residents in Oredo local government of Edo state.

The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up farmers, married men, married women and youths were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies


5.3 Conclusion

Agriculture plays a significant role in the economic growth and development process of any economy, although, most developing economies, like Nigeria are yet to fully harness the potentials of a well-structured agricultural sector for the actualization of higher economic growth trajectories. However, the study investigated the constraints to agricultural development in Nigeria and uncovered some binding constraints to the sector, some of these constraints include; diversion of funds meant for investment in agriculture to other areas of interest, increasing food imports and lack of requisite technologies for the facilitation of agribusinesses, etc. Explanatory variables such as food export, rainfall and exchange rate are significant positive determinants of agricultural output in Nigeria as revealed in the empirical results


5.4 Recommendation

  1. Government must as a matter of necessity adopt strategies to re-direct adequate loans to genuine farmers through micro-finance banks and commercial banks. Apart from this, government should also strengthen research and development institutions as a means of seeking for new knowledge. One method of achieving that is increasing research grants as well as staff training and re-training to adequately equip upcoming and experienced researchers in the agricultural sector.
  2. Government should initiate programmes and policies that will ensure adequate partnerships between research institutions and our higher institutions of learning to breach the widening gap between theory and practice. Such research institutions are manifold. Examples include, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (ITTA), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), National Root Crops Research Institute, and Arable Crops Research Institutes etc. This will assist in effective implementation of new knowledge as well as expose the younger generation on the lofty potentials in agricultural sector.
  3. Government through its agencies should seek to maintain a stable and favourable exchange rate since the variable has been found to possess a significant positive effect on agricultural output.
  4. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture as a representation of government must work in partnership with other organized farmers’ groups, non-governmental organizations (local and foreign) with special focus in agriculture to sensitize the public on the negative implication of high food import. This can be achieved by organizing seminars and workshops but not necessarily on increasing tariffs on food import to avoid retaliation from trading partners.
  5. The development of agro-allied industries that will ensure processing, preservation and packaging of agricultural products for consumption and export must be given serious attention by agricultural stake holders. This will encourage local producers to engage fully in agriculture, create jobs, and earn significant foreign exchange for the country

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