EFFECTS OF INSECURITY ON THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR IN NIGERIA
The study is an appraisal of insecurity on the agricultural sector of the Nigerian business environment. A research survey design was adopted while descriptive statistics and t-test were used to analyse the data. The study however make use of both primary and secondary source of data. The primary data were gotten from structured questionnaire and oral interview while the secondary data were from article journals, textbooks, newspaper publications and internet source.. Based on the findings, the study recommends that Government should take legal and justifiable action to ensure that the ills caused by insecurity both BokoHaram and herdsmen to the agricultural sector are arrested and farmers encouraged with better incentives to go back to farm.
1.1 Background to the Study
Agriculture in Nigeria is the most important sector of the economy from the standpoint of rural employment, sufficiency in food and fibre, and export earning prior to the discovery of oil (Towobola, et.al 2014). The above assertion is based on the fact that as at independence in 1960, little was known of petroleum as a source of revenue for the Nigerian economy. There was sustained emphasis on agriculture such that Nigeria was a major exporter of agricultural products like palm produce, cocoa, groundnut, cotton and rubber. In addition to these cash crops, the national agricultural system produced enough food crops such as yam, cassava, maize, millet, sorghum and soya beans so that there was practically no need for food importation. Hitherto, agriculture accounted for over 60% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (Francis and David, 2012).
According to Akinwumi (2014), in the 1960s, before the discovery of oil, Nigeria was known to be a major agricultural producer in the world. Between 1962 and 1968, export crops were the country’s main foreign exchange earner. Nigeria was number one amongst other countries like Malaysia and Indonesia in products like palm oil and groundnuts, even ahead of the US and Argentina. Nigeria’s status with 47% in these products which made her as an agricultural centre has declined steeply. While Nigeria once provided 18% of the world demand of cocoa, second in the world in the 1960s, that figure has drastically reduced to 8%. Also the country which was known to produce 65% of tomatoes in West Africa has become the leading importer of tomato paste.
Despite the poor performance of the agricultural sector which is below economic expectation, the sector is still capable of aiding socioeconomic development of people living in rural areas, most especially in the northern states as they engaged more in agriculture in order to sustain themselves, and traded within their capacity or capabilities for profit. However, the on-going Boko Haram insurgency has affected the rural agricultural economy the northern, part of Nigeria, hence, this work is an appraisal of the impact of Boko Haram insurgency on the agricultural sector of the Nigerian business environment.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Reduction in the production of agricultural outputs in Nigeria began with the discovery of crude oil in 1956 while commercial exploitation commenced in the early ’70s. The discovery of oil in Nigeria which was supposed to be a blessing and an additional source of income to the country has become a means of distorting our economy. Kathleen (2014) observed that Agricultural products which were the main exports and major source of foreign exchange earnings for the country declined suddenly. In the same vein, Lawal (2012) noted that many government policies have been enacted to develop the sector but these have not achieved much. This situation is further worsened by the advent of Boko Haram (a sect of violent people). Boko Haram which means “denouncing western education” has led to the displacement of farmers in Northwest and Northeast of Nigeria and Fulani herdsmen. This insurgency has made many farmers relocate to other places where there is peace in other to save their lives, causing them to leave their farmlands behind as it is not mobile as highlighted by (Mustapha, 2015).
According to Lawal (2012), agriculture is not limited to crop production alone. The Northerners also involve in animal husbandry and they were engaged in business even before the colonial era. The manifestation of Boko Haram recently has been a great threat to the Nigeria business environment as farming and other business activities are being harmed (Council on Foreign Relations, 2015). Nomadic cattle rearers who have been taking their cattle out for grazing have abandoned their business, as the environment is no longer safe for them. The lives of those that are still involved in the business are also at stake, because an attack of Boko Haram can occur at any moment. This has led to decreases in milk production, meat production and by extension an increase in the price of the cattle. Poultry farmers also do not find their business lucrative anymore, as the people purchasing the goods have been displaced.
Some of the crops they produced are also perishable and need to be consumed on time. Consequently, this has also led to poor transportation, high transport cost, displacement of properties and high risk to lives. These crops get spoiled leading to wastages. Also some of these crops need to be marketed on time but due to imposed curfew and several restriction of movement; they perished and become unmarketable (Mustapha, 2015).
The hazard caused by Boko Haram is not only felt in Nigeria but in some other parts of the Africa. Cameroon, a country sharing border with Nigeria in the North East part is also affected. Traders from this country can no longer come to Maiduguri (Nigeria) to buy or sell. The border was closed some time ago, restricting importation or exportation from the countries which affected their economy. The Niger Republic economy is also affected, as she shares border with Nigeria and both countries practise goods exchange with one another.
Akinwumi (2014) revealed that climate favours the Nigeria agriculture business environment and the country needs World Bank assistance to boost the sector. Dabugat (2013) identified that the present problem of low agricultural productivity is due to violence in the Northern States. This forms the basis of arguments of this paper which examines the effect of Boko Haram on the agricultural sector of the business environment of Nigeria.
This paper is aimed at investigating the effects of insecurity on the agricultural sector in Nigeria.
The specific objectives of this study are:
- To examine the negative effects of insecurity toward agricultural output in Nigeria.
- To analyze the effect of BokoHaram insurgency and Fulani herdsmen activities on Agricultural sector
1.4 Research Question
- Does insecurity has any effect on agricultural output in Nigeria .
- Does BokoHaram and Fulani herdsmen activities a hitch on agricultural sector?
(Ho) Insecurity has no significant effect on the Agricultural Sector of Nigerian Business Environment.
(Hi) Insecurity has significant effects on the Agricultural Sector of Nigerian Business
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study is limited to insecurity on the Agricultural Sector In Nigeria.
1.7 Significance of the Study
It is believed that the discovery of the study will benefit the government tremendously, in terms of agricultural policies, budgetary allocation on agricultural expenditure.
The literature review will serve as a useful source of secondary database for the academic world and Nigeria at large.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Agricultural productivity: This is measured as the ratio of agricultural outputs to agricultural inputs.
Insurgency: The violent struggle of a group of people who refuse to accept their government’s power.
Insecurity: The state of being open to danger or threat; lack of protection