The development of agriculture since 1960 and its contribution to the growth of the economy has been discussed in the course of this study. It is however obvious from the analysis that though agriculture has contributed positively to economic growth, there are fundamental problems attributable largely to the characteristics of Nigerian agriculture. It is also evident that unfavourable environments as well as poor implementation of economic policies were detrimental to output increase in the sector. Thus, the pace of modernization of the sector has been very slow. These problems and other outstanding constraints discussed in detail in this work have prevented the sector from contributing to the achievement of the set objectives including laying a solid foundation for Nigerians agrarian base. Taking advantage of the ordinary least square method (OLS), through which the research was carried out by means of secondary data and using independent variables: agricultural total production, agricultural import, agricultural export, foreign direct investment, and interest rate re-examines the question of whether agriculture could serve as an engine of growth for the Nigerian economy. Results from the empirical analysis shows that the productivity in agricultural sector has impacted positively on economic growth in Nigeria.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY By the time Nigeria became politically independent in October 1960, agriculture was the dominant sector of the economy, contributing about 70% of the Gross Domestic Product (G.D.P), employing about the same percentage of the working population and accounting for about 90% of foreign exchange earnings and the federal government revenue (C.B.N 2005).The early period of post independence up until the mid 1970’s saw a rapid growth of industrial capacity and output as the contribution of the...
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