IMPACT OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION (NGO) IN AGRICULTURAL SECTOR IN  AKWA IBOM STATE ( A CASE STUDY OF UYO,  LGA)

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ABSTRACT

Available records show that appreciable amount of resources have been committed by State Governments in Nigeria towards the transformation of the rural sectors. But the rural resource poor clientele is dissatisfied with the government’s efforts; and therefore yearn for more attention. This situation has encouraged good spirited individuals and organizations to come together to form Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in order to make attempt in changing the life style of the rural dwellers for the better. The formation of NGOs was identified as an approach towards rural transformation. The organizations are seen as essential mechanism by which the rural dwellers can participate, while mobilizing internal resources to improve their living standards. From the results, financial constraint is a major problem deterring the NGO’s from achieving their full potential in rural transformation. The masses need to be fully aware of the gains they will derive by supporting the activities of NGOs. The mass media should be mobilized to further expose the benefits of NGOs as this will enhance farmers’ effective participation in NGOs activities in the rural areas.

CHAPTER ONE

1. 0      INTRODUCTION

1.1       BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The African continent is the most poverty stricken in the world today despite attempts to make it realize its development. It became clear even after most African countries got independence in the late 1950s and 1960s that governments alone cannot make the continent emerge from its economic gloom. The abundance of resources in the continent has evidently failed to alleviate poverty and yet the fear of their deterioration continues to mount. This is the reason why interventions by non-state actors, such as NGOs, cannot be ignored or undermined anymore in the African development sphere. It is for this stated reason that this study necessitates the examination of the impact that NGOs have on Agricultural sector in Uyo.

The role that is played by NGOs in both economic and political development of  Uyo and in other countries in the African continent, can no longer escape the attention of those who are interested in development. As noted, NGOs are increasingly recognised as an important role-player in community or people-centred development, the latter being core aspects of Agricultural sector, as we shall demonstrate in chapter three. NGOs are extremely important mechanisms in rural. development and they enjoy the goodwill and acceptance of the communities. They are often touted as a mechanism to give ordinary people greater access to and influence over the state, therefore mitigating the misuse of state power to enrich elites and entrench inequality (Nzimakwe, 2008:090 and Smith, 2010:250). On the other side, authors such as (Shepherd, 1998) argue that, NGOs may be male and elite-dominated, highly opportunistic and career oriented in situations where careers are hard to come by. Indigenous or national NGOs can also serve as intermediaries between communities and international NGOs and therefore form of organisations, which might make them seem like creatures of the aid industry. Unlike democratically elected governments, which are accountable to their citizens, and firms, which are accountable to their owners and shareholders, NGOs serve diverse principals, such as clients, donors, individual members and staff. They operate in environments that provide them with immunity from transparency (Shepherd, 1998:244; Hayden, 2002 and FIorini, 2003). It is intriguing that there are debates for and against the usefulness of NGOs in the development arena, as exemplified above. There have also ,been studies that take the language and practices of development as their subject and these have been growing in number.

However, NGOs have not been very central to the concerns of much of critical development studies. More often than not, NGO do escape scrutiny and are simply posited

as alternative signs of hope against dominant development discourse (Hilhorst, 2003:2).

Most interestingly, the connection between NGOs and Agricultural sector in the

debates on development is often superficial if nor completely missing. It is this lack of line

of inquiry that makes it germane for contributions that NGOs make in their quest to realise

Agricultural sector, worthy of examination.

A paradigm shift in the development debate occurred 15 years before 2003, with the advent of the concept of Agricultural sector. It ,has since come to dominate a lot of the

debates concerning development- especially regarding good development practice (Sofield,

2003:5). It is the emergence of interesting debates on Agricultural sector that place it

as offering some hope to those who are relegated to poverty, that make the concept valuable

to any research on development. What is even most worthy is to bring NGOs and

Agricultural sector together on any research undertaking.