Agricultural Development – Overcoming Obstacles In Developing
There is the need at this point to first enumerate the problem of the agricultural development in the agricultural sector. These include the followning factors, among others the below has been listed out;
- Inadequate land tenure system handicap.
- Lack of basic infrastructure like good roads, electricity etc
- Poor financial status of the farmer
- Lack of storage facilities
- Inadequate agricultural, education and extension services
- Lack of farm input
- Low literal level
- Inadequate processing facilities
- Low soil fertility
- Inadequate government policies and programme resulting mainly from poor implementation
- High incidence of pest
- High incidence of diseases
- Lack of mechanization
- Administrative constraints resulting from federal character.
The various government and all concerned have tried in different ways to overcome the above mentioned problems. But their sources, however, leaves much to be desired since their policies are not meeting the needs as required. These efforts includes;
- Provision of health centre and schools
- Provision of electricity in rural places
- Provision of information and media centres
- Provision of portable and drinkable water
- Banning of export of some commodities
- Subsidizes rate of input
- Provision of all seasons roads
- Provision of extension services
There is also the need for more emphasis to be laid on the provision of the following the enhance agricultural development;
- Adequate research
- Timely supply of inputs
- Subsidy for farms inputs
- Storage facilities
- Adequate training in processing and storage
- Government to buy excess produce for future sales.
Along the line of overcoming this agricultural development programme, government has from period to period brought into operation certain programme. These programme, through laudable, have not been able to enhance much success because of the problems of implementation. The situation has affected the growth rate of our country. It is in realization of this that successive government took several steps to boost agricultural production.
The neglect of this sector began in the seventies, during the period of oil boom, when all government emphasis were shifted to this sector. The steps taken to overcome these problems includes the following, in successive form;
- Before and immediately after independence, agricultural development was synonymous with the production of export crops, such as cocoa, palm produce, groundnuts, rubber and cotton. There was food sufficiency. But the West African Cocoa Control Board failed in a bid to check inflation. Farmers were paid far less than the world price. The palm produce Marketing Board in the East too paid farmers far less that what they deserved. The ultimate aims of the marketing board were to secure favourable arrangements for the purchase, grading, exports of produce and to assist in the development of various industries, for the benefit and prosperity of the producers. By 1977, the marketing board were replaced by the Commodity Boards. The oil boom led to the neglect of these boards.
- The farm settlement attempt in the 1960’s was the first by Nigerian government to develop the food sub sector for both export and cash crops. Here land was individual owned while services were owned co-operatively. It provided employment to young primary and modern school leavers. But by 1972, it was pronounced a failure.
- The 1972 – National Accelerated food production project had the following objectives, among other; (i) Raising farmers income (ii) Increasing the rate of diffusion of new agricultural technology (iii) Serving as the forum for testing and adapting agricultural research findings and making such available to farmers.
- To provide credit to all aspects of agricultural projects. The agricultural development project (ADP) was established in 1973. The agriculture development project (ADP) was partly financed and executed by the World Bank. it is aimed at the promotion of integrated rural developments. In this area, successes are evident while failure abound.
- In 1976nanother attempt was made to arouse interest in agriculture through the operation feed the nation (OFN) programme. This only succeeded in arousing the awareness for the increasing food problem without any appreciable increase in agricultural production.
- The Nigeria agricultural credit guarantee scheme was founded in 1972.
- The Nigerian agriculture and cooperative bank (NACB)
- The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) guideline on agricultural financing
- The land use decree (1970, March)
- Import subsidy schemes
- Guarantee minimum pricing scheme
- In the 1980 Green revolution programme, the River Basin Development authority was founded to assist agriculture and farmers.
- The Nigerian agriculture Insurance scheme
- The directorate of food, Roads and rural infrastructure (DIFRI) was formed in 1986 for community development and social mobilization, community self help projects, adult education, home economics, rural development, data collection and analysis, rural feeder road development, water supply and sanitation and the provision of rural housing and infrastructures.
- The National Agricultural Land Consolidation for large scale agriculture programmes (NALDA).
These programme, though laudable, have not been able to enhance much success because of the problems of implementation. The situation has affected the growth rate of our country. It is in realization of this that successive government took several steps to boost agricultural production. But the West African Cocoa Control Board failed in a bid to check inflation. Farmers were paid far less than the world price. The palm produce Marketing Board in the East too paid farmers far less that what they deserved. Here land was individual owned while services were owned co-operatively. The agricultural development project (ADP) was established in 1973. The agriculture development project (ADP) was partly financed and executed by the World Bank.
The Percentage Contribution Of agriculture To Nigerian Gross Domestic Products from 1981 to 1992, with sources extracted from the national population commission estimated from the Lagos board. Looking at the contribution of agriculture to Nigeria’s gross domestic product for 12 years – 1981 to 1992 (1984 constant factor cost) we can see that the contribution though fluctuating, has been very high on the scale, not minding the emphasis on the oil sector since the 70’s. The role has been significant, judging from its percentage share comprehensively.
In conclusion, agricultural development can be driven by the willing desire of the people in charge of the system, also those who are not in charge can also contribute by adjusting the condition that the changes will bring. In essence, everyone is a participant of the development.