EFFECT OF POVERTY ON AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY IN EKITI STATE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Agriculture is the systematic raising of useful plants and livestock under the management of man (Rimando, 2004). Broadly agriculture include cultivation of the soil, growth and man feed for animals and raw materials for industries. The role of agriculture in changing both the social and economic structure of an economy cannot be over emphasized.
Agriculture is also a sources of employment opportunities, income distribution, foreign exchange of commodity and income. It has been the main sources of employment with about 8% of population include in it and a reliable source of government revenue (Anywill, 2002).
Adeleke (1981) opined that agriculture is by far the most widely spread form of human activity and it is more basic than any industry and that agriculture is one more than three (3) quarter of human race, it yield fibers and raw materials for the industry on which a large proportion of people depend on.
Crops have been raised since earliest time in civilization and they are still being grown. The soil, if carefully maintained is full of resources that is renewable and can even be improved. In other words, diminishing return may set in as regards soil fertility, artificial fertilizers can be introduced to improve yield.
Agriculture can now be regarded as a primary industry which deals with the cultivation of soil and raising of food and animals for ma’s use. The uses are numerous in the socio-economic development of any nation or country. Some analysts argued that for a nation to progress or move forward, the development of agricultural sector before industrial sector will be most reasonable and increase in development (Essang and Olyide 1974).
Agriculture has continued to play an important role in Nigeria economy over a long period of time. Before the oil boom, agriculture accounted for more than half (½) of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employed about 75 percent (75%) of adult working population (Olayiwola, 1989). As a result of the oil boom era of the 1970s and early 1980s, agriculture suffer a serious decline because attention of Nigerians was shifted from agriculture to petroleum since 1970 has done more harm than good to agricultural sector in Nigeria.
The aftermath of the reduction in agricultural production discourage farmers from further production since there is insufficient capital to shoulder the cost mechanized farming due to the low level of demand for their product which eventually leads to increase in the level of poverty among farmers.
Agricultural research as a vital component of integrated strategies for poverty reduction has a crucial role of productivity, changing from mono-economic to diversify economic system, unemployment, fluctuation in the price of agricultural products, fueling economic growth which serve as pre-condition for economic development.
It is against this background that this research work is focusing on how poverty is affecting agricultural productivity and how agricultural product can reduce the level of poverty. Rural poverty appear to be endemic in sub-sahara African (SSA) and Nigeria particularly disheartening is the fact that this problem is interactable in certain area in Nigeria despite the measure to abate the problem.
One of the serious effect of rural poverty is food and nutrition insecurity and its attendant socio-economic and political costs. A food of adequate quality and quantity to support a healthy and active life for all members of the household (HeidhuseEtali, 2004).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Despite the contribution of agriculture to socio-economic development of Nigeria, farmers still suffer socio-economic and policy biases. The back of agricultural productivity in Nigeria takes place in the rural areas and majorly the level and incident of poverty is very pronounced.
Agriculture has a strong hold in an economy for without it, a country will always depend on foreign countries to feed its population. The potential contribution of agriculture to economic growth has been ongoing subject of controversy among development economist. Several author argued that growth in the over all economy depends on the development of agricultural sector (Scholts, 2004, Gollin parent and Rogerson 2002). The growth in agricultural sector could be a catalyst for national output growth through its effect on rural income and provision of resources for transformation into an industrialized economy (Eicher and Stact 1992).
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