Analysis of the agricultural policies in the development of the Nigerian economy (1960 - 2010)
AbstractThis review work identifies the two main agricultural policies in Nigeria between 1988 and 2000, and 2001 to date, the broad policy objectives and the main features of the agricultural policies. The paper examines the primary role of the agricultural sector in the growth and development of the Nigerian economy. The main view held here is that of the bitter experiences of the Nigerian nation since independence in its attempt to develop the agricultural sector through well articulated policy frameworks and implementation strategies in order to ensure sustainable development and food security. An appraisal of the two main policies through the examination of the contribution of major agricultural commodities to total export earnings, comparison of food production and demand, share of food in total import value and the overall contribution of the nation’s agricultural sector to foreign exchange earnings as well as its response to
match food demand with supply has been attempted. The paper reveals poor implementation of policy and programme designs as the bane of the growth and development of the Nigerian agricultural sector. It also identifies efforts of government towards increasing agricultural productivity through the establishment of agricultural programmes and projects from the early 70s to date. It recommends careful planning and scientific forecasting and institutionalization of improved implementation mechanisms as the main factors that would bring about the desired growth and development in the agricultural sector.