IMPACT OF COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (CADP) ON FARMERS’ EMPOWERMENT IN KADUNA STATE (2010-2015)

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1         Background to the Study

In recent years, attention has been drawn to the need to improve the business environment for agriculture to become more successful by gradually shifting from subsistence to commercial agriculture. Commercial transformation of subsistence agriculture is an indispensable pathway towards the development of the agricultural sector of any economy. Commercial agriculture stems from the need to improve food production, engage more farmers and enhance sales of agricultural products. Hence, the need for empowerment programmes to support farmers meet up with the increased demands of commercial agriculture.

Empowerment has assumed a prominent role in rural and agricultural development with support to farmer groups and organisations entering the dialogue between donors and governments in Asia and Africa (Mohammad, 2012). A central argument used by donors for supporting farmer empowerment is that there is a strong relation between farmer empowerment and such development outcomes as poverty reduction, improved agricultural opportunities for growth and better governance. More so, is that empowerment can give greater ownership to a project and to a particular direction in development. The UNDP document (2002) states that ownership is the acceptance of responsibility through the process of stakeholder participation, empowerment and concensus. In the words of Rifkin (2003), empowerment is a mechanism or process through which individuals, organizations and groups can work on things and have more control over what they are involved in. So that individuals, organizations and groups with a high power could control the resources, build confidence, make capacity and have an active participation in managing their life.

Hence, the concept of farmers‟ empowerment is an integral part of almost all intervention programmes by government, international and non governmental organisations. Intervention in the area of farmers‟ empowerment is necessitated by the prevalence of food scarcity, abject poverty and low standard of living among rural dwellers, mostly farmers. All these factors or indicators are reasons behind the unsatisfactory nature of the performance of the agricultural sector and farmers in Nigeria. However according to Alsop (2005), the indicators which directly affect the empowerment of farmers include having access to the inputs, credit, infrastructures, information and taking part in social decision making. Training is also an essential component in the empowerment process (Fleming, 2000). Farmers‟ empowerment goes hand in hand with the modernization theory of development as both concepts are related to agricultural development. Modernization theory assumes that agriculture progresses from being oriented towards subsistence farming that occurs on small plots to commercial farming of large scale; one that is characterized by the availability of mechanized production, improved seeds, storage facilities, access roads, market opportunities, modern equipment, etc. These empowerment opportunities have immense potentials for enhancing the productivity of commercial farmers in the State towards a greater impact on the society.


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IMPACT OF COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (CADP) ON FARMERS’ EMPOWERMENT IN KADUNA STATE (2010-2015)