1.1 Background to the study
Agriculture in the context of the economy is tied with various sectors and is important for generating broad based growth necessary for development. Agriculture is fundamental to the substance of life and it is the bed rock of economic development especially in the provision of adequate and nutrition’s food that is vital for human development and industrial raw-materials.
Sustainable agricultural development is propelled by agriculture policies. The first national policy on agriculture was adopted in (1985) and was accepted to remain valid for about fifteen years, that is up to year (2000). Also in yea (2001) a new policy document on agriculture was launched. The new policy document has most of the features of the old ones, but with more focused direction and better articulation.
Agricultural policies are supported by sub-policies that facilitate the growth of the sector. Implementation of agricultural policies the enabling environment for agricultural growth pari passu with the other sectors. These policies usually have major impact on profitability of the agricultural system and the welfare of farmers as the affect the flow of funds to the sector in terms of budgetary allocation, credit, subsidies, taxes and therefore, must be in harmony and mutually reinforcing with the agricultural policies. The macro-policies comprise the fiscal monetary, trade budgetary policies and other policies that govern macro-price.
Agriculture contributes immensely to the Nigeria economy in various ways namely:
- Provision of food for the increasing population
- Supply of adequate raw-materials to the growth industrial sector.
- Source of employment
- Generation of foreign earnings
- Provision of market for the products of the agrarian sector (Okumadewa 1997). The agrarian sector has a strong relationship with the economy, hence, concern for agriculture is widely driven by the public sector, which has established institutional support inform of agricultural research and extension, commodity marketing input supply and land uses legislation to fast-track development. The importance of agrarian also suggests the intervention of the private sector through sponsorship of research and breakthrough on agricultural issues in university, capacity building for farmers and most , importantly, the provision of fund for farm business, international governmental and non-governmental agencies including the world Bank fund and Agricultural organization of the united Nations. Also, contribute through on farm and off-farm support in form of finance, input supply, strengthening of technical capacity of other support institutions.
Agricultural policies provide among others for adequate financing of agriculture, the role of agricultural sector in diversification of economy cannot be over emphasized, given that it guarantees food security of any nation. Public expenditure on agriculture has however, been shown not to be substantial enough to meet the objective of Government agriculture policies (IFPRT 2008). For a developing country with a mono-product oil economy such as Nigeria, Governments in different to agriculture portends great danger to the economy for many reason. For instance fluctuating food prices are precursor of inflation. Secondly, from the expenditure approach to national income accounting, it’s likely that Engels Law that a large churte of expenditure in development economics goes to food hold meaning that shocks to the domestic agricultural production and could be damaging to price stability. There is also the perspective of food security, in an era which food has been used as a weapon of war (united Nationals oils for food Deal in iraq) and as bargaing too (North Icorea-united-state food Deal), even within Nigeria, the federal military government during Nigerian Biafran war used food blocked as a tool of war.
This paper examine the effect of Government policy on agricultural development in Nigeria, and it impact on economy. It is interesting to note that this area of the study has generated a lot of research. Be it as it may, current thinking, particularly in Nigeria seems to focus on how to improve on agriculture as oil has taken sole control of Nigeria economy.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Agriculture is the main-stay of the Nigerian economy. According to Humbert J. (2000), about 80% (precent) of the Nigerian population engage in agricultural dominated activities. In other words, agricultural sector in Nigeria from right sense of judgment supposed to be the source of revenue to government as well as the Nigerian citizens especially the (agriculturalist). This was exactly the case in 1960s to 1980s considering the achievements made from the earnings of agricultural sector in the three regions of Nigeria, Namely, Eastern, and Northern regions (Iogun O. (1995). However, with the discovery of crude oil in Nigeria, agriculture has gradually been neglected. Soludo (2004) captures this when he stated that:- Despite the dominant role of petroleum sector as the major foreign exchange earner, agriculture remains the man-say of Nigeria’s economy, in addition, to contributing the largest share of G.D.P it is the largest on-oil export earner the Largest employer of labour and a key contributor to wealth creation and poverty alleviation as a large percentage of population derives its income from agriculture and related activities. Over the years, the rate of growth in agricultural production has stagnated and failed to keep pace with needs of rapidly growing population, resulting in a progressive increase in import bills for food and industrial raw-materials.
The National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEEDS) 2004 report give that G.D.P of Nigeria agriculture has continue to decline drastically. This indeed is worrisome considering the number of agricultural policies and programmes which have been introduced by government to boost agricultural productivity in Nigeria such as National Accelerated food production project (NAFPP) Operation feed the Nation (OFN), Agricultural credit Gvarrantee seheme (ACGS), Green Revolution progremme (GRP), Agricultural Development Project (ADPS), among others.
It is therefore, against this back drop that this study will investigate on the topic, the effect of Government Policy on Agricultural Development in Nigeria.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The broad objective of this is to investigate the effect of government policy on agricultural development in Nigeria. A case study of Orire Local Government, Area of Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria. The specific objective of the study are:
- Ascertain the effect made by agricultural policies so far on the agricultural development in Nigeria.
- Examine whether the effect of agricultural policies have reflected on the growth and development of agricultural sector in Nigeria.
- Identify the constraints mintaing against the agriculture policies in Nigeria.
- Proffer solutions towards improving the formulation an implementation of agricultural policies in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
For the purpose of this study, the following research questions have been for inflated to gulden this study,
- Has agricultural policy made significant impact on agricultural development in Nigeria
- Has agricultural policy reflected on the growth and development of agricultural sector in Nigeria.
- If not, what are the constraint militating against the agricultural policies in Nigeria.
- Do the formulation and implementation of agricultural policies follow?
- What are the measures to be adopted in improving formulation and implementation of agricultural policies in Nigeria.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study which is the effect of government policy on agricultural development in Nigeria is of importance to:-
- Decision maker and other key actors in the government with the roa-maps that will necessitate prompt responsive and efficient policy making in Nigerian agricultural sector.
- To suggest the panacea through which frequent failures in Nigerian agricultural policies can be effectively tackled.
- Last, but not lest the study has the potential to strategically improve the practical steps in implementation of the government agricultural policies through its advocacy on reforming the public bureaucracies in Nigeria especially those concerned with the implementation of government policies on agriculture. In this, regards, this work is a practical pain staking “post mortum” surgical examine of the problems of Nigerian agricultural secures as well as the way forward.
1.6 Scope of the Study
It would be demanding to undertake a complete study of the effect of Government policy on agricultural development in Nigeria. Therefore, this study is limited to Oyo State, A case study of Orire Local Government, Area of Ogbomoso, Oyo State Nigeria
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
As words may mean differently in different context, the following definitions are given as the word as intended to be understood for the purpose of this study.
- Effect: The result or outcome of anything whether positive of negative.
- Government:- The group of people who are responsible for controlling a country or a state.
- Policy:- A principle of behavior, conduct e.t.c thought to be desirable or necessary especially as formally expressed by a government or other authoritative body.
- Development:- The process of producing or creating something new or more advances, a new or advances product.
- Pertaining to agriculture:- Connected with or engaged in tillage, as the agricultural class, agricultural implements and wages.