Agricultural Productivity and Poverty Alleviation Issues:The Nigerian Perspective
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Tropical Agricultural Research & Extension
This paper reviews the pre and post independence agricultural productivity and pov-erty alleviation issues in Nigeria. Descriptive statistics and secondary data were adopted in the discussion. The review indicated that a laudable performance was re-corded in pre-independence period due to the establishment of model research farms. , Physical rural infrastructures like motor, roads and railways for easy evacuation of farm products, commodity boards for stability of producer prices, promotion of qual-ity of export crops, providing stable market outlet for export crops and generating for-eign reserves. All these resulted in the promotion of employment in both production and post-production of agricultural activities. Rural disposable income was high and this generated high demand for consumable goods in rural areas. Surpluses generated from foreign trade were used to finance a large number of development projects. In contrast, in post- independence period, the structure of rural infrastructure began to collapse with negative impact. Average growth rate for palm oil expenditure between 1935- 1939 was 30.88% and it dropped to 7.5 post-independence. Also, food crop productivity dropped, poverty level rose and food import bill escalated. This paper there-fore recommends the pre-independence model for Nigeria to use. This will encourage increase in Agricultural productivity, income level and consequently reduce poverty.
Agricultural productivity, poverty alleviation, pre & post independence, rural infrastructure, export markets, export crops