Economics Notes

Agriculture in West Africa


Agricultural policies  in Nigeria.

Government of  various   West Africa countries have taken various steps to boost agricultural productivity…  In Nigeria,  the Federal Government had initiated many policies in order to improve the level of agriculture in the country.  These policies were initiated to meet specific objectives so as to boost greater production of crops and livestock in the country.  Some of these agricultural programmes and their objectives are stated below.

  1. Operation Feed the Nation (OFN) – 1976
  2. Agricultural Development Project (ADP) – 1976
  3. Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI) – 1986
  4. Farm Settlement Scheme (FSS) – 1959
  5. National Agricultural Insurance Scheme
  6. Green Revolution – 1979
  7. Land Use Decree – 1978


  1. To increase food production.
  2. To construct rural infrastructures such as feeder roads and earth dam.
  3. To provide security against risks, uncertainties and hazards in agriculture for farmers.
  4. To streamline and simplify the management of land in the country.
  5. To provide employment in agriculture.


The marketing Board was saddled with the responsibility of marketing agricultural produce.  Marketing Board may be defined as a public corporation charged with the responsibility of assisting farmers in purchasing, grading and marketing of various agricultural commodities in the country.  Marketing Board System was set up several years ago and was known as the West African Produce Control Board.


i.          Purchase of produce.

ii.         Sales of produce

iii.        Revenue generation

iv.        Price stabilization – They stabilized the prices of produce by fixing minimum prices for the crops they wanted to buy.

v.         Processing of produce: The marketing boards were also responsible for processing some of the produce for final export to other countries.

vi.        Development of agro-allied industries.

vii.       Economic development

viii.      Growth of co-operative societies.

ix.        Manpower development

x.         Improving the quality of produce.


1.         Inadequate finance

2.         Problem associated with overproduction

3.         Pricing problems.

4.         Climatic problems

5.         Illiteracy of the farmers

6.         Political interference


There is a lot of prospects for agriculture in the West African sub region as the climatic and soil

conditions required to produce abundant food and cash crops both for internal consumption and

for export are quite high.

In West Africa, agriculture could thrive if the following steps are taken by the various


1.         Granting of subsidies on farm input e.g. fertilizers, seeds, chemicals etc.

2.         Establishment of farm estates – This will encourage graduates of agriculture such as soil scientist, crop scientists animal scientists, fish experts to be involved in agricultural.

3.         Zoning of regions to produce certain commodities e.g. cocoa in the West, oil palm in the east and groundnut in the Northern part of Nigeria.

4.         Importation of farm machine.

5.         Provision of finance.

6.         Recruitment of agricultural graduates.


1.         Mention five agricultural policies you know.

2.         Describe any five problems facing commodity board.

3.         State any five objectives of agricultural policies.


1.         Comprehensive economics for SSS by J.U. Anyaele.

2.         Fundamental principles of economics for Senior Secondary Schools. S. A. Akande

page 252

3.         Essential Economics C. E. Ande page 128-132.


1.         Agriculture is important to the economy of West Africa because it is the source of ______

            (a) power (b) equipment supply   (c) industrial input     (d) technological progress

2.         Agriculture plays a dominant role in West Africa economies because _______              

            (a) operation Feed the Nation is agriculture     (b) It supplies all the foodstuff consumed in West Africa    (c) It employs more than 50% of the total labour force in West Africa.

            (d) There are large plantations of cocoa, groundnuts and palm oil in West Africa.

            (e) It is the main source of revenue in Nigeria.

3.         One of the following is not an agricultural policy in Nigeria.

            (a) Operation feed the Nation        (b) Land use Decree  (c) Green revolution     (d) Operation Feed Yourself

4.         One of the following is not a problem of marketing board in Nigeria.

            (a) Inadequate capital      (b) illiteracy    (c) too much crops to sell    (d) political interference

5.         Operation feed the Nations aimed at the following except_________

            (a) increasing food production (b) facilitate agricultural development in all parts of Nigeria.     (c) popularizing agriculture (d) sacking all farmers in Nigeria.


1.         Outline the economic activities that are likely to improve the effective distribution and marketing of commodities in Nigeria.

2.         Briefly outline the measures which Nigeria has taken to improve the marketing of her agricultural produce (SSCE Nov. 1989).

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