BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Anambra State was carved out of the former, larger Anambra State on August 27, 1991. It is bounded by Delta State to the west, Imo State to the south, Enugu State to the east and Kogi State to the north. The people of Anambra State are predominantly Igbos and are very industrious. Most of the industrial base of the state is private sector driven, spanning from agro allied, automobile and manufacturing situated mostly in the Nnewi industrial belt. Onitsha market is reputed to be the biggest in West Africa. The State has a land mass of about 4,416sq km with 4,182,022 population. Several raw materials and agro-products are produced in various parts of the State. For example Cassava is widely grown in Orumba South Local Government, Yam in Anambra West and Rice in Anambra East. Fishery products are abundant in Ogbaru. The State has a vision of “becoming the most livable, economically vibrant state in Sub-Saharan Africa serving as the economic hub of the southern part of Anambra state” which is anchored on MDGs, Vision 20: 2020 and Anambra State Strategic Plan. The State Agricultural Investment Plan (SAIP) is aimed at ensuring food security in such a way that food and agro-products become accessible, available and affordable to all Anambrarians and raw materials to Agro-based industries through a gender balanced, environmental friendly and private sector driven development in Agriculture. The Plan also ensures significant increase in area under cultivation on arable crops, provision of the basic infrastructure in fishing communities and increasing the population of livestock.
The development of state ministry of agriculture in Anambra state changed in political structure after independence. The three regions structure in 1960 gave way to four regions in1963 and this equally gave way to states creation from 1967 up to 1996 (Ayoola, 2010). The roles of the ministry of agriculture include the following: - Organizing of short duration seminars and workshops to farmers. Providing farmers credit, subsidies and other incentives to boost total output in the various special programmes undertaken by the state government, Agricultural Development Programme (ADP), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other support programmes. Conduct market surveys to determine current prices of agricultural inputs and products. Carry out the technical implementation of all agricultural loan schemes. Pest control services. Overseeing the activities of all agriculture related Parastatals and Companies (www.riverstate.gov.ng). Agriculture in Anambra state has witnessed drastic changes in government programmes ranging from administration, funding, manpower and learning skills, and infrastructural facilities to creation of research institutes (Madukwe, 2008). The first post colonial development era of 1962-1968 period emphasized the introduction of more modern agricultural methods through farm settlements, co-operative plantations, supply of improved farm implements and a greatly expanded agricultural extension service. Some specialized development schemes initiated during this period include: the National Accelerated Food Production Programme (NAFPP), 1972; The World Bank-funded Agricultural Development Projects (ADP) 1975; River Basin and Rural Development Authorities (RBDA) 1976; Operation Feed the Nation, 1976; and Green Revolution Programme, 1980; among others (Jibowo & Ajayi, 2011).
Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) was a bilateral agreement between the World Bank and the State government of Anambra state in 1975. ADP idea is an offshoot of the concept of integrated agricultural and rural development (Jibowo, 2005). The objective is to improve the levels of living and welfare of farmers. It started as an enclave in some states to a multi-stage ADP. The ADP is the implementation organ of the state ministries of agriculture and natural resources (Jibowo and Ajayi, 2011). ADP programmes consist of adaptive research, extension transfer, input supply and rural infrastructure. Operation feed the Nation (OFN) (1975) was designed to mobilize the general public into participating in agricultural production using mass and individual extension methods (Iwuchukwu and Igbokwe, 2012). Some of these strategies included subsidized production inputs, increased bank credit to farmers, establishment of commodity boards and fixing of attractive prices for agricultural produce (Daneji, 2011). Its main aim was to greatly reduce the cost of living particularly in the urban areas with everybody being able to wholly or partly feed himself (Adebayo and Okuneye, 2011). River Basin and Rural Development Authorities (RBDA) was launched in 1976. Primarily, the schemes were to harness the State’s water resources by providing employment opportunities through intensified crop, livestock and fisheries production with the hope of improving the standard of living of the rural population (Williams, 1981). Their functions were to facilitate land development and ensure efficient water resource management. Even though the project has succeeded several regimes, irrigated land in Anambra state stood at 0.7% (Adebayo and Okuneye, 2011) The Directorate of Foods, Road and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI) was established in 1987 with a mandate to open the rural areas through the construction of access roads, and provision of basic amenities of modern living but due to the following reasons, the programme was not sustainable: The programme was inevitable because it has long been realized according to Otubanjo (1992) that the economic future of Anambra state depends on the development of rural areas. Therefore, the potentials of rural areas were seen to be both immediate and long term (Daneji, 2011). The idea of opening up of rural areas with feeder roads and integrating it with other parts of the State provided basis for food that could be evacuated to enhance the quantity of food and raw materials consumption. During the period of 1980-1988, 30,000km roads were constructed from the targeted 60,000km estimated by DFFRI. The poor quality of infrastructures provided by the directorate probably due to mismanagement of fund made the impact of the programme almost insignificant. However, the directorate had been criticized in the past for lack of proper focus and programme accountability (Idachaba, 1988).
STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL PROBLEM
Since the creation of Anambra state in 1991, the State Ministry of Agriculture has gone through series of changes in the areas of policy initiatives, staffing, manpower training, funding of programmes (Anambra SEEDS document, n.d). However, some of the changes did not only come from the State but as a result of possible initiatives from interventions/developmental programme introduced by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture through collaboration with donor agencies such as Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Bank etc. To be effective, the Ministry of Agriculture should be dynamic in enhancing the capacity for administering the increasing number of programme. To be dynamic the Ministry must learn 5 from its past programmes. There have been changes in the programmes, policy initiatives, and manpower development of the State Ministry of Agriculture. Chronicling these changes are very important in articulating future policies and programmes as they provide vital information for learning. The question that arose was: what are the activities of the ministries over the past 10 years in terms of policies, programmes, staff recruitment, funding, manpower, capacity development and linkages with other actors?
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine agricultural development and agricultural development programs in Anambra state. Other specific objectives of the study include;
H0: Agricultural development and agricultural development program in Anambra state is low.
H1: Agricultural development and agricultural development program in Anambra state is high.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study would be of immense benefit towards the development of agriculture in Anambra state by properly assessing the agricultural program development in the present administration in Anambra state. The study would also be of immense benefit to students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing further studies on the subject matter.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to agricultural development and agricultural development program in Anambra state in the administration of governo Willie Obiano as a case study.
Limitation of the study
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.