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Agricultural cooperatives and food sovereignty : a case study in Oyo State, Western Nigeria
Akintola, Olusola Babatunde
Brandon University, Faculty of Arts
146 pages : illustrations
Includes bibliographical references (pages 112-127).
"In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Rural Development."
Based on personal interview surveys, this study examines the activities of small-scale agricultural cooperatives in addressing food insecurity in Nigeria. Specifically, the study employs a food sovereignty approach to food insecurity in Nigeria by carefully examining the strengths and weaknesses of small-scale agricultural cooperatives. The study is conducted in the Ibarapa North, Ibarapa East, and Ibarapa Central local government districts of Oyo State, Western Nigeria, using both qualitative and quantitative methods. The farmers in Oyo State, Nigeria are predominantly small-scale farmers and most of them are involved in one form or other in agricultural cooperatives. Empirical studies have consistently demonstrated that Nigeria is facing a severe food crisis due to growing population and insufficient local food production due to heavy reliance on food import. Over the last decade, the Nigerian government has promoted the diversification of the economy, which still remains heavily dependent on oil exports, by primarily strengthening the agricultural sector. Agricultural cooperatives have played an important role in this process. Government agricultural programs encouraged the formation of agricultural cooperatives as the means of boosting domestic food production and providing affordable food staples to urban and rural Nigerian consumers. This study argues that efforts to reduce Nigeria’s over dependency on food imports through the expansion of agricultural cooperative formation has not produced the expected results. The small-scale agricultural family economy in Nigeria is at a risk of further marginalization due to poorly designed, implemented, and managed agricultural cooperative programs. The performance and productivity of small-scale agricultural cooperatives in Nigeria is being crippled by insecure land tenure, scarcity of government funds and credit, limited access to markets and farm inputs, and inadequate transportation and educational resources. All of these factors hampered the Nigerian agricultural sector and, therefore, severely restricted its ability to confront food insecurity in the country. The study concludes that to be effective, the Nigerian government needs to fundamentally revise its agricultural cooperative programs by giving cooperative stakeholders more access to financial, educational, and productive resources. More importantly, the government needs to democratize the agricultural cooperative policy decision making process, which currently suffers from a top-down, corrupt prone, and unaccountable structure mechanism. To be effective, the long-term and effective promotion of food sovereignty requires a healthy dose of democratic values, principles, and practices rooted in a balanced community-society-state relationship.
Food security--NigeriaAgriculture, Cooperative--Nigeria
Brandon University.Faculty of Arts