News Update on Agricultural Development : Oct 2021

A Century-Long Perspective on Agricultural Development

This article strategically surveys the past century’s literature on agricultural development. We organize the discussion around three “grand themes” that reveal the richness of agricultural development as an intellectual endeavor. First, we explore the role of agriculture in the broader development process from a macroeconomic and political economy perspective. We then examine the role of technological and institutional change in successful agricultural development. Finally, the focus turns to a microeconomic perspective on agricultural household decision making and the problems of imperfect and missing markets, asymmetric information, and transactions costs that lead to widespread apparent inefficiency and disequilibrium. [1]

Nutrient Imbalances in Agricultural Development

Nutrient cycles link agricultural systems to their societies and surroundings; inputs of nitrogen and phosphorus in particular are essential for high crop yields, but downstream and downwind losses of these same nutrients diminish environmental quality and human well-being. Agricultural nutrient balances differ substantially with economic development, from inputs that are inadequate to maintain soil fertility in parts of many developing countries, particularly those of sub-Saharan Africa, to excessive and environmentally damaging surpluses in many developed and rapidly growing economies. National and/or regional policies contribute to patterns of nutrient use and their environmental consequences in all of these situations (1). Solutions to the nutrient challenges that face global agriculture can be informed by analyses of trajectories of change within, as well as across, agricultural systems. [2]

The Power of Information: The ICT Revolution in Agricultural Development

We review the state of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and their impact on agricultural development in developing countries, documenting the rapid changes that have taken place over the past decade. Although there remains a wide gap in access between rural and urban areas, the spread of mobile phones in rural areas has led to important changes in the agricultural sector. We find that access to mobile phones has generally improved agricultural market performance at the macro level; however, impacts at the micro level are mixed. Evidence regarding the impact of market information systems (MIS) delivered through mobile phones on farm prices and income is limited, but the evidence points to strong, heterogeneous impacts. Similarly, the rollout of extension programs though ICTs is still in an early stage, and little research is available regarding such programs’ impacts. [3]

Impact Assessment of Fadama Project on Agricultural Development in Kwara State, Nigeria

Small scale agriculture is the dominant occupation of rural Nigerians. Federal government of Nigeria over the years introduced and implemented several policies and programmes aimed at improving agricultural production. In light of available agricultural potentials the First National Fadama Development project was designed in the early 1990 s to promote simple and low-cost improved irrigation technology under World Bank Finance. The wide spread adoption of the technologies enabled farmers to increase production by more than 300% in some crops. This was followed by Fadama II.

The study was designed to assess impact of fadama II project on agricultural production of the farmers in Kwara State, Nigeria. A total of 120 respondents were purposively selected for the study. Interview schedule was used to elicit information from the respondents and this was subjected to correlation and student t-test analyses. Among the socio-economic characteristics included in the study, only sex (r = 0.285, p = 0.002) and type of agricultural activities (r = 0.224, p = 0.031) have significant relationships with agricultural productivity. There is a significant difference (t = 6.442, p = 0.000) between the productivity of fadama participants and non-fadama participants.

It is therefore recommended that fadama project should continue in Nigeria and that all farmers should be included in the project as this will enhance sustainable food security and improved agricultural production in Nigeria.[4]

Determinants of Productivity among Women in Development Activity: A Case Study of the Cassava Women Farmers of Benue Agricultural Development Project, Nigeria

The need to improve productivity and local production of cassava to meet internal demand, and the export drive in the Nigerian economy necessitated this study. Factors affecting productivity levels achieved by cassava women farmers of Benue agricultural development project (ADP) were investigated. Structured questionnaire were randomly administered to 87 ADP cassava women farmers across the three agricultural zones of the state. Data analysis was through descriptive statistics, total factor productivity and regression techniques. Results showed a total factor productivity of 2.66 across study farms implying that the respondents’ farm enterprises were productive. Regression analysis indicated that the use of improved cassava stem cuttings (x5), amount of agrochemicals used (x6), farm size (x7) and access to credit (x9) significantly explained variations in the respondents’ output. Therefore, the study recommends that enhancement of respondents’ access to better farm sizes, credit, agrochemicals and improved cassava varieties would improve productivity across farms in the study area.[5]


[1] Barrett, C.B., Carter, M.R. and Timmer, C.P., 2010. A century‐long perspective on agricultural development. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 92(2), pp.447-468.

[2] Vitousek, P.M., Naylor, R., Crews, T., David, M.B., Drinkwater, L.E., Holland, E., Johnes, P.J., Katzenberger, J., Martinelli, L.A., Matson, P.A. and Nziguheba, G., 2009. Nutrient imbalances in agricultural development. Science, 324(5934), pp.1519-1520.

[3] Nakasone, E., Torero, M. and Minten, B., 2014. The power of information: The ICT revolution in agricultural development. Annu. Rev. Resour. Econ., 6(1), pp.533-550.

[4] Apata, O.M. and Saliu, O.J., 2016. Impact Assessment of Fadama Project on Agricultural Development in Kwara State, Nigeria. Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, pp.1-7.

[5] Mwuese, A.M. and Okorji, E.C., 2015. Determinants of Productivity among Women in Development Activity: A Case Study of the Cassava Women Farmers of Benue Agricultural Development Project, Nigeria. Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, pp.158-165.

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