Unpacking the Nexus in Food Prices, Agricultural Productivity and Poverty in Nigeria: The Geographic Information Systems Approach

  • OE Olayide
  • T Alabi

Abstract

Rising food prices and low agricultural productivity are major threats to feeding the teeming population of the most populous nation in Africa - Nigeria. Besides, poverty incidence in Nigeria constitutes a drawback to agricultural and economic development. Low agricultural productivity (output per hectare or yield) for cereals has often been implicated for the double tragedy of high food prices and increase in poverty levels, especially for net buyers or importing countries. Hence, the need to analyze the nexus with food prices, agricultural productivity and poverty levels in order to underscore the need for promoting sustainable development in Nigeria. An assessment of the connections among food prices, agricultural productivity and poverty levels would help to formulate appropriate policies for exiting the poverty trap, and promoting sustainable agricultural and economic development in Nigeria. Food prices, productivity and poverty mapping would inform appropriate and location-specific policy targeting and development planning for sustainable development. This study provides an assessment and mapping of a major cereal (maize) prices, agricultural productivity (yield) and poverty levels, as drivers of sustainable development. Overall, two patterns of change for each of the variables (food price, productivity and poverty levels) were identified and analyzed. These patterns are high or moderate price change, productivity increase or decrease, and increase or decrease in poverty levels. The overlay and mapping of the three variables of price of maize, productivity, and poverty changes by development domains in Nigeria were undertaken. This study used periodic and spatial data on maize prices, maize yields and poverty levels in Nigeria. Based on the objectives of Nigeria’s agricultural and economic development policy outcomes of moderate price change, increased agricultural productivity and poverty reduction, the study revealed that only three states (Kaduna, Rivers, and Akwa Ibom) out of 37 development domains satisfied these sustainable development outcomes. The study revealed the nexus in food price, productivity and poverty by development domains in Nigeria. It submitted that there was a low level of effectiveness in agricultural and economic development outcomes. Therefore, it recommends that policies on food price stabilization, agricultural productivity increases and poverty reduction be pursued simultaneously for effective transition from low development outcomes to sustainable agricultural and economic development outcomes in Nigeria. Key words: Food prices, agricultural productivity, poverty, sustainable development
Published
2013-09-03
Section
Articles

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print ISSN: 2315-6317