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Green revolution programme

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The Green revolution programme was a major agriculture policy of the Shehu Shagari administration and the Fourth National Development Plan. It was introduced in April 1980 and was intended as a programme to ensure self sufficiency in food production and to introduce modern technology into the Nigerian agricultural sector largely through the introduction of modern inputs such as high yielding varieties of seeds, fertilizers and tractors. The programme encompassed a wide range of projects supportive to the nation's agricultural development, this included 11 river basin development authorities, the ministry of Water Resources, National Food Production Programme, and the Agro Service centers.

Improving rice and fish production was a major focus of the programme which succeeded Operation Feed the Nation.

However, the project suffered some setbacks in states governed by leaders opposed to Shagari's political party and also provisions to motivate high end farmers to make large scale investment were met with mixed results as a result of the Land Use Decree, the same provisions were also criticized as creating growth opportunities for wealthy investors without relief for small farmers.


[edit] Green revolution

The term green revolution in a narrow sense relates to the use of high yielding variety (HYV) seeds and fertilizer to improve the grain yield. Modern concept of the term emanated from research conducted at the International Institute for the Improvement of Maize and Wheat located in Mexico, the research produced the breeding of improved seeds leading to high yields of maize and wheat. Further scientific development in pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers combined with the improved seeds made a case for sustainable production of food. However, for a full realization of the benefits of the scientific developments, the necessity to improve supportive structures and inputs in agriculture such as credit provision, extension aids, and storage as part of a package towards growth underscores the basis of a broader definition of the term and also that of the Nigerian Green Revolution programme.

[edit] Before the project

A study conducted by Nigerian and World Bank consultants in 1980 presented a national food deficient amounting to 2.6 million tons of grain for the 1979-1980 period and was predicted to reach 5.3 m tons by 1985 with the situation in fish and livestock much worse than those of grains. Predicated on the increasing deficit, it was suggested that agricultural production needs a growth rate of about 6.6% per annum to eliminate the deficit in five years coupled with governmental spending totaling $500m per annum.

[edit] Initiation and the project

The Green Revolution Programme was launched in April, 1980 with the Federal government immediately disbursing 18.3 million naira to specific funds for the improvement of food, livestock and fish production. Many aforementioned programmes including land clearing schemes, river basin authorities, farm mechanization and agro service centers received the funds. Also, a Green Revolution committee was convened at the federal level to be followed by those in charge of the 19 states. The programme made three clear functional duties which was to introduce modern inputs for increased agricultural productivity, the provision of loans to small and large scale farmers through the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme, commercial banks and the Nigeria Agricultural Cooperative Bank and the supply of financial incentives to commercial farmers with intent to fund large scale production, the incentives included: income tax relief, free import duties on farm machinery.

The five major objectives of the programme were

  • To ensure adequate, reliable and safe food supplies for a rapidly growing population
  • To become self reliant in basic food requirements
  • To raise and stabilize the nutritional standards of Nigerians
  • To ensure stability in food commodity markers
  • To ensure fair and reasonable levels and distribution of income among food producers.

[edit] References

  • Remi Adeyemo. 'The food marketing system: Implications of the green revolution programme in Nigeria', Agricultural Systems, Volume 14, Issue 3, 1984.
  • Ibrahim Gusau. 'Nigeria's Green Revolution', Africa Report, 26:4 (1981:July/Aug.)