Effect Of Environmental Degradation On Agricultural Productivity In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Agricultural Economics and Extension

Effect Of Environmental Degradation On Agricultural Productivity In Nigeria


Abstract


The phenomenon of land degradation occurs in different parts of Nigeria. Land degradation is induced by human and natural activities. This paper focuses on the effects of environmental degradation on agricultural productivity in Nigeria. It was found out that this phenomenon has serious negative effects which include soil erosion, desertification and drought, loss of agricultural land, low agricultural production etc. In carrying out this study, questionnaires were used to given to some selected farmers in Jos, North Central Nigeria. Data obtained was analysed using Frequency and percentages. Two hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Conclusions and recommendations were made from the results obtained.


Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

Environmental degradation has become important global issues since the 1970s, when the world countries and international community became aware of the negative consequences of over-exploitation of the human environment. Environmental degradation in most rural areas in Nigeria has increased over the years and both human activities and natural disasters have contributed to this problem (Titiola 1998; Girigiri 2000).Prominent environmental degradation found in most rural communities include – deforestation, loss of biodiversity, loss of soil fertility, leaching of the soil, land degradation, land and water pollution, desertification, flood, drought, and erosions. The oil companies have been blamed as the perpetrators of environmental degradation in this region due to overexploitation of the crude oil deposits and gas flaring. Be it as it may, complete evaluation of environmental degradation should consider the part other factors such as poverty and inefficient resource use in agriculture have played in limiting achievement of effective environmental protection and management in poverty prone communities.

The environment affects our health in a variety of ways. The interaction between human health and the environment has been extensively studied and environmental risks have been proven to significantly impact human health, either directly by exposing people to harmful agents, or indirectly, by disrupting life-sustaining ecosystems (Remoundou and Koundouri, 2009). Environmental degradation is the deterioration of the environment through depletion of natural resources such as air, water and soil; the destruction of ecosystems and the extinction of wildlife. It is any change or disturbance to the environment perceived to be deleterious or undesirable. Environmental degradation is one of the Ten Threats officially cautioned by the High Level Threat Panel of the United Nations. The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reductiondefines environmental degradation as “The reduction of the capacity of the environment to meet social and ecological objectives, and needs”.

The primary cause of environmental degradation is human disturbance. The degree of the environmental impact varies with the cause, the habitat, and the plants and animals that inhabit it. Humans and their activities are a major source of environmental degradation. Worldwide the greatest effects on the health of individuals and populations result from environmental degradation and social injustice. The two operate in consort. (Martin Donohoe, 2003). Causes include overpopulation, air and water pollution, deforestation, global warming, unsustainable agricultural and fishing practices, overconsumption (affluenza) misdistribution of wealth, the rise of the corporation, the Third World debt crisis, and militarization and wars. Mining is also a destructive development activity where ecology suffers at the altar of economy. Scientific mining operations accompanied by ecological restoration and regeneration of mined wastelands and judicious use of geological resources, with search for eco-friendly substitutes and alternatives must provide sensational revelation to the impact of mining on human ecosystem (Singh and Chauhan, 2010).


1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Environmental degradation is the gradual depletion of the environment that is capable of damaging a whole lot of things including animals and farmland and farm produce. The problem of environmental degradation on agricultural productivity could be that the knowledge or idea on how to go about the control of this natural disaster that tends to destroy agricultural produce. Finally, several researches have been carried out on the environmental degradation but not even a single research has been carried out on the effect of environmental degradation on agricultural productivity in Nigeria.


1.3 Objective Of The Study

The main aim of the study is to determine the effect of environmental degradation on agricultural productivity in Nigeria.

Other specific objectives of the study include:

  1. To determine the extent to which environmental degradation affects agricultural productivity in Nigeria.
  2. To determine the factors affecting environmental degradation.
  3. To determine the economic importance of environmental degradation on agricultural produce.
  4. To proffer possible solutions to the problems.

1.4 Research Hypotheses

  1. Ho: There is no relationship between environmental degradation and agricultural productivity.
    Hi: There is a relationship between environmental degradation and agricultural productivity
  2. Ho: Environmental degradation has no economic effect on agricultural produce
    Hi: Environmental degradation has economic effect on agricultural produce

1.5 Significance Of The Study

The study on the effect of environmental degradation on agricultural production will be of immense benefit to the entire farmers in Nigeria in the sense that it will enable private individuals and the government to take preventive measures to the havoc environmental degradation might bring to the farm produce. Finally, the study will contribute to the body of existing literature and knowledge to this field of studies and basis for further research.


1.6 Scope And Limitation Of The Study

This study is primary concerned with effects of environmental degradation on agricultural productivity. This study/project work covers some selected local government area in Jos plateau state. The researcher encountered some constraints, which limited the scope of the study. These constraints include but are not limited to the following

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

Effect:

A change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause.

Environmental Degradation:

This is the deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as air, water and soil; the destruction of ecosystems; habitat destruction; the extinction of wildlife; and pollution.

Agricultural Productivity:

Is measured as the ratio of agricultural outputs to agricultural input.


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 a critical analysis of effects of environmental degradation on agricultural productivity in Nigeria.

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 environmental degradation and agricultural yield.


5.2 Summary

This study aimed at having a critical analysis of effects of environmental degradation on agricultural productivity in Nigeria. Five objectives were raised which included: To determine the extent to which environmental degradation affects agricultural productivity in Nigeria, to determine the factors affecting environmental degradation, to determine the economic importance of environmental degradation on agricultural produce, to proffer possible solutions to the problems.


5.3 Conclusion

Based on the above findings pertaining to the objectives of the study the following conclusions are drawn.

Land is fundamental to man’s existence, because all the needs of man food, clothing, and shelter are based on land.

Land is the basic resource for agriculture, raw materials, shelter and basic infrastructure. Because of all these, it becomes of absolute importance to take care of land and prevent its degradation. In the past, land was regarded as a physical resource just waiting for development. Limitations and constraints were either ignored or played down. In the present however, land is a scarce resource

The environment is fundamental to man’s existence, because all the needs of man food, clothing, and shelter are based on the environment. Land is the basic resource for agriculture, raw materials, shelter and basic infrastructure. Because of all these, it becomes of absolute importance to take care of land and prevent its degradation. In the past, the environment was regarded as a physical resource just waiting for development. Limitations and constraints were either ignored or played down. This has led to serious cases of environmental degradation, hence, poor agricultural yield. Thus the phenomenon of land degradation in Nigeria is an environmental problem that must be tackled for the benefit of the present and future generations to come.


5.4 Recommendation

Based on lessons learned from past successes and failures in managing land degradation, the following policy actions should be considered: Increase research and technology development for land management, and improve the spread of information, through widely linked, user-friendly information systems for farmers.

Promote land-improving investments (for example, building up soil organic matter, planting trees, and installing small-scale irrigation) through technical assistance and new financing arrangements suitable for low-income farmers.

Encourage long-term land improvements by securing property rights and rights of access to natural resources, particularly for the poor. Develop planning systems for sustainable land use that involve key resource user groups.
Improve the economic environment for farmers by developing market infrastructure, correcting distorted price incentives, and encouraging rural income growth and diversification. For marginal regions, encourage more public investment in infrastructure, social services, and agricultural support services.


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