LUMINA Volume 22 No. 2

World Bank Agricultural Development Projects and Underdevelopment in Nigeria

by Noah Echa Attah

One of the major challenges of Nigeria, beginning from the second decade of her independence, has been that of agricultural failure. Apart from providing food for the Nigerian population, agriculture had been a major income earner for both the government and the people. The importance of agriculture in the economy was demonstrated in its position as a major foreign exchange earner during colonialism and in the first decade of independence (Bonat, 1989:78; Oladele, 2004:141). Agriculture however began to experience crisis during the second decade of Nigerian independence. This was evidenced in the decline of the contribution of agriculture to Nigeria's foreign exchange earnings and the difficulty in feeding the people. By 1980, agriculture contributed only 2.4% to export earnings (Bonat, 1989:80) and by the beginning of 2000, it contributed about 0.05% to export earnings (USAID, 2008:42).

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