The Role Of Agriculture In The Economic Development Of Edo State (A Case Study Of Oredo Local Government Area)

Project and Seminar Material for Agricultural Engineering AE

The Role Of Agriculture In The Economic Development Of Edo State (A Case Study Of Oredo Local Government Area)


The purpose of this research is to identify the role of agriculture in the economic development of Edo State: a case study of Oredo Local Government Area. Chapter one consists of the introduction aspect of the project. Chapter two comprises of the review of literature including the problem faced by the farmers of Oredo Local Government Area. Chapter three is the research methodology where data was obtained mainly from available published materials and this constitutes the secondary source data. The primary source includes the use of questionnaires administered to the farmers. Chapter four, the information collected were tabulated and analyzed. Finally some recommendations were made to the government for finding solutions to the problems facing agriculture in the economic development of Edo State. It is hoped that if the recommendation are properly implemented it will go along way in eliminating or reducing the problem facing agriculture in Edo State.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

The term Agriculture is derived from the Latin words, “ager,” meaning field, and “Cultura”, meaning cultivation. This suggests that the earliest form of production agriculture was crop production (Are, Igbokwe, Asadu, Bawa, 2010; Erebor, 2003). It may be noted that Agriculture is more than crop production. It also includes animal production, processing of primary products (or value addition) and marketing of produce and products. Erebor (2003) defines agriculture as the art and science of cultivating the soil, processing crops and livestock products for man, and the process of selling excess crop and livestock.

Meanwhile, (Kricher,1997) defines agriculture in a more advanced way by saying that, agriculture or farming is the simplification of nature’s food webs and the rechanneling of energy for human planting and animal consumption. To simplify, agriculture involves redirecting nature’s natural flow of the food web. The natural flow of the food web is the sun provides light to plants convert sunlight into sugars which provide food for the plants (this process is called photosynthesis). Plants provide food for herbivores (plant-eating animals) and the herbivores provides food for carnivores (meat-eating animals). This simple illustration of food web provides the basis for analyzing the impact of agriculture on economic growth.

Agriculture continues to play a dominant role in economic development. Agriculture is the basic foundation of any industrial economic revolution in that, aside providing for the food needs of man, it supplies the raw materials that are inputs in the production process. The World Development Report (2013), Agricultural growth was the precursor to the industrial revolution that spread across the temperate world, from England in the mid-18th century to japan in the late 19th century. The report also noted that the recent rapid agricultural growth in countries like China, India and Vietnam as the precursor to the rise of industry. In countries where agricultural activity is at an increasing level, it generates taxable surplus that compliments government revenue. It is then no doubt to say that in many developed countries of the world, agriculture stood as the foundation for their development.

In the African circle, agriculture holds a great potential to serve as an engine of faster growth and poverty reduction in the region. This is because Africa is blessed with cultivable land, huge population and favorable climate which when fully utilized can plunge most of the countries on the pedestal of economic growth and development. A fact sheet published by the International Food Policy Research Institute in 2009 revealed that , ‘in most African countries, agriculture is the engine of economic growth, and agricultural growth is the corner stone of poverty reduction. Approximately sixty-five percent of Africans rely on agriculture as their primary source of livelihood. Small scale farmers are responsible for more than ninety percent of Africa’s agricultural production’. In the contemporary, agriculture accounts for 30 to 40 percent of Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and almost 60 percent of its total export earnings. Agricultural sector has no doubt contributed to the economic growth and development witnessed in Africa today. This was put in retrospect by Fan (2009), stating that agricultural growth rates have increased modestly from about 2.4 percent a year in 1980-1989 to 2.7 percent in1990-1999 and 3.3 percent a year since 2000. This is impressively outstanding and factual to note that the level of growth in agricultural productivity increased in response to the level of government expenditure in the sector.

From the immemorial, Oredo Local Government Area is mainly an old economy. Large number of people engages themselves in agriculture for food and income in other to increase their standard of living. Agricultural sector is the earliest occupation of the economy in the history of mankind. Therefore following the trace of the history of agriculture it is obvious that agriculture started from when man stung from place to place gathering ruffle and animals to satisfy his immediate needs. As at that time man had three (3) basic necessities in life, these are matter, air and food has to be provided by man himself. Man at first feed himself on edible roots, small animals which he caught later on, due to the advent of urbanization, man gradually learnt a primitive way of planting, cultivating and harvesting crops and rearing of animal for food as well as for hunger, for clothing and shelter.

Agriculture later developed to such on extent that the role cannot be over stressed from the rural way of farming, it move a step further to involve the use of agricultural mechanism. But it is natural that the people of Oredo Local government Area of Edo State still use primitive and crude implements for farming because of the protection of lack of capital, low level of education, lack of infrastructure and so on. Agricultural development in Oredo Local Government Area gives provides food for the over growing labour force, raw materials also provide income for people, it could be noted that 75% of the population are engaged in agriculture and derives its income directly or indirectly from farm. Agriculture later developed to growing of food crop and cash crops such as cocoa, rubber, oil palm and food crops such as yam, corn, cassava, etc. this different types of occupation exist in Oredo Local Government Area these include trading, teaching, sports builders, but agriculture suppress them all. Before the discovery of crude oil agriculture contributed the lions share to Nigeria foreign exchange in 1960 the highest foreign exchange earnings came from agriculture sector.

During oil boom in 1974 the sector contribution depreciated to 27% and 18% respectively. Despite the billions of naira spent on operation feed the nation and the area revolution programme. Yet we still import food in spite of the amount invested on agriculture for the two periods. These happened due to the poor attitude towards farming.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The growth of agriculture in recent times has been stunted by the overdependence of the nation of crude oil and failure to diversify the economy since the discovery of crude oil in the seventies. Fan (2009) attributed this decline in agricultural productivity to the growth in the mining and manufacturing sector and partly as a result of disincentives created by the macroeconomic environment. From 1980, the decline in agricultural productivity in the country was so poor that domestic production had to be complimented with food importation. The food importation bill of the country which previously stood at 14112.88 million (1974) increased to1964.8 million (1991) with an export of less than 2 percent.

Besides oil, the major strength of the Nigerian economy is its rich agricultural resource base, its human resource and its huge markets. However, these resources have to be effectively mobilized so as to diversify the economic base and reduce dependence on oil and import. The economy remains vulnerable to external shocks emanating from fluctuation in the world prices of crude oil and the rising prices of imports. The resulting external and internal in balances are manifested in the adverse balance of payment position, unemployment and low capacity utilization in virtually all sectors as well as the deteriorating purchasing power of the populace (Atte and Muhammed- Lawal, 2006).So far, it is difficult to find a sector that is problem free. Hence, the agriculture sector cannot be expected from the economic role of Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State. Some of the problems include:

  1. Poor transportation, which affects the economic development in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State.
  2. The use crude implement in Oredo Local Government Area

1.3 Objective of the Study

The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of agriculture on economic growth in Nigeria.

However, the study will:

  1. Examine the effect of agricultural practice on agricultural productivity in Oredo local government area of Edo state.
  2. Assess the impact of budgetary allocation and agricultural policies on agricultural productivity.
  3. Determine the relationship between agriculture and economic growth in Nigeria.

1.3 Research Hypotheses

Hypotheses One
  • Ho: There is no significant relationship between Agriculture and Economic growth in Oredo local government.
  • Hi: There is a significant relationship between Agriculture and Economic growth in Nigeria.
Hypotheses Two
  • Ho: There is no relationship between agricultural practice and agricultural productivity.
  • Hi: There is a relationship between agricultural practice and agricultural productivity.

The following questions will guide the study.

  1. What is the growth of Agricultural sector between 1985-2010?
  2. To what extent has budgetary allocation and agricultural policies affected agricultural productivity in Nigeria?
  3. Is there any significant relationship between agriculture and economic growth in Nigeria?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study is relevant in a true sense that it will help to promote agriculture in Nigeria. The study will help bring radical transformation for national growth, especially through its effect on rural incomes and provision of resources for transformation into an industrialized economy. This present study will help policy makers and government to address the challenges of climatic change, global recession and dwindling revenue which threatens food security.

The Nigerian populace will benefit from this study because agricultural revolution will be able to provide the quality and quantity of food.

Industrial and Manufacturing firms will also benefit from steady supply of raw materials and provide large markets for industrial products. Government will benefit because the study will help it to put political will in promoting agriculture in order to achieve full economic growth in Nigeria.

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study is primary concerned with the impact of agriculture on economic growth in Nigeria. 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


The science, art, or practice of cultivating the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock and in varying degrees the preparation and marketing of the resulting products

Economic Development:

Economic development is the increase in the inflation-adjusted market value of the goods and services produced by an economy over time.

1.8 Organization of the Study

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

  • Chapter one is concerned 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 the role of Agriculture in the economic growth in Oredo local government area of Edo state.

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

5.2 Summary

This study aimed at havinga critical analysis of the impact of Agriculture on economic growth in Nigeria.Four objectives were raised. These objectives include: Examine the effect of agricultural practice on agricultural productivity in Oredo local government area of Edo state, assess the impact of budgetary allocation and agricultural policies on agricultural productivity, determine the relationship between agriculture and economic growth in Nigeria.

5.3 Conclusion

Based on the above findings pertaining to the objectives of the study the following conclusions are drawn.
Therefore, we infer from our discussion in this section that based on past performance of agriculture in Oredo, the sector has the ability to contribute to economic growth by its observed tendency to respond positively to investment be it in the form of progressive policies or funds. Also, the sector is able to serve as a buffer in the event of economic crisis; the strength of the buffer however depends on how strong the sector is. Finally, we observe the resilient nature of agriculture which emphasizes sector’s ability to recover more quickly from shock than other sectors.

5.4 Recommendation

These findings give strong evidence that support the need for increased investment in the agriculture sector. Nigerian agriculture has been typified as primitive and undeveloped, yet growth in the sector has been identified as an engine of economic growth. This implies that developing the sector will result in more profound contributions to the nation’s economic growth. Development of the agriculture sector invariably will require more investment as we have repeatedly mentioned in this study. However, the aim of these investments should be clear and disbursement strategic. From the literature, we established five inter-sectoral linkages through which agriculture contributes to economic growth: provision of food, labour, market, domestic saving and foreign exchange. These linkages can serve as reference points through which the government can target development policies and disburse investment funds, tactically ensuring agriculture development. Focusing on crop production alone may result in lopsided contributions, neglecting the potentials of other subsectors of agriculture as we have seen in our study. Thus, the emphasis should be on developing all the subsectors- including livestock production, fishery and forestry; and strengthening their linkages to other sectors of the economy through value-chain development. This will create more employment opportunities and generate additional income, enhancing the industrialization process.
Furthermore, the lack of reverse causal flow from economic growth to agriculture strengthens the claim that agriculture sector has been neglected in Nigeria. Nigeria cannot achieve either economic growth or development without a developed agriculture sector. Our point of view on this subject is strengthened by our brief examination of the relationship between agriculture and development which emphasizes the linear relationship. With evidence that agriculture has the potential to cause economic growth, spur industrialization as well as to enhance the living condition of the nation’s majority, increased investment in the development of the sector is justified.

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