Agriculture is a key sector in the Nigeria economy. It is the brain box of the Nigerian economy. Agricultural sector is a vital source of raw materials needed for the agro allied industries, especially Beverage Company, food and export. It was the cornerstone of the economy for the past five decades.
In recent researches, it has proven that, it is crucial to have research on this, because it helps inform domestic and international policy decisions regarding how scarce resources are allocated to agricultural research and infrastructure.
The country seeks to become a leading economy in Africa and a major in the world’s economic and political affairs in the year 20-20-20. To attain that, Nigeria needs to speed up its economic growth by focussing on the agricultural sector which can speed up its economic growth in the coming decade.
Currently, Nigeria has 75% of its land suitable for agriculture, but only 40% is cultured. That indicates there is much room for the country to focus on. This addresses the food security and agriculture component of their plan along with the focus on employment for all. However, to move forward, the country must increase the low productivity of current agricultural companies, engage competition within the agricultural sector, develop domestic policies and increase funding (Ayodele, Obafemi and Ebong, 2013).
Nigeria is generously endowed with abundant natural resources including biological and non-biological resources; the resources of the entire world should be developed to the fullest extent possible with available means as a whole can progress only by the efferent and rational use of the natural resources. Resources depend on the importance attached to it. Hence agriculture constitutes one of the most important sectors of the economy. The significance of agriculture resource in bringing about economic growth and sustainable development of a nation cannot be underestimated.
Agriculture contributes to the growth of the economy, provides employment opportunities for the teaming population, export revenue earnings and eradicates poverty in the economy. Abayomi (1997) stated that stagnation in agriculture is the principal explanation for poor economic performance, while rising agricultural productivity has been the most important concomitant of successful industrialization.
Orji-Okoro (2011) is of the option that agriculture resource has been an important sector in the Nigeria economy in the past decades, and is still a major sector despite the oil boom; basically it provides employment opportunities for the teeming population, eradicates poverty and contributes to the growth of the economy. A strong and efficient agricultural sector would enable a country to feed its growing population, generate employment, earn foreign exchange and provide raw materials for industries. The agricultural sector has a multiplied effect on any nation’s socio-economic and industrial fabric because of the multifunctional nature of agriculture (Ogen 2007).
Agriculture has been defined as the production of food and livestock and the purposeful tendering of plants and animals, (Ahmed, 1999). He stated further that agriculture is the mainstay of many economies and it is fundamental to the Socio-economic development of a nation because it is a major element and factor in the national development. In the same view, Okoro (2004) described agricultural sector as the most important sector of the Nigeria economy which holds a lot of potentials for the future economic development of the nation as it had done in the past. Notwithstanding, the enviable position of the oil sector in the Nigeria economy over the past three decades, the agricultural sector is arguably the most important sector of the economy. Agriculture’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) has remained stable between 30 and 42 percent, and employs 65 percent, of the labour force in Nigeria (Emeka, 2007).
Generally, the agricultural sector contributes to the development of an economy in four major ways.
i. Product contribution
iv.Foreign exchange contribution (Abdullahi 2002; World Bank 2007).
However, sustained economic development cannot be achieved without economic growth. As expressed by the World Bank (2006), high poverty level will lead to low growth and low growth will lead to high poverty level. Thus, economic growth is necessary for sustained economic development (Akanbi and Toit, 2011; World Bank, 2006).
This research work investigates the contribution of agriculture to aggregate economic growth in Nigeria. The fact that economic growth is necessary for sustained development, couple with data limitation, and informs the focus on investigating the contributions of agriculture to economic growth, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), in Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Kaduna state is in the northern part of Nigeria which has it capital in Kaduna.
Agriculture accounts for an estimate 56 (%) percent of Kaduna’s GDP and provide employment for over 4 million people. Kaduna state agriculturist produces or cultivates 22% of the country’s maize, 69% 0f soya beans, 36% of cotton, 10% of groundnut (peanuts), 80% of ginger in the country which is termed as the best in the whole world. The state trade’s agricultural produce to neighbouring states. (Statistical Bulletin, 2013). The state is dominated by wet season planting and an irrigated dry season planting. Most farmers currently produce cereal crops such as maize, sorghum, millet and rice during raining season. Cereal crops are exported to surrounding states and are very important source of income.
While agriculture output is large and the main source of income in Kaduna, agricultural productivity is generally low. There is great untapped potential in the sector given the rich arable soil optimal weather condition across the state and the limited use of modern farming inputs.
This research is therefore aimed at looking the following questions:
I. Why is it that the agricultural sector in less developed areas is irresponsible to economic stimuli?
II. Is the agriculture sector really a catalyst of structural transformation?
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
I. What is the contribution of agricultural sector on the economic growth in Kaduna state?
II. What is the contribution of agricultural sector on employment creation in Kaduna state?
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
i. To determined the contribution of agricultural sector on the economic growth in Kaduna state.
ii. To determined the contribution of agricultural sector on employment creation in Kaduna state.
1.5 STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS
Ho: Agricultural development has significant contribution on economic growth in Kaduna state.
H1: Agricultural development has no significant contribution on economic growth in Kaduna state.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of this study cannot be over emphasised, because agriculture contributes a lot in transforming both social and economic framework of an economy.
This work stands to benefit the following stakeholders;
i. Schools (Staff and Students) where the study will help them understand the importance of farming no matter how small the scale of production may be.ii.The Kaduna state government to bring forth ways to increase agricultural output both for the purpose of consumption and exportation which will ultimately bring an increase in favourable balance of payment (BOP).
iii.It would also add to the volume of literature in Kaduna state.
iv.It would also help policy decision regarding resource allocation in the agricultural growth and development to achieve rapid economic growth.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS
This research work focuses on the contribution of agricultural development on economic growth of Kaduna state between the periods 1999 to 2016
During the study, several limitations were encountered and they include; insufficient funds, time factor, incomplete and inadequate data, problems with sourcing of materials and lack of cooperation in the side of the farmers.
1.8 RESEARCH OUTLINE
This research is divided into five sections, the first section is the introduction, and the second section reviews the theoretical and literature issues and also examines the role of agriculture in Kaduna state economic growth. The third section contains the methodology used. The fourth section contains data analysis and result interpretation and the fifth section presents summary, conclusion and the recommendations.
1.9 DEFINATION OF TERMS
CONTRIBUTION: according to Cambridge Advance learner’s dictionary is something that one does in order to help produce or achieve a success. It can also be seen as a role played in achieving something or a result (Encarta dictionary).
AGRICULTURE: Agriculture can be seen as a science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and rearing of animals to provide food, wood and other products (Wik.answers.com).
ECONOMIC GROWTH: Economic growth can be seen as a steady and gradual change in the long run which brings about by a gradual increase in the rate of savings and population (Schumpeter).
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT: This refers to the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produce in a country within a given period of time, usually a year (M.L Jhingan 13th Edition. The economics of development and planning).
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