ROLES OF GOVERNMENT IN AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
AGRICULTURAL FINANCE: The federal government through its various agencies, has helped in the provision of financial assistance to farmers in the form of loans, credit and subsidies. Agencies like Nigerian Agricultural co-operative Bank (N.A.C.B.), Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (A.C.G.S.) and National Directorate of Employment (N.D.E.) were established to give loans to farmers.
AGRICULTURAL CREDIT: Agricultural credit is a refundable loan given to a farmer with the aim that the farmer will repay it after a specified period of time.
AGRICULTURAL SUBSIDY: Agricultural subsidies are non-refundable aids granted to a farmer. In other words, subsidies are aids given to farmers in cash or in kind without the intention of paying back. E.g. reduction in the prices of inputs such as fertilizers, improved seeds, chemicals etc.
AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION: Since major Nigerian farmers are illiterate, government decides to provide adult education e.g. nomadic education (for Fulani cattle rearers) in order to enable them read and write, apply modern system of farming and also promote easy acceptance of new techniques and innovation in agriculture.
PROVISION OF AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICES: Extension services enables new ideas and innovation to get to the rural farmers. Government has helped to employ qualified and experienced extension officers to perform these roles.
ESTABLISHMENT OF AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMMES: The government established programmes like
(i) Agricultural loan schemes for giving out loans
(ii) River Basin Development Authority (RBDA)
(iii) Agricultural Development Projects (ADP)
(iv) Operation Feed the Nation (OFN)
ROLES OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS IN AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
1. NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATION (NGO): They are private or corporate bodies concerned with the development of agriculture all over the world. They are not owned or controlled by the government. They do not pay corporate taxes. They are non-profit making.
Examples of NGOs in West Africa
(i) International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
(ii) West Africa Rice Development Agency (WARDA)
(iii) International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA)
(iv) International Crop Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
ROLES OF NGO(s) IN AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
1. WEST AFRICA RICE DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (WARDA)
– To promote the cultivation or rice within the West African Sub-region
– To develop disease resistant varieties of rice
– To develop rice which can meet the nutritional needs of the West Africa Sub-region
2. INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TROPICAL AGRICULTURE (IITA)
– To promote the cultivation of food crops like maize, rice, cow pea, yam etc within the tropics
– To develop food crops that can resist diseases
– To improve the method of processing food crops
3. INTERNATIONAL LIVESTOCK CENTRE FOR AFRICA (ILCA)
– To promote the rearing of animals within Africa
– To breed animals with high production capabilities e.g. high milk production, high egg and meat production
– To breed animals with early maturity and fast growth rate
4. INTERNATIONAL CROP RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR SEMI-ARID TROPICS (ICRISAT)
– To promote the cultivation of selected crops in semi-arid regions
– To develop irrigation system that will promote the cultivation of these crops in the dry region of Africa
– To produce crops in abundance which can serve for local and foreign consumption