STATUS OF AGRICULTURE IN AFRICA

Agriculture is the largest and most significant industry in the world and is important not only for a country’s balance of trade, but for the food security and safety and health of its population. Nigeria is an agrarian society, with agriculture contributing about 24% of the gross domestic product (GDP). About 70% of the population live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for livelihood. It is estimated; out of the total population 7% Nigerians are under nourished.  Although in last two decades Nigeria has improved its standing on Global Hunger Index (GHI) ranking 84 out of 118 counties with a score of 25.5 (IFPRI, 2016). Nigeria, comprising 36 states, has a favorable agro-ecological environment for crop agriculture. However, an alarming stage of food deprivation points to a dark cloud on the horizon for the Nigerian agriculture. The severe food shortages condition faced by number of African countries has been doubled over the past two decades and they are depending on import for the necessary food requirements. The United Nations reports revealed that the factors that have contributed to the development of this condition include extreme weather conditions, natural disasters and insurgencies. These problems are getting worse as the raising curve of urbanization casts its shadow across most of Africa. This situation will create increased demand for water, agricultural and food products resulting in more import of food to be distributed within cities. The demand for food staples is predicted to double by 2020 as urban population is growing by 4 per cent each year. Most of that growth is of low-income earners who spend the majority of their pay on basic food items.

INCEPTION Of C-LAP

Nigeria is a federal republic with three tiers of Government: Federal (central), State and Local. The greatest challenge facing the third tier of government areas (LGAs) i.e. is the meager 20 percent share of Federal Allocation to all the 774 local governments in the country. Granting autonomy to the LGAs for the development of agricultural sector would not achieve the desired results without adequate revenue adjustment and conscious constitutional amendment towards reducing the powers at the centre. There is no clear-cut policy on how to achieve maximum benefit from the sector. It lacks a comprehensive plan at “Local Government Level” that will add value to our agricultural raw materials and integrate Nigeria into world agricultural markets. Consequently, the Federal and State Government of Nigeria have planned to improve this worsening situation by adopting bottom-up approach through a Comprehensive Local Agriculture Plan (C-LAP) at “Local Government Level” in 774 LGAs under 36 States of Nigeria. Hence; the decision of granting autonomy to the LGAs by the minimizing powers at the centre is a good step towards improvement of agricultural sector and their sustainability.

Local Government Area (LGA) SWOT Analysis

MAJOR TASKS AND STEPS

LGA Analysis
  • Preparation of Village and District Profiles :
  • (Collection and collation of essential data to present an articulated statistical profile of the village/district.)
  • Resource Inventory analysis:
  • Physical resources
  • Human resources
  • Infrastructural and institutional resources
  • Context Analysis
  • Review of on-going development programmes to bring out development gaps and extent of resource utilization.
  • Intra-district levels of development analysis
  • Technological appraisal
Vision and Strategy Formulation

Felt needs of the rural population based on ‘Needs Statement’ obtained from each village Determination of District-specific goals within the overall framework of national goals. Formulation of developing strategy for the district indicating the major thrusts and priority areas of development

Sector and Project Analysis
  • Determination of Sectoral objectives
  • Analysis of the development Potential:
    • Productive sectors
    • Infrastructural sectors
    • Basic Needs sectors
  • Project preparation and appraisal
  • Assignment of inter-sectoral and intra-sectoral priorities on the basis of resource availability, administrative feasibility and expected beneficiaries.
  • Spatial Distribution of the investible resources.
Inter-sectoral coordination
  • Institution of sectoral consistency checks.
  • Analysis of primary and secondary sectors relationship.
Financial Resources Analysis & Allocation
  • Estimate investment requirements and sources of finance e.g. Government-sectoral funds and any untied funds placed at the disposal of the local body
    • Local resources
    • Banks
    • External aid
  • Allocation of financial resources to villages and Blocks
  • Spatial and temporal distribution according to strategy
Budgeting
  • Working out cost estimates of identified programmes/ projects
  • Matching of identified programmes and projects with available resources.
  • Determining the optimal programme sequences.
Implementation
  • Phasing of development activities
  • Ensuring the orderly flow of funds
  • Task adoption: Articulation of Agency responsibilities with respect to programme execution, co-ordination, monitoring and supervision of activities.
  • Monitoring and evaluation