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FUNCTION OF COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT ON FARMERS’ EMPOWERMENT IN NIGERIA

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

In recent years, attention has been drawn to the need to improve the business environment for agriculture to become more successful by gradually shifting from subsistence to commercial agriculture. Commercial transformation of subsistence agriculture is an indispensable pathway towards the development of the agricultural sector of any economy. Commercial agriculture stems from the need to improve food production, engage more farmers and enhance sales of agricultural products. Hence, the need for empowerment programmes to support farmers meet up with the increased demands of commercial agriculture. Empowerment has assumed a prominent role in rural and agricultural development with support to farmer groups and organisations entering the dialogue between donors and governments in Asia and Africa (Mohammad, 2012). A central argument used by donors for supporting farmer empowerment is that there is a strong relation between farmer empowerment and such development outcomes as poverty reduction, improved agricultural opportunities for growth and better governance. More so, is that empowerment can give greater ownership to a project and to a particular direction in development.

1.2 Statement of the Research Problem

Over the years, several agricultural empowerment programmes have been introduced to reduce abject poverty among rural dwellers, mostly farmers, in sub-Saharan Africa and also improve their standard of living. Some of these programmes include: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Agricultural Development Programmes (ADP), Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), and National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS), The Directorate of Food, Roads [5] and Rural Infrastructure (DIFRRI), National Orientation Agency (NOA), National Accelerated Food Production Programme (NAFPP), Green Revolution (GR), Operation Feed the Nation (OFN), etc. (World Bank, 1993; World Bank, 1995a; World Bank, 1995b; World Bank, 1996; Hashmi and Sial 2007; IFAD 2001), but it seems that these efforts have yielded little or no impact on the rural population, as argued by Afolayan (1997).

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Updated: 15th May 2019 — 11:54 am

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