Development of Agriculture in Nigeria

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Since 1974 the Bank has committed $1.2 billion for Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs) to increase farm production and welfare among smallholders in Nigeria. OED reviewed five ADPs and a supporting Agricultural Technical Assistance Project (ATAP), all implemented between 1979 and 1990. Only two of the six projects had satisfactory outcomes. In general, rainfed agricultural production was far below projections. Macroeconomic conditions, some national policies, and particular design and implementation problems prevented a more significant impact. Low-cost irrigated development of lowland areas (fadama) was, however, quite successful. Village water supply components exceeded their targets. The ADPs have evolved to be "permanent" institutions for rural infrastructural development and agricultural services, but their role vis-a-vis the regular state departments needs to be reviewed.

ADP concept The ADPs were designed in response to a fall in agricultural productivity, and hence a concern to sustain domestic food supplies, as labor had moved out of agriculture into more remunerative activities that were benefitting from the oil boom. Conversely, domestic recycling of oil income provided the opportunity for the government, with Bank support, to develop the ADPs. The projects provided agricultural investment and services, rural roads, and village water supplies. The government's adoption of the ADP concept put the smallholder sector at the center of the agricultural development strategy, and marked a clear shift away from capital-intensive investment projects for selected areas of high agricultural potential.

The first ADPs in Nigeria were enclave projects each covering a specific region within a state. Their early results impressed both the federal and state governments, and there was pressure to replicate the approach across whole states. By 1989 all Nigeria's then 19 states had ADPs. (See Box.)

Two of the projects audited--Ilorin and Oyo North--were...
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