This study examined the role of financial institutions in agricultural development.( A case study of Nigeria Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank) with a view to make useful suggestions and recommendations as way of enhancing the development of agricultural sector. The population of the study includes large and small scale farmers and the sampling method adopted for the study is the stratified random sampling in order to ensure adequate representation of the population. In order to achieve the objective of making useful suggestions that would improve the agricultural sector, a number of hypotheses were made and tested. Samples of one hundred and eighty responses were collected and analyzed using the chi-square (×²).It was discovered that bank credit loan scheme is making some impacts in lending loans to farmers. The result also showed that farmers prefer informal to the formal sources of finance mostly because of the demand of formal institutions that farmers most present collateral security. Finally, the study also indicated that the problems facing agricultural financing.
1.1 Background to the study.
Nigeria is endowed with natural resources, large fertile arable land, wide range of crops, and abundant water resources amongst others. Despite its abundant natural resources it is faced with a poor food situation. The poor food situation is traceable to the decline in the agricultural sector. The problem of feeding is increasing by the day. However, several efforts are being made to improve the standard of living.
Prior to the discovery of petroleum in Nigeria agriculture used to be the highest foreign exchange resource earner and its contribution to gross domestic product GDP has been estimated to about 62.63% in 1960, 48.08% in 1970, and 20.63% in 1980. Recently due to the growing awareness of the role of agriculture, the various governments have intensified efforts aimed at transforming from its present subsistence level to a market oriented production. One of those efforts was the ban made on importation of agricultural products like palm oil, maize and rice. This was done to encourage improvements on our production standard. Due to the fall in the level of production from decade to decade, the country could no longer feed the large population, provide raw material for domestic industries, engage in export of agricultural produce and employ the labor force of the country despite the abundance of human and material resources.
the population is dependent directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihood. Though, the Nigerian agriculture is characterized by low farm income, low level capacity to satisfy the food In spite of growing urbanization, Nigeria is known to be predominantly rural in nature and majority of needs of the country, due to the outdated and primitive techniques of production, it is still the mainstay of the nation’s economy.
Measures and program setup to upgrade the Agricultural sector involve the construction and reformation of the whole structure of the agricultural sector by the creation of appropriate institutions and public services. This would help strengthen the economic position of the dependent farmers. Examples of such measures are National Accelerated Food Production Project (NAFPP), Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), Nigeria Agricultural Cooperation and Rural Development Bank (NACRDB).
1.2 Statement of Research Problem.
According to Anyanwu et al (1997) the agricultural sector has been recognized for a long time as an important sector to Nigerian economy and development is one of the crucial requirements for the overall economic growth. He noted further that the decline in agricultural activities might appear natural in any development process; it is obvious that in Nigeria, agricultural activities would remain the most important single sector for some time to come. He emphasized that in the past, development planners have introduced programs such as National Accelerated Food Production Project (NAFPP), Green Revolution Programs (GRP), in search for all appropriate technique in order to increase farm output and productivity and such program have at one time been implemented.
1.3 Research Questions
In recognition of the aforementioned the attempt is made in this study to provide answers or
solution to the research questions below
1. What are the reasons for continuous fall or decline in the production level of the agricultural sectors of the Nigerian economy?2. What actions can be taken to upgrade the current production level of the agricultural sector?
3. What effect does the decline in agricultural sector have on the human resources of the economy?
4 What measures have been taken in the past to redress the perceived slow growth rate of the agricultural sector?
5 How and to what extent does the performance and commitment exhibited by financial institution in general, Nigeria agricultural cooperation and rural development bank (NACRDB) in particular in terms of providing financial support influenced the activities of agricultural sector?
1.4 Objectives of A Study.
The general objective of the study is to determine the role of financial institution in agricultural development in Nigeria. The specific objectives include
1. To examine and evaluate the agricultural credit it granted the farmers in recent years.
2. To ascertain the effectiveness of credit granted by Nigeria agricultural cooperation and rural deve3lopment bank (NACRDB) in the achievements of the pre-planned objectives of the agricultural sector.
3. To analyze the measures and programs set by the government in a bid to enhancing the agricultural sector.
4. To determine the influence of these measures in accelerating the growth rate of the agricultural sector.
5. To establish and verify ways by which the agricultural sector can be improved in the future.