Agricultural Output In Nigeria: The Need For Government Funding

source: uniprojectmaterials
11

Agriculture is always among the major contributors to the economy of any nation (developed or developing). In Nigeria today, there federal government has almost shift completely from agriculture to the oil sector. This made the agriculture sector to remit low revenue to the Nigeria economy. The major agricultural activities in Nigeria are usually from the rural areas; but lack of government funding to the agricultural sector especially the rural area tend to impede the growth and development of the agricultural sector and the result of this outcome is seen in steady decline of availability of agricultural products. AGRICULTURAL OUTPUT The growth and development of any nation depend to a large extent, on the development of agriculture. Most of the world active but poor people live in rural areas and are primarily engaged in agriculture. Nigeria is a vast agricultural country, endowed with substantial natural resources which include: 68 million hectares of arable land, fresh water resources covering about 12.6 million hectares, 960 km of coastline and an ecological diversity which enables the country to produce a wide variety of crops, livestock, forestry and fishery products. Despite the articulation of government policies, strategies and programmes and the commitment of Government and donors to the broader framework of sustainable agriculture and pro-poor rural development, the rural communities in Nigeria remain underdeveloped and many complex issues regarding the design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation remain unresolved. See a recent research project on government funding on agricultural output in Nigeria The role of agriculture in reforming both the social and economic framework of an economy cannot be over-emphasized. It is a source of food and raw materials for the industrial sector. It is also essential for the expansion of employment opportunity, for reduction of poverty and improvement of income contribution, for speeding up industrialization and easing the pressure on balance of payment. CHALLENGES OF AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT Agriculture in Nigeria has been neglected for many reasons, but three stands out as critical: poor commitment and capacities in partner countries, international interest in rural issues, and poor commitment and weak past performance in the bank. Actions to address these causes of poor commitment represent the key components of this rural sector strategy. Yet, despite the importance of the rural areas, they have been neglected for long. Usually, there is absence of infrastructures (water, electricity supply and motor able roads) which improve quality of life. The rural areas have low purchasing power. Indeed, the ongoing neglect of rural areas continues to widen the gaps between the rural and urban areas regarding the levels of social and economic opportunities, physical development and available infrastructural services. countries in Africa frequently assign low priority to agricultural growth and rural development because; they view agriculture as a declining sector; as countries develop the share of the rural and agricultural sectors in production (GDP) and employment shrinks relative to the industrial and service sectors. Many developing countries have focused resources on the urban and industrial sectors, often at the expense of the rural sector. They failed to recognize the critical importance of productivity improvements and growth in the rural sector in the long transition from an agrarian to an urban-industrial society. Falling real food prices over the last two decades have led to complacency toward the agricultural sector. Over the past two decades real cereal prices have declined, reducing the returns to irrigation and other investments in agriculture. While much of the decline in prices has been due to technological improvements, some of it results from the protectionist agricultural policies pursued in Nigeria. The rural poor have little political power. Because rural populations are geographically dispersed, and because rural communications and transportation infrastructure is often poor, rural people have great difficulty organizing and expressing their preferences through political processes. The rural poor, women in particular, have little political voice. Urban elites pursue policies that disadvantage the agricultural sector. These policies include excessive taxation through overvalued exchange rates, industrial protection, export taxes, and low urban food price policies. This policy set, often identified as urban bias, has been pervasive in many countries. Rural elites are often able to obtain some compensation, but this amount is insufficient to offset urban bias, and often aggravates the impacts of urban bias on the rural poor. GOVERNMENT FUNDING AND AGRICULTURAL OUTPUT Agriculture is said to an art of crop growing and livestock production in one hand and scientific way of processing crops and livestock in medium and large quantity via modern bio-technology on the other hand. Agricultural practice is as old as man himself, which stands as mean of livelihood since the ancient time till the present day. Interestingly, over the years, agricultural practice had gone through diverse transformation in terms, scope, form that dictate the type of crop(s) to be cultivated, livestock management and down to processing and marketing. Agriculture plays central role in economic emancipation of any developing economy and Nigeria is not exceptional from this. Government expenditure means the expended funds from the fiscal allocation, mostly on yearly basis across the whole sectors of the economy towards achieving growth objectives. While government expenditure on agriculture growth is said to be the total allocative resources set assign from the annual budgetary allocation specifically meant for enhance agricultural output through crop and seedling development, procurement of fertilizer and mechanized tools, agricultural research and development among others, so as to attained economic growth objectives. It is worthy to note that Rostow’s growth theory posit five stages of economic growth thus; firstly, the traditional society that emphasis more acquisition of land for cultivation so as to expand the volume of trade, which could rise general income level; secondly, the pre-condition to take off analysis the transition period that is characterized by inventions and innovations. Thirdly, the takeoff era predominantly characterized by new discoveries that bring an end to feudalism, which consequently give rise to discoveries and inventions and consequently the rise to bourgeoisies and emergence of new mercantile cities. Fourthly, the drive to maturity mainly addresses deficient high mass production to sufficient production via the needed transformation. Fifthly, the era of high mass consumption which is basically explain migration, use of automobile, where society is faced diverse production needs of the consumers In conclusion, government funding will improve the agricultural sector and enhance intentions towards farming especially in the rural areas in Nigeria.

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