Nigerian Agricultural Transformation Agenda: Conceptual Plausibility, Infrastructural Vulnerabilities and Disturbing Auguries

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 9:15 AM
Room: Booth 61
Oral Presentation
Adolphus NASWEM , Nigerian Rural Sociological Association, Nigeria
Agriculture in Nigeria has performed below its vast potentials of yielding an acceptable living standard for the ordinary farmer in a globalized world. The sector was the main stay of the economy before the exploitation of crude oil. The discovery of the latter led to total neglect of the sector which continues to make significant contribution to world production of several commodities. Agriculture in Nigeria is characterized by small holdings, low technology, little value addition and massive post harvest losses. Government efforts to intervene in the past have been hampered by monumental corruption among other factors. Recently, the government introduced a blueprint to develop agriculture in the country christened 'Agricultural Transformation Agenda' which seeks to transform agriculture from a traditional habit to modern business. The paper examines the concept behind the model vis-a-vis the infrastructural and institutional foundations required for the programme to deliver sustainable impacts. The paper concludes that the thinking behind the policy is sound but its workability may be compromised by the poor physical and social infrastructure, and dysfunctional institutional framework that characterizes the implementation environment. The paper concludes by observing some  disturbing  signals associated with the policy.