CHAPTER ONEINTRODUCTIONBACKGROUND TO THE STUDYNigeria is endowed with natural resources, large fertile farmland,wide range of crops, and river amongst others. Despite itsabundant nature resources it is faced worth a poor food situation.The poor food situation is traceable to the decline in theagricultural sector. The problem of feeding and provision ofnatural resources is increasing by the day. However, severalefforts are being made to improve the standard.Prior to the discovery of petroleum in Nigeria agriculture used tobe the highest foreign exchange resources earner and itscontribution to gross domestic product GDP has been estimatedto about 62.63% in 1960, 48.08% in 1970, and 20.63% in 1980.Recently due to the growing awareness of the role of agriculture,the various governments have intensified efforts aimed attransforming from its present subsistence level to a marketoriented production. One of those efforts was the ban made on12importation of agricultural products like palm oil, maize and rice.This was done to encourage improvements on our productionstandard.Due to the fall in the level of production from decade to decade,the country could no longer feed the large population, provideraw material for domestic industries, engage in export ofagricultural produce and employ the labor force of the countrydespite the abundance of human and material resources.In spite of growing urbanization, Nigeria is known to bepredominantly rural in nature and majority of the population isdependent directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihood.Though, the Nigerian agriculture is characterized by low farmincome, low level capacity to satisfy the fond needs of thecountry, due to the outdated and primitive techniques ofproduction, it is still the mainstay of the nation’s economy.Measures and program setup to upgrade the Agricultural sectorinvolve the construction and reformation of the whole structureof the agricultural sector by the creation of appropriate13institutions and public services. This would help strengthen theeconomic position of the dependent farmers. Examples of suchmeasures are National Accelerated Food Production Project(NAFPP), Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), NigeriaAgricultural Cooperation and Rural Development Bank (NACRDB).
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