POLICIES FOR EKITI STATE ON AGRICULTURE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BY CORPER AMEH GABRIEL.
I, corper Ameh Gabriel with state code Ek/15A/0668, the President of agro allied community development service group batch A ,2015 Ijero chapter, a graduate of Agricultural economics and extension from university of agriculture makurdi, doing my primary assignment in Ekameta community high secondary school, Epe, Ara and Araromi in Ijero local government area of the state had involved in agriculture in the state throughout my nysc by direct transferability of technical , economical and agronomic experiences to the farmers using my personal project farm in Epe Ijero.
Also, direct comparison of yield were made between my farm and their own in the cultivation processes, consequently adoption of innovation took place among the farmers. This was done in line with my primary objective to contribute to educational development.
As a policy maker, a researcher and innovator of communication who is always inquisitive and passionate to know the causes of low agricultural production and the present economic development of Ekiti state , despite the God’s gift agricultural land(highly fertile) and rocks which can be utilized judiciously to develop the state. On that note problems have been identified. Therefore, i research to make policies.
Ekiti state, presently known as the land of Honour is situated entirely within the tropic. It is located between longitude 4°5′ and 5°45′ East of the Greenwich meridian and latitude 7°15′ and 8°5′ north of the equator.
The state has boundary with four states , it lies south of kwara and kogi state, East of osun state and bounded by ondo state in the east and in the south. Based on 2006 cencus , the population of the state is 2,384,212 .Rock present mostly in Efon, Alaaye, Ikere and okemesi.
My work covers ten zones out of the sixteen local government areas of the state namely;Ijero, Aramoko, inyi, Emure, Ise-orun, Ido-osi, moba, lgede, oye and Ikere. This was done during my leisure time specifically Saturday and sunday to find out about agricultural production with respect to the kind of implement used, types of crops that are grown, categories of people involved in farming, educational level of farmers, types of soil, marketing channel of agricultural produce, land tenure system, types of processing industry in the area, agricultural extension and the kind of subsidy given by the government to increase agricultural production.
Five farmers were sampled out from each zone while my primary data were collected through questionnaires and interview as supplement, data were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as pie chart and percentages.
Although, there were limitations. Concisely, the following results were gotten.
i. The type of soil in Ekiti state is predominantly agricultural soil which varies from clay-loam to loamy soil which supports crops like Maize, cassava, cocoyam, bananna, Rice and permanent crops like cocoa, palm trees and colanut.
ii. They use crude equipment like hoes and cutlasses using family and hired labour
iii. Ekiti state has greater numbers of literate people that are not farmers but hold land and lease them out to none indigene for farming
iv.Greater percentage of farmers are old and illiterate.
v. Farmers income are low and most of them are been exploited by buyers during sales due to unorganized marketing system and prices
vi .Greater percentage of farmers had inadequate access to subsidies like improved seeds, fertilizer and agricultural extension by the government
vii .The kind of agro processing machines are mostly local ones constructed by welders
Viii.In the course of my research, Ekiti state has a lot of big rocks which serves as one of the basic resources that is under utilized in the state.
From the above, the salient feature of these results is that the types of crops grown are those economic types that have a lot of alternative uses which when utilized can contribute to the gross domestic product(GDP) of the state to bring development.
Also, from the results, professors, doctors, academicians and all the elites luminary in the field of agriculture can deduce valid statement to formulate policies.
MY POLICY STATEMENT: By the year 2030, Ekiti State can have a vibrant, dynamic, employable, stable agro-allied, industrialized economic settings if the government can follow my policies below;
1. BASED ON THE THEORY OF BASIC RESOURCES- Economic growth depends on the presence, quality and magnitude of basic resources which can be exploited to create utilities. From the above result the basic resources in Ekiti state are fertile land and rocks. As it is known agriculture guarantee food security; availability, affordability and sustainability. Also, the rocks are natural resources that can support building, road construction etc. Therefore, the government should partner with experts and private investors to utilize these resources fully to bring development to the state.
2.BASED ON THE THEORY OF HIGH INPUT PAY OFF MODEL- which assumes that farmers are efficient allocators of resources and also response to economic stimulus but operate under immense technical inhibitors. This means that production of farmers in Ekiti state will increase if the factors that hinder them are put in place. The policy is that the government should provide subsidy like improved seeds, standardize prices to increase production
3.BASED ON THE THEORY OF DIFFUSION MODEL- which states that productivities differ among farmers on different access to input adoption capabilities. From the above the government should organise a structural extension service to the farmers to improved on productivities as most of them believed that no need of fertilizer since the land can be continuously used due to high fertility, forgotten to know that soil fertility depreciates too.
4 POLITICAL STABILITY -Ekiti state must have a stable political system devoid of corruption, channel all the allocations appropriately in order to allow foreign investors to establish company, industries to exploit the available resources to avoid wastage of perishable agricultural produce, save time and energy which will be achieved by the substitution of rudimentary equipment and machines by advanced type to bring about industrial technological advancement in the state.
5.IMPROVEMENT ON THE SECURITY OF LIVES AND PROPERTY- Despite the presence of basic resources needed for development, no foreign investor will ever come to invest when the security of his life and property is not guaranteed. Therefore, the government of Ekiti state must put every security agency in place to protect lives and property of both indigen and foreigners.
6.CREATION OF JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN AGRICULTURE- Ekiti state government should provide job opportunities for graduates and provision of infrastructures in the rural areas to discourage them from going to Urban areas in search of white collar jobs.
7.PROVISION OF ORGANIZED MARKET STRUCTURES FOR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCE -The income of Ekiti farmers is low. Low income is a function of unorganized market as most of the farmers are usually exploited by those brokers and rural buyers who buy directly from them in the farm very cheap and load them to where the can sell to make excess profit, thereby making the work”monkey the work baboon the chop” The farmers do all the hard work, using rudimentary equipment, hired labour and at the end low return. This situation discourages farmers from engaging in agriculture. Therefore, the government of the state should profer solution by organising a favourable market structure and marketing channels for farmers and also to encourage agro-allied cooperatives to create room for more production.
8. IMPROVEMENT ON THE QUALITY OF HUMAN CAPITAL- No doubt, a healthy nation is a wealthy nation and high productivity of labour is a function of human capital. Human capital entails the improvement on the quality of education and health of the citizen. More so, today’s theory pays a great deal of attention to “humans calital” not just what is invested in machine and infrastructures such as road and power but what is invested in people.
From the above, Ekiti state as it is known “fountain of knowledge”has the highest number of professors in the country and 90% of their companies are schools all over the state. By implications the level of advancement in structure and technology should be greater than any other state in term of the application of these intellectual numbers of human resources available in the state.
The policy is that government should improve on the quality of education, paying more attention to skills acquisition, technology and entrepreneurship of the citizen, aiming at having the knowledge upstairs and should be able to practicalize and not certificate only. Also quality medical facilities should be provided by the government.
9.IMPROVEMENT ON SECTORAL PERFORMANCE- A sector is a group of economic activities with similar feature or characteristic producing similar goods and services,e.g Agric sector producing food ensuring that food security is guaranteed, Education sector producing literate and human capital, Business sector producing goods and services, banking sector takes care of proper regulation of currency etc. For an economy to develop, various sectors must function respectively to produce the cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) ,an indicator of development used to measure the value of output produce within a country during a time period. .
The policy here is that government should activate all the private sectors by providing public goods such as road, electricity, water and subsidy to enable them function respectively to have the desire result.
10. ABOLITION OF DYSFUNCTIONAL CULTURES -A culture is the total way of life of a particular people either materially or behaviourally .Dysfunctional cultures are those cultures that hinder development or not in conformity with the norms and value of the society. Although we are in a democratic government where freedom of association and way of living is by right, but still, there are some ache cultures practiced in every society that prevent development and westernization which we have to stop.
The bottom line of the policy is that government should ensure that all the dysfunctional culture be abolished through the structure of achieves in the society.
Finally, Integrated development planning (IDP) , involving the entire municipality of Ekiti state and citizen anchor by the government should commence following my policies to arrive at the predetermined policy statement “vibrant, dynamic, employable, stable agro allied and industrialized economic setting by 2030”
From Ai-ujah, Ipole Itabono owukpa, Ogbadibo local govt, Benue state.