PROBLEM AND PROSPECT OF AGRICULTURE IN THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF EDO STATE’
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Agriculture sectors is one of the earliest sector, it starts when man has to survive as gathering of fruits and nuts. He has depended on the natural burning of the forest and water body. It is only recently as perhaps ten thousand year ago that man began to adopt and attempt to domesticate animals and plants. He began the transition from primitive hunting and gathering and the practices of animal’s husbandry and tilling of the land.
At first, he did this unconsciously but as time passed he consciously selected the better forms of animals and pants for breeding purposes. This process has to continue to accelerate to modern times and has gone so far that the common agricultural crops and animals of today are very unlike the wide forms.
In modern times men consciously selected both plants and animals according to the well-established principles of genetic inheritance and breeds form more closely adapted to his requirement.
Agriculture is a sinequanon to any economy for an economy to develop well the agricultural sector must be given a dynamic role to play. Inspite of the important role of agriculture in Edo state, the people or citizen have vague ideal that agriculture is concerned only with soil cultivation. But a more comprehensive definition according to Olyyemi (1975) defined agriculture as the cultivation of soil and the feeding and management of crops and livestock for the use of man, the disposal of those products for marketing.
In some nation, agriculture sector is give priority because it provide raw material for the industrial sector, food and meat for the development of man, food and shelter are basic necessities for human consumption are both originated from farming activities. Whether one work in secondary or territory sector, without agriculture, the final output which we rely upon cannot be achieved.
As regard to the important, agriculture provides employment opportunities to the labour for through direct employment into agricultural and interrelated industrial and manufacturing sectors. For this, sector contribute efficiently, there is need for better decision making and implementation, good management and adoption of cost production techniques distributive channels, marketing, research for better pricing system, recognition of the availability of land including soil preservation and provision of storage facilities.
Farm out become low because the system of farming still involves the use of simpler farm tools like cutlass and hoe on proper knowledge on how to apply chemicals to those crops. Capital investment is small and modern input like fertilizer and improved seeds are still not widely use by most of the farmers.
As developed and industrialized countries like United State of America, Germany, Canada, etc agriculture still ranks high in their government privities. This is so because it provides them on alternative sources of foreign reserve, as well as internal, direct and indirect economic benefits derived from balanced terms of trades with other countries.
Be that at it may, poor performance of the agriculture sector to provide adequate food for the growing population declining productivity of most exported crops which has contributed to substantial reduction in foreign exchange earning and declining condition of agricultural products to gross domestic products in the real terms.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
Due to the fact that agriculture play an important role in the development of the economy of Edo state, some problem are still associated with the production of agriculture. The attitude of the farmer towards production of crops, little did they know about new technology of modern farming. Most farmers are still stick to their old ways as a result of the use of crude equipment in farming such as cutlass, thereby reducing the yield in production.
Cultural consciousness had made some farmers to willing object to the use of farming technique because of some cultural belief that if the modern system is applied, the crops will not do well or the gods of the land will not be happy with them as such they restrict the production to a particular location, no need for expansion, this will lead to low productivity.
The fact that most our farmers are low level income earners, they cannot invest on the purchase of machine that could have boost their production. Also most people are of the mind that agriculture is simply farming as a matte of fact, its meant for the low level people, this has made many of them deviate from the farming practice.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major objectives of the study are:
1. To identify the problems facing agriculture production in Edo state.
2. To examine the role of agriculture in economic development of Edo state.
3. To suggest possible solution to the problems that have emanated.
4. To make appropriate recommendations to the farmers or modern use of farming techniques.
In the light of the objective of the study, the following significances are formulated.
1. Inadequate funding leads to low productivity of agriculture in Edo state.
2. Conservative attitude of the farmers to adapt to modern techniques of agricultural practices lead to low agricultural productivity.
3. Lack of proper usage of agriculture facilities such as fertilizer, chemical, etc leads to low production of agricultural development of the economy.
4. High level of illiteracy affect the role of agriculture in the economic development of the state
5. Government inability to provide incentive to farmer lead to low productivity of agriculture.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The role of agriculture is a sinequanon in the economic development of Edo state, as a matter of fact; the importance of agriculture will be enumerated.
Agriculture provides the basic for requirement of the population. Man needs some essential nutrient for nourishment of the body growth. It also supplies many of the raw materials for industry for the manufacture of goods for the use of man.
Agriculture provides income and employment for the majority of the population. Around ninety percent (90%) of the population of West African employed in agriculture in Nigeria, seventy (70) percent of the figure are slightly below the average for the whole west Africa but even in the country, the great majority of the population depend on agriculture for income and employment.
Agriculture exports are of great importance in earning foreign exchange of the country that buy these product pay for them in their own currency.
These money got as a result of exchange of agricultural goods can be use to purchase some vital goods like capital goods which help in the economic development of the nation or state.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study covers the problems of agriculture in the economic development of Edo state and emphasis will be laid on some specific area of production, such as crops. Like cassava, maize, etc also animal productions like chickens, goat to mention but a few.