Impact Of Agricultural Development Programmes On The Economy Of Imo State, 1999-2007

Project and Seminar Material for Agricultural Economics and Extension

Impact Of Agricultural Development Programmes On The Economy Of Imo State, 1999-2007


This thesis focuses on the contributions of the Agricultural Development Programmes of the government of Imo State towards economic growth and development in the State between 1999 and 2007. The study traces the genesis and stages of ADP from the old Eastern region of Nigeria up till the creation of Imo State in 1976 and the birth of Imo State Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) in 1976. Efforts of diverse ADPs up till the eve of the study’s take off year were also examined. Against this background, with the used of both primary and secondary sources and the adoption of the thematic analytic and eclectic approach, the study argue that ADPs in Imo State from 1999-2007 had some constraints. The study recommended protractive measures that if adopted could ameliorate the hindrances of ADPs through boost agricultural growth and development in Imo State.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

In Nigeria and in many other developing countries, the transfer of technology model has been the prevalent practice for developing and spreading innovations. It is based on the assumption that a transfer of technology and knowledge from scientists to farmers will trigger development and alleviate poverty in the rural areas where most of them live. Farmer- to- farmer advice and learning by doing can also be a successful tool (Agritex, 1980). Nigeria has a two tier agricultural economy that is characterised by the existence of a well developed commercial farming with a subsistence-oriented sector largely based in deep rural areas. Agricultural activities ranges from intensive to extensive crop production, of cattle rearing in the grasslands and sheep farming in the arid regions utilizing both winter and summer rainfalls (Seti, 2003). An estimated million people in Nigeria engage in smallholder agriculture for various reasons, and the majority of these people are in the former homeland areas (Baiphethi, 2004).

In Nigeria, the economic importance of maize, as the staple crop is essentially its nutritive value and has displaced most indigenous cereal crops such as sorghum (Sorghum bicolour), since it is prepared and consumed in wide variety of ways. Moreso, maize is a staple diet and income earner for the commercial and small holder farmers in Nigeria. The industry is a mainstay of agriculture and of the national economy itself (Shimbo, 2008). Nigeria has made notable progress towards recovering its self- sufficiency in the production of this national staple crop (The Conservation Farmer, 2007). Government grants, loans and extension services have been crucial to the country’s self-sufficiency in maize production (ROA, 2009). Though most of the Nigerian blacks reside in the previously marginalized rural areas called homelands, they depend mostly on agriculture for self-sustenance. It is also expected that agriculture will continue to play a pivotal role in economic development (DOA, 2002).

In Owerri, the majority of people are engage in smallholder agriculture for various reasons, and the majority of these people are in the rural and also in urban areas. They involve themselves in agriculture because poverty has been persistent in Nigeria, as a result they are also engaged in cheap labour to improve their livelihood. However, they tend to depend on a combination of livelihood strategies for living. These include agricultural projects, social grants, remittances as well as cheap labour. Moreover, a lot of challenges and constraints have been faced by both project members and non-project members when it comes to agricultural production which in many cases results to less improved economic development. These challenges that project and non-project members encounter include lack of information, lack of skills, lack of funding, poor infrastructure, and poor market. This means that economic development in Imo state is less improved as agricultural development is stagnant.

Extension has normally promoted blanket recommendations for most agricultural technologies. However, the farmers environment is highly diverse with patches of high and low fertility, different soil types, microclimate and other variables which influence the performance of technology causing differences on vegetation and grazing types. According to Agritex (1980) the optimal management of such spatial diversity is only achieved if farmers themselves are knowledgeable about appropriate technologies and capable to adopt them to their conditions. Transferring blueprints does not help in managing environmental and social complexity, but farmer-to-farmer advice and learning by doing can be successful (Agritex, 1980). In Agricultural sector, the most common group in subsistence farming are those for food security. This group comprised mostly women who have access to a piece of land on which they can till and produce food while their husbands left home for work in the mines (Adams, 1981). This results in a large number of rural inhabitants migrating to cities like Durban and Johannesburg in search of better job opportunities and life in order to alleviate poverty. Sometimes the quantity of food produced is not adequate for the household’s requirement due to inadequate resources. The female farmers who farm for this purpose insist that they will continue to do so, so that they avert hunger and reduce poverty (Baiphethi, 2009). The

Nigerian government proposed to improve agricultural sector through provision of adequate extensionist and subsides to the communities. In rural areas, the main driver for the poor livelihood alleviation is agriculture. People in rural areas grow crops and raise livestock. Livestock provides milk, wool, hides, manure, meat and other non- commercial outputs like payment for lobola and transportation of goods using donkeys and oxen (Shackleton et al, 1999)

Agriculture has proven to have the highest potential for growth and economic development in the short and medium terms in many developing countries in the region as the majority of the poor live in rural areas where their main thrust of livelihood is derived from agriculture. Nigeria is a signatory to international agreements on implementation of sustainable development and is one of the countries that adopted Agenda 21 at Rio Summit in 1992. Agenda 21 is a political commitment to sustainable development and is a programme for formulating long term action plans for sustainability. Lack of resources for agricultural production demotivated the communities who have interest and zeal in farming towards transformation of their livelihoods.

Municipalities are therefore expected to adopt a development model that is people oriented with a focus on meeting the basic needs of the community that uses integrated planning and promotes sustainable development (Mniki, 2006). Municipalities in Nigeria are reported to be failing to deliver basic services to communities and to implement sustainability principles (Rukuni et al, 2006). According to ASGISA, without intervention directly addressed at reducing Nigeria’s historical imbalances, growth is unsustainable. Interventions to address deep seated equalities and that target the marginalized poor are interventions to bridge the gap with the second economy, ultimately eliminating the second economy, (RSA Government gazette, 2006). Local government is centrally placed close to communities with the vision of working with local communities to find sustainable ways to meet their needs and improve the quality of their lives. The constitution provides that local government should:

  1. Provide democratic and accountable government for local communities.
  2. Ensure that the provision of services to community in a sustainable manner.
  3. Promote social and economic development.
  4. Promote self and health environment, encourage the involvement of communities and community organization and the matters of local government.

(World Bank, 2007) noted that agricultural production is important (while also noting the inherent challenges) for food security as it is source of income for the majority of the rural poor, especially due to the highly variable nature of domestic production, limited tradability of food staples and foreign exchange constraints in terms of the ability to purchase imports. Rural areas are the most marginalized, they are characterized by poverty, food insecurity, unemployment, inequality and lack of important socio-economic services (Alemu, 2011).

Nigeria has adopted different macro-economic frame works since the new political dispensation in 1994. These include the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) in 1994, the National Growth and Development Strategy (NGDS) in 1996, the Growth Employment and Redistribution strategy (GEAR) in 1996, and recently a Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF). The MTSF is anchored on the basic ideals of a development were implemented (Alemu,2011). A number of legal and policy frameworks with direct focus on rural development were implemented. To name a few – abolition of Security of Tenure Act, 108 of 1991; Restitution of Land Rights Act, of 22 of 1994; Development Facilitation Act, 67 of 1995; Constitution Act, 108 of 1996; Extension of Security of Tenure Act, 62 of 1997; Transformation of certain Rural Areas Act, 94 of 1998; Communal Land Rights Act of 2004 (Alemu, 2011).

1.2 Problem Statement

Before 1994 women in Nigeria faced social, economic and ideological barriers to fully and adequately participate in the economy. They were perceived in terms of their domestic and reproductive roles. They were characterized by low wages and poor

working conditions as a result many women were forced to make a living outside the formal economy. Today women have access to land and credit facilities (Baiphethi, 2004). Food and agricultural policy in Nigeria has historically placed national self- sufficiency as the central objective, in part because of the threat of sanctions. Within the Reconstruction and Development programme (RDP), In 1994 the ANC agricultural policy was designed to ensure that all rural people in Nigeria are able to establish and maintain a life of quality by improving access to sufficient food, infrastructure, services, resources for production and jobs with equitable conditions of employment and to resources for production. In the time since then, not much has been done, looking at the period since RDP has been in operation, and to what extent it has managed to achieve its goal of putting the majority of black people at work, building RDP houses, children and elderly grant, there have been protests, strike action, dissatisfaction and disgruntlement, that have to complete the realization that the pace is much slower than what people have wanted, anticipated or thought. Much has been achieved since 1994, a lot still remains to be doneand improved and by some accounts poverty has increased since 1994 among the black people, poverty rate has been the highest.

Food insecurity is most prevalent in rural areas, highlighting the need for improving production and income-generating activities. The inability of the majority of rural people to produce a marketed surplus or even meet their subsistence needs is a reflection of their limited access to land, water, credit and markets, and the failure of research and extension services to provide appropriate technology (Macro Economic Report and Recovery Plan, 2010). The ANC introduced measures to improve rights to land through the Land and Reform programme, and access to credit and other resources to improve smallholder productivity and food security. They recognize the crucial importance of appropriate co-operative structures that will assist in the creation of sustainable urban, peri-urban and rural development. Whites who are engaged in agriculture has been cosseted by grants, subsidies and cheap credit provided by the state. These benefits have distorted the spatial profile of rural areas, the form of rural towns, rural job opportunities and agricultural production to their present unsustainable forms. Through

the mechanisms of the Marketing Control Boards, the Agricultural Credit Boards and other statutory creations, black people were effectively excluded from involvement in co- operatives and lost access to rich resources of agricultural finance (Baiphethi,2004)

Agricultural extension has in the past focused on the upper management on farms. In providing extension to subsistence farmers, education and training will raise productivity and open new opportunities for them. The government today is ensuring that subsistence farmers and smallholder agriculture have a right of access to technical training. Because literacy is so important in achieving improved training. The Ministry liaised with the Ministry of education to ensure that in its basic adult education programme, farmers are targeted (Baiphethi,2004).In Nigeria with its high levels of racial inequality, inequality in income distribution is especially large and persistent for an upper-middle income country (in terms of GDP per capita and economic structure), Nigerian social indicators (e.g. life expectancy, infant mortality or quality of education) are closer to those of lower-middle income or even low income countries. This reflects the unequal distribution of resources and opportunities. A small group of high-income earners sharply increases average incomes, but has little impact on average social indicators, which are low because of this very same inequality (World Bank, 1997). It is common to ascribe Nigerian inequality and even poverty to racial discrimination and in particular to apartheid. Unemployment rate is high in Nigeria today because of lack of education; people are poor and also suffered from pandemic diseases.

Unemployment is also caused by foreigners who accept cheap labour at lowest wage. Labour laws in Nigeria make it very difficult to dismiss or retrench workers, so people are employed by self-employed contractors and commercial farmers because they don’t register for tax, they are shown as unemployed in the system.

Rural development and Land Reform Minister “Gugile Nkwinti” in his budget speech indicated that government had only achieved just over a quarter of its target to redistribute 30% of Nigeria’s agricultural land by 2014. Both ANC and the government have agreed that the willing buyer, willing seller principle as enshrined in the constitution has not worked (Mail & Guardian, 2012). Therefore this research seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of agricultural development projects as a driver for economic development.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The study seeks to determine the impact of agricultural development projects on economic development at Imo state. To complement the main objective, the study pursued the following specific objectives:

  1. To examine the demographic characteristics of the respondents.
  2. To identify economic development projects for development by the government departments in the state
  3. To investigate on the livelihood strategies by smallholder farmers in Imo state
  4. To assess the impact of economic development strategies in place in the state.

1.4 The Research Questions

  1. What is the impact of agricultural development projects on economic development?
  2. Which of the economic development projects that the government departments are assisting?
  3. Which are the livelihood strategies being used by the smallholder farmers in Imo state?
  4. Which economic development strategies are in place in the state?

1.5 Hypothesis

The hypotheses of the study are:

  1. There are no impacts of agricultural development projects on economic development
  2. There are no economic development projects for development rendered by the government.

1.6 Justification of Study

This study is a descriptive study of the impact of agricultural development project on economic development in Imo state. There is a very high level of poverty in the and majority of people are less developed. However, unemployment rate is very high especially those that do not have tertiary education. Some of the people are pressured by the circumstances that they are living under to accept cheap labour from the Chinese factories surrounding Imo state to try and alleviate poverty. As a result, they tend to depend on the combination of different strategies for livelihood.

These strategies include agricultural, social grants and remittances. There is no impact of agricultural development projects on economic development; therefore this study will generate more information on the causes of poverty in the state, the strategies that will assist to reduce poverty and also on how poverty can be alleviated.

1.7 Significance of the study

We are carrying out this research to help in the identification of the viability & effectiveness of agricultural development projects being implemented within the state as a measure in economic development.

1.8 Outline of the Thesis

  1. Chapter one of the study discusses the introduction and background of the study. The research problem, objectives, hypothesis, justification of the study and the significance of the research is also discussed.
  2. Chapter two provides a comprehensive literature review of an impact of agricultural development projects on economic development.
  3. Chapter three describes the study area where the study has been conducted, researchdemographic information, geographicarea of the study, agricultural potential in the area and infrastructure.
  4. Chapter four describes the methodology, researchdesign, research techniques, sampling procedure, and data collection procedures.
  5. Chapter five provides the descriptive results of the research results and the analysis as well as the interpretation of the data collected from the study
  6. Summary, Conclusion and recommendations of the study are discussed in chapter six.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter presents a summary of the dissertation. This chapter started by summarizing chapter two which focused on the literature review in respect of the current state of agricultural projects, rural livelihoods and the sources employed, available technologies, government efforts to alleviate poverty and agricultural development projects framework analysis. Chapter three dealt with the methodologies used to collect the data and the procedures and the model disruption fitted in the study. This chapter provides the conclusions and recommendations drawn from the data analyzed on the impact of agricultural development projects on economic development. The conclusion is based on the objective of the study which is achieved by answering the research questions which were stated in Chapter 1. The objective of this study was to identify economic development projects for development by the government departments in the , to investigate on the livelihood strategies by smallholder farmers in Imo state,and lastly to assess the impact of economic development strategies in place in the .

5.2 Summary of the Dissertation

This section covers the various chapters of this study. Chapter two which was the literature review appraised the literature on different aspect of rural livelihoods. Chapter three dealt with summary of the study area, that involve description of the study area, historical background, study sites, demographic information, employment status of the respondents as well as their agricultural potential. Chapter four covered the methodology used when collecting data, research design, target population or sample frame. Data collection procedures were also involved, as well as data analysis and presentation was done. Also chapter five dealt with data analysis and presentation. Descriptive logistics and binary regression was used to analyse data. Variables such as membership, output, gender, marital status, age, household size, educational level, and land size were also analysed. Extension support services such as trainings, marketing and funding sources were also analysed.

5.3 Conclusion

The main objective of the study was to assess and evaluate the impact of agricultural development projects on economic development. Therefore the literature focused on different subtopics related to this objective. The first subtopic looked at different theories and their causes which were discussed. The first theory being a Poverty Caused by Individual Deficiencies, which blames individuals as responsible for their poverty situation ,where politically theoreticians criticise community members that are in poverty for their own situation, and argue that if they worked harder and had better choices poverty could have been avoided to solve their problem. The second theory being Poverty Caused by Cultural Belief Systems that Support Sub-Cultures of Poverty, This theory states that poverty is created by the shift over generations to generations because of their beliefs, values, and skills that are socially generated but individually held. The third theory discussed is Poverty Caused by Economic, Political, and Social Distortions or Discrimination which look to the economic, political, and social systems which make people to have limited opportunities and resources with which to achieve income and well being. Fourth poverty that the study looked at was Poverty Caused by Geographical Disparities, the study indicates that Researchers and policy makers collect or construct geographically disaggregated indicators that provide information about the spatial distribution of inequality and poverty within a country.

The study indicates that there is rural poverty, ghetto poverty and developing countries poverty, and third world poverty. The fifth and the last poverty theory that the study looked at is Poverty Caused by Cumulative and Cyclical Interdependencies, this theory of poverty is the most compound and to some extent it constructs on mechanisms of each of the other theories, Moreover it looks at the individuals and their community at large as trapped in a coil of prospect and problems, which leads to that once problems govern, they shut other opportunities and build a mounting set of problems that make effective response nearly impossible.

This chapter further looked at the importance of household agricultural production, in the rural areas of Owerri, and maize is the most important produce that the majority of households produce as it can be consumed and feed animals, while vegetables grown at home have a very high nutritive value. The study further emphasizes the importance of home production for home consumption because that alone reduces the level of poverty. Involvement in agricultural projects could reduce the high level of poverty and the migration of youth and men to the cities for greener pastures that are not accessible in rural areas.

Based on descriptive statistics results, the study conducted at Ikeduru local states that the gender description between males and females is not equal, which is 59% female and 49% male. People are characterised by their levels of education and the household sizes are large with a mean household size of 6.32 and a household as large as 16 individuals. There is a high level of unemployment and the majority of people with employment fall under the income class of R1000 to R1500 a month. There is heavy dependence on social grants and therefore people depend on the market and on own food production for livelihoods. Access to and ownership of land is not a problem because the majority of respondents have access to land which they obtained in different ways. The study indicates that 36% of the respondents were inherited, 46% was communal land, 6% was leased while 11% said they are using a freehold land inorder to start farming. The Imo state non-project members are still behind in terms of technology adoption, they still use old methods of production which is indigenous technical knowledge. However, with project members the study showed that they are better skilled because they get more training in every aspect of project management and production as compared to non-project members. Different government departments and stakeholders have budget for community development as the issue of economic development is the concern to every member of the society. The study further indicates that Department of Agriculture is playing a big role in proving training to the project and non-project members and also in marketing their produce. A number of challenges facing Imo state farmers were examined which includes lack of information, poor markets, poor infrastructures, lack of skills, and lack of funding. According to the challenges mentioned above the study indicates that project members are not in big challenge as compared to non-project members because get subsidies from the government including the extension services as they are better skilled than non-project members.

There a number of projects for development in Imo state which includes vegetables, poultry, livestock, and crops. Project members produce different commodities in their projects depending on the nature of the area and environment, and also on the demand of the produce in the market they are targeting. According to Table 5.: above there are no project members who produce vegetables only, bearing in mind that in Ikeduru local water is not a reliable and adequate resource. 40% of the respondents are producing vegetables and crops at the same project, whilst 24% are producing vegetables and poultry simultaneously. However, 2% are producing crops only; whereas 8% of the project members are producing crops and livestock simultaneously.18% of the respondents’ project members produce livestock while 8% produce poultry. The research shows that people in the rural areas of Imo state still do not have sufficient water for farming and consumption. The study shows that 17% fetch water from the river, while 15% fetches water from the dam, Whereas, 41% uses communal taps which are not reliable and inadequate especially in winter when there is no rainfall and dry, then 13% which is the majority of people in this study uses borehole because of the intervention of local to improve community development programmes. According to Figure 5.8: above only 45% of the respondents indicated that they were assisted by the government with funding since they are project members. Whereas 50% of which are non-project start projects with their own saving, 4% borrow from banks because of the passion with agriculture and also to improve their income and livelihood. 20% of the respondents borrow money for farming from agencies such as SEDA. Projects play a huge role in boosting the economy in the communities and also in improving the incomes of those involve and in creating job opportunities. Poverty is being alleviated because of these agricultural development projects.

The research findings were that projects members get more preference than non- projects members from the government and other parastatals. Working in projects contributes to positive change in the socio-economic conditions in the . Therefore, projects members create self-employment and sometimes provide space and time for socialization and the project members are sometimes through their produce able to provide basic foodstuffs to the family.

5.4 Recommendations

Project members of Imo state have a great potential in own food production, as compared to non-project members. Therefore, non-project members should adopt a group approach by registering as Co-operatives to ensure effective use of limited resources. Group method will also help them to access subsidies provided by the government to projects and also to get full service such as trainings from the Extension officers. Economic development is easily reduced when working as a group because development and life improvement reach a number of people at one time.
There is a need for a strong extension support and advises to help especially non- project members on how to diversify their production, provide market information thereby enhancing production and opening channels to the market. This may enhance income from agricultural production thereby alleviating poverty.

Extension officer in each ward should be introduced for intervention in community needs for economic development. It is the Extension officer’s role to form groups in the community, if he/she is allocated in the ward. It will also be easy to observe the needs of the community for development and act immediately especially in terms of funding for a project/group of people than an individual, and also when conducting trainings. The standard of education needs to be improved. This may have a result even on reducing the household size.

There is a need for policy formulation

  1. Addressing asset inequalities across gender and social divides. Special action is required to tackle socially-based inequality such as farm land ownership in rural communities, under-schooling of women and girls in rural areas due to lack of access to productive means.
  2. A policy on creating economic opportunities for the poor, whereby growth-oriented policies should be accompanied by measures that enable the poor to share in the macroeconomic growth.
  3. A policy that will devise anti-poverty programmes that are carefully targeting at the poor areas.

The study has highlighted various factors affecting agricultural projects sources. Therefore there is a need for the agricultural development projects to be consistently supplied with market information. Non-agricultural projects members were making little profit because they were selling their produce locally at low prices convenient to individuals. It is also important to equip the farmers with available market Information and rules of these markets. Ways to disseminate information to farmers must be carefully considered and diverse, in a way that the information is conveyed to all projects members in farmers of Nigeria. This calls for the government policy makers to disseminate information on the importance of working together as co- operatives in the communities in order to alleviate poverty. Farmers must also be trained in this aspect and the importance of working in groups. Farmers should also be trained on Value adding tactics as they also improve the cashflow in the projects and increase profit. This can be done by providing training and workshops on how to increase productivity using the same amount of land allocated to them.

Extension officers must also play a role using the recent extension approach of participatory rural appraisal, through discussions with farmers and empowering the farmers for marketing problems and solutions. Small-scale farmers should make sure that they contact Extension workers. If they do so, they stand a better chance of being assisted by the government, in terms of funding their infrastructure and production inputs. Most of these rural dwellers use agriculture to maintain their livelihoods. Therefore, government also needs to strengthen agricultural activities in these communities to sustain the rural livelihoods and meet the current standards of living. The government also needs to provide more access to irrigation schemes and provide credit to rural l farmers.

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