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Topic: ROLES OF GOVERNMENT IN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION
In the past agriculture used to be the main stay of Nigeria economy but when petroleum was discovered agriculture was neglected, food production became relatively low and a lot of money was spent importing food from overseas.
To safe guard the situation and solve the numerous problems which resulted in the poor development of agriculture, the government has to play an important role in the development of agriculture.
The role of the government in agricultural production is broadly given as these two major roles:
- To set up good and functioning policies
- To formulate good and functioning programmes
- To set up good and functioning policies. A policy is a set of rules set up by the ministry / government towards achieving a goal. polices sometimes changes as government changes, but the basic objectives of a good policy may include the following:
(i). To provide both qualitative and quantitative food
(ii). To produce animals and plants that are rich in protein and at a minimum cost for both rich and poor in the society.
(iii). To increase the supply of animals and plants that can attain market weight in the shortest possible time
(iv). To develop local agro-based industries that will employ the citizen as well as provide finished products.
(v). To increase the supply of local raw materials like timber, cotton, groundnut, gum Arabic etc.
(vi) . To produce plants and animals for export purpose.
(vii). To regulate the influx of foreign agricultural products so as not kill agro-based industries in the country.
(viii). Mechanizing farming for increased output and income for farmers.
- To formulate good and functioning programme.
Agricultural programmes are drawn by the government or its agencies at the ministry of agriculture. Some of the programmes are:
- Provision of financial assistance
The government through its various agencies has helped in the provision of financial assistance to farmers in form of loans and subsidies. Such agencies include:
- A. C.B: Nigerian Agricultural and Co-operative bank.
- C. G. S: Agricultural Credit Guarantee scheme.
- D. E: National Directorate of Employment.
All these were established to give loans to farmers. The government also directs commercial banks to give loans to farmer in order to boost the production. The government can also assist farmers in form of credit or subsidies.
AGRICULTURAL CREDITS: This is a refundable loan given to a farmer with the aim that the farmer will repay it after a specified period of time.
AGRICULTURAL SUBSIDIES: These are non-refundable aids granted to a farmer. Subsidies are given to farmers in cash or in kind without the intention of paying back, examples of agricultural subsidies include: Reduction in price of inputs such as fertilizers, improved seeds chemicals etc.
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