Urbanization: A Problem To Food Production And Agricultural Development
In this research on Urbanization – A problem to Food Production and Agricultural development in Abia State, effort were made to address issues that are related to the problems, cause, effects, challenges, practice and solutions to the future management as it Concerns man and his environment and his economic system, health security as well as food through agriculture and its related sectors. Specifically, it categorized the land tenancy status of the farmers, analyzed the effect of urbanization on agricultural productivity and identified the constraints to agricultural productivity. Multistage random sampling technique was used to select the respondents. Primary data collected using structured questionnaire and interview schedules were analyzed using frequency counts, means, and percentages and regression analysis.
Results showed that majority (81.7%) of the respondents cultivated both on owned and rented farms. Only 10% and 8.3% of the respondents cultivating solely on owned and rented farm lands respectively. The regression result of the effect of urbanization and other factors on agricultural productivity showed that the significant variables influencing productivity were farm size, urbanization, fertilizer/ agrochemical, land tenure system, duration of land use and cost of farm land. The major constraints to increased productivity as noted by the respondents based on their degree of effect were lack of capital for agricultural investment, lack of improved farm inputs, high cost of land, land fragmentation, high population and high cost of planting materials. The study therefore recommend that specific areas should be earmarked for agricultural use only and protected from encroachment and other competing uses through appropriate legislations and policies.
1.1 Background Of Study
In this study, we are focusing on two major issues, which are closely related to one aspect of development that has posed a great threat to the other and can easily engulf it. If adequate attention is not given to arrest and manage each problem as it concerns the other.
In this topic, the problem here rests on urbanization-a problem to food production and agricultural development in Abia state.
In definition, the word Urbanization are derived from the former word urban, which were mainly known as a place where different people with different interest from other parts of the services in Country or state exchange goods and services in Common, with higher concentration of people dwelling in such place for their enormous activities. The latter Urbanization is based on the larger development of certain environment in our society, for example, State, Local Towns and Villages by higher Concentration of people and infrastructures, such as high network roads, school, markets Churches, hospitals offices, Industries, railways and airports factories communication outfits, as well as dwelling places, which were enhanced by evolution of industrial technologies.
While the other food production and Agricultural Development were based on natural resources.
Surrounding Our environment, for example, rich fertile Soil, Plants crops, animals of all kind and other minerals that system the people in their given environment.
However, it has been a problem based on inability to produce enough food materials and to the sustainability of its growth and development in our Society as enough consideration has not been given to our natural and physical resources another agricultural sector.
Today, due to high rate of Urbanization in Abia State and its environs, most natural and physical elements that promote good health and agricultural – occupational development of the economic well being of the people are easily neglected to Urbanization and its socio-politics-economic pursuits.
In recent past as the activities of trade merchants increased in certain towns, such places were placed to be the seat of authority, so as to maintain law and order and to regulate rules, which will guide the people, especially for collection of taxes in such areas.
Basically, the advent of technology which come to stay completed more people to focus on new ideas of sustaining a living, and people also began to develop by increasing mental knowledge, thereby Greating more easy going jobs.
In any way, this did not go down well especially in Abia State, because of lack of equal redistribution of technological ideas to different sectors, of the people.
Even through among the institutions of higher learning, in the state, eg. Institute of management and technology (I.M.T) Abia, University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Abia, University of Nigeria Nsukka etc.
In these mentioned institutions there are faculties of Agricultural Science and Engineering, where brilliant students of this state are produced every year for agricultural practices, these brilliant students have been neglected and due to lack of motivation and support, some have gone beyond teaching and joined the train of get-rich-quick syndrome, as a result of failure to redistribute equally the dividends of technology to agriculture for growth and production development.
In fact, more reasons than earlier said brought in this problem on food production and agricultural backwardness in the state, to mention but a few, lack of manpower resources, poor plaint and none recognition of the importance of agriculture by the authority in power.
Even the existing places for food and agricultural produce were exposed to environment disasters and insecurity to timber merchants, through bush burring and deforestation and uncontrolled erosion took another stage .Rating does into so man heaters of farm lands. Although in Recent past ,there had been a programmes unrich in every state of the awareness on agriculture of all sector.
For instance, the operation Feed Nation were introduced and luched on every state of the Federation on September 1979, by the then Head of States Gen. Olusegen Obasenjo.
The queen revolution also were introduced followed by Operation feed yourselves. However the activities of this said programes did not in any way created any impact on food production and Agricultural development in the state because it either ended up on radio broadcast, news papershead lines reports and television broadcast news, why because it did not touch ground.
Infact, it lacked mobilization, motivation, and direction of any aspect. There were no infrastructure mapped out in place to mutate these ideas being carried out to reach the people in their different local localities.
Most of the existing farms were only regional farms under Abia State Agricultural development projects. Created then by Federal government during the last boad on agriculture sector of economy in early 70’s.
These farms were located at Uzouwani Adani (Farm settlement site) Amagunze in Nkanu and Nenwe farm site, respectively.
These farms were located to take care of food production in the eastern part of the country were not adequately equipped to meet the rising demand and supply of food and some agricultural produce.
Migration and political instability has turned these farms into individual efforts on production and subsistensive farming took the role moreover, owing to urbanization and civilization migration of young ones to major cities brought a change into the number one economic foundation of the state and the nation as well. Going through the state of 14 local government Areas with a teaming population of 2, 124, 974 as at 1991, with a projection number of 2,381, 113 persons as at 2004 population census, a total number in different occupation shows a collective number of 70,567,097 in 5 identified occupations, (U) professional technical and related workers, Administrative and managerial workers. Clerical and related worker, sales workers transport equipment’s operators and labourers, as well as agricultural, animal husbandry, forestry workers, fishermen, and hunters and other Occupations that cannot be adequately defined Investigation through research shows a very low rate of peoples participation in Agriculture and its related sectors.
An admiring law rate of about 8, 821,87 number of participants given to Abia state Agricultural and other related workers. This state of down wardness is a problem and challenges today given to the rising rate of food scarcity, which brought in hunger, disease, hunger malnutrition, death among the learning population of the citizens of Abia State organ and their quest dwellers.
The State food Supply have decreased to a point where for and other Agricultural produce commodities are being supplied by other states like, Ebonyi state and parts of Northern, states local markets, in different towns and Communities little r nothing to deliver to the state urban markets due to the diminishing factors of production like, initial capital support of man power, equipment’s, as they still practice traditional method of farming, all this accounts, to urbanization, which geared every young and old, their educated and the uneducated either migrate to the bigger cities in pursuit of these activities that was brought in by urbanization and its socio-politico-economic drive, which today has dominated the entire race.
Today a lot of families can hardly afford three square means, owing to high cost of food.
Even with minimum wages paid to civil servant both in the state and federal has no value in our markets due to high cost of food commodities, why, because those who doesn’t participant at all in Agriculture are greater in number, and even the remaining Agricultural workers are mainly the very aging one lets in some rural areas.
In most cases, the younger age of about 5-9 years in some rural areas were exposed to child labour and exploitation by their poor parents of mostly widows while the ages bracket of 15-39 and 40 to 50 are either engaging in other artisan jobs are trading, so as to meet up with the demanding rate of hand living.
Those that keeps the courage to participate fully as farmers are only to be dies courage owing to high cost of labour and poor output, because of their crude method and lack of manpower, thereby giving a low output of agricultural and food production, for the circulation of the populace in Abia State.
This have become a dilemma of a people of rich agricultural heritage owing to urbanization and its trends of development in Abia.
1.2 Statement of problem
Abia State has come a long way in area of urbanization. She has witnessed urbanization ever before and after the Nigeria a independence in 1960.
Abia State was the seat and the capital of then eastern Nigeria-province, from where other five states created, viz Imo and early Anambra State in 1976 by the then head of states Gen. Murtala Mohamed. Followed with the creation of Akwa-Ibo State in the year 1981, and yet another State Anambra State.
The emergence of Abia as a capital state resulted from another creation of Ebonyi state in 1996 by Gen. SANI ABACHA.
Research indicated that from the on setAbia being the capital of the Eastern region has been highly urbanized, due to regional development allocations which spread in different areas of Abia and its local government areas. E.g. railway Station higher Institution of learning e.g, University of Nigeria-Nsukka, Campus, Abia campus, National Television Authority, (N.T.A) Nigeria Air Ways Authority (NAW) Nigeria Tele Communication Ltd (NITEL) FRCN Federal Cooperation of Nigeria, Coal mining Abia and other environmental developments, which has affiliates in almost every Geo-political Zones of the State.
The forces of developments brought in the spread of urbanization to Abia State and its environs with wide spread of salute towns that harbour the teaming population of people dwelling in the different localities as well those who migrate to into the state from different states, towns across the eastern part of the country.
Notably, Abia state in recent past, have been the happening place across the Niger where everyone comes around for a greener pasture. Little did those who were coming in from other states contribute Agricultural, as they were all participating in other related occupation, enhanced by industrial been notable and its complex induced incentives, which threw a great challenge to agriculture and food production, and because adequate attention and recognition were not given to this aspect of development in time, urbanization which was influenced by complex innovation in technology caused a serious loss of focus to agricultural sector in Abia state.
And as such the people of the state from different localities began to abandon even their little farmlands and joined the chase on socio-politico and techno induced economic activities around their own given environment.
1.3 Objective of the study
- To ascertain agricultural and food production growth and development strategies in Abia State.
- To evaluate the implementation of equal technological distribution plan towards the developing of agricultural sector
- To enhance equal and good environment planning on every aspect of development in Abia State
- To create awareness of food scarcity and strategies for ensuring food security of the State.
- To encourage the people of the state and the Government top invest more on Agriculture.
1.4 The scope of the study
The scope of this study covers two inevitable aspects of developments, that controls every environment today, both of physical and natural, which is urbanization and agricultural production, their problems, practices, challenges, cause effect, and management in Abia state.
1.5 Significance of the study
- Abia State will benefit from the research findings as it will help the state, through its environmental planning and Agricultural developments
- The government of the state will by more conscious of the problem and need of the people and equal development
- It well warm the people of the danger posed today and in future if they abandon Agriculture and chase after other occupations.
- The information on urbanization trends towards our natural living and integrity of our people will be arrested.
- The ideas communicated will be useful for students and lectures and other researchers as well as the general public.
1.6 Research questions
The following research questions are formulated to determine the direction for this study.
- What are level of peoples participation on this two developments, as regards to changes in occupation of the people.
- What determines the real effects which urbanization could have caused food production and Agricultural development.
The word urbanization, is the total change.
It could be concluded from this study that increased rate of urbanization causes loss of farm lands/decreasing size of cultivated farm lands; leading increased land use intensity which in the absence of supportive technologies and inputs result to decrease in agricultural productivity. Therefore, specific areas should be earmarked for agricultural use only and protected from encroachment and other competing uses through appropriate legislations. Also, policies that will grant farmers secured right to use land should be implemented for increased productivity.
Urbanization is often considered as having negative impacts on agriculture—for instance, from the loss of agricultural land to urban expansion and an urban bias in public funding for infrastructure, services and subsidies. But the scale of urban poverty suggests little evidence of urban bias for much of the urban population—and clearly, urban demand for agricultural products has great importance for rural incomes. Agricultural producers and rural consumers also rely on urban-based enterprises for a wide range of goods and services—including access to markets. So the key issue is whether the growing and changing demands for food (and other agricultural products) that an increasingly urbanized population and economy brings can help underpin agricultural and rural prosperity and sustainability within a global decline in agricultural land area per person and water constraints. To this is now added the need to adapt to the impacts of climate change that have the potential to disrupt agriculture and urban demand, and the urban enterprises that provide producer and consumer services to rural populations.
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