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The study focused on the effect of oil spillage on soil properties and plant performance in East Senatorial district of Bayelsa state. Five research questions were developed in conformity with the purpose of the study. Five null hypothesis of no significance difference were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance at relevant degrees of freedom. The study adopted survey research design. A structured questionnaire was generated from the literature reviewed and developed for the study. The instrument was face-validated by three experts. The Cronbach Alpha reliability method was used to determine the internal consistency of the items. A reliability coefficient of 0. 91 was obtained. Data was collected from 500 farmers, 20 extension agents and 10 oil company officials. The data collected were analyzed using mean and standard deviation to answer the research questions, while the ttest statistics was used to test the null hypotheses. The findings from the study revealed that oil exploration has impacted negatively on crop productivity, livestock productivity, forest and aquatic organisms and therefore the strategies to cope with the impact of oil exploration on agriculture are trapping of gases, prevention of oil spillage or quick attention to oil spillage breakout, planning of community settlements away from oil wells, supply of non-toxic chemicals, help farmers to clear special land area for those involved in crop, and on land livestock farming, securing of important forest trees for use by communities or returns to be paid to farmers by oil drillers where their removal is unavoidable to accommodate oil wells. The study therefore recommended among others that community leaders should seek ways to compel the Federal government and oil companies to devote more resources to tackle environmental degradation.
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
The environment has played a major role in the sustenance of man. Man tends to utilize his environment through the use of its resources to satisfy his needs. These resources in the environment can be obtained by man through agricultural activity. Agriculture in the opinion of Egbule (2004) is the production, storage, distribution and marketing of plants, animals or other products. Agriculture in the view of Olaitan and Omomia (2006) is the growing of crops and rearing of animals for human use. In the context of this study agriculture is the cultivation of the soil and the rearing of animals to provide food, and other products for human consumption. Agriculture plays a very vital role in the economic development of a nation; it contributes to a prosperous economy; provides the basic needs of the population; supplies raw materials for the industrial sector; provides gainful employment and also serves as a source of foreign exchange. Lawal and Atte (2006) observed that, a retrospective look into the Nigerian economy and its development reveals that agriculture was the main stay of the Nigerian economy and the chief foreign exchange earner in the 1960s. Enogholase (2009) reported that economy was thriving with about 90% of the population engaged in agricultural activities such as artisan, fishing, farming, boat building and palm wine tapping among others. At that period agricultural growth was related to flourishing rural economy thereby improving the standard of living of the rural farmers. This contribution of agriculture to the Nigerian economic growth is very low compared to what it used to be in the past. Agricultural growth has seriously declined over the past two decades and as a result, affecting the standard of living of the farmers. Therefore to improve the standard of living of farmers there is need to improve agricultural productivity (Ibaba and Olumati 2009).
Productivity as reported in Wikipedia (2001) is a ratio of production output to what is required to produce it (inputs of capital, labor, land, energy, among others). Productivity is measured by what is termed total factor productivity (TFP), such as labor productivity (output per labor) and land yield (output per hectare). Productivity as observed by Lydia (2001) is the ratio of the quantity and quality of units of output produced to the labor per unit of time. In the context of this study, Productivity is an economic measure of output per unit of input such inputs include labour and capital, while output is typically measured in revenues. Agricultural productivity is becoming increasingly important as the world’s population continues to grow. A productive farm is one that provides most of the resources necessary for the sustenance of man, such as food, fuel, fiber, healing plants among others. Lydia (2001) affirms that the productivity of a region's farms is important because it provides more food, increase competitiveness on the agricultural market, results in income distribution, savings, labour migration and a more efficient distribution of scarce resources. If new techniques of agriculture are being adopted, difference will arise in productivity, in as much as increasing farmer’s welfare.
Farmers are individuals who engage in agriculture by, raising food crops and livestock, the farmer might own the farm land or work as a labourer on land owned by others (Hornby 2002). In the opinion of Collins (2003) a farmer is an individual whose primary job involves crop and livestock production. In the context of this study, farmers are individuals who own or manage crops, livestock, forest or aquatic farms. To improve agricultural productivity, it is very important to train farmers in the application of the new techniques of farming. Such training can be acquired from agricultural extension agents.
Agricultural extension in the submission of Robert (2005) is the transfer of new techniques of farming to rural farmers through communication and interaction. In the view of Leeuwis and Van (2005) agricultural extension is the application of scientific research and new knowledge to agricultural practices through farmer education. In the context of this study, agricultural extension is the training of rural farmers in the application of new skills required to enhance agricultural productivity. Farming population comprises mostly of peasant rural farmers, cultivating an average of about two hectares of land with low productivity, which has likely resulted in a decline in the sector of the economy. To be effective, and attain higher level of productivity in the agricultural sector there is need to identify the likely impact that has caused a reduction in agricultural productivity.
Impact can be viewe d as a consequence, effect, outcome, event, issue of a phenomenon that is followed and caused by some previous phenomenon (free dictionary 2008). Karen, Ben and Pete (2009) interpreted impact to be positive or negative long term result attributable to a development intervention. In the context of this study, impact is the negative outcome of crude oil on the productivity of crops, livestock, forest and aquatic organism.
Crude oil and its refined components collectively are crucial resources in the modern economy. Crude oil in the opinion of Lydia (2001) is a nonrenewable natural resource that takes millions of years to form. Marius (2009) defined crude oil as a mixture of naturally occurring hydrocarbons that is refined into diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene and thousands of other products called petrochemicals. In the context of this study, crude oil is the crude product that is distilled and refined to produce industrial crude oil and crude oil-based products, with some natural gas dissolved in it. Crude oil is an economic livewire and represents the greatest asset which could possibly provide all the necessary capital for development through its drilling by the oil industries. According to Ibaba (2001) the oil industry in Nigeria is dominated by multinational oil companies such as the Chevron, Mobil, Texaco, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC),
Nigerian Agrip oil Company (NAOC). There are other service companies such as Wilbros, Schlumberger, Panalpina, Saipem, among others. These major oil companies operate under a joint venture agreement with the Federal government, represented by the Nigeria National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC). A major activity operated by these companies is crude oil exploration.
Exploration in the view of Inoni (2006) is the mining of mineral resources from the land and sea. Exploration is the search by petroleum geologist and geophysics beneath the earth’s surface for reservoirs of oil and gas (free dictionary 2008). In the context of this study, exploration is the search and drilling of crude oil beneath the earth be it land or water by petroleum geologist and geophysicists. Exploring for crude oil undermine the productive capacity of the land and water thereby threatening the sustainability of the natural ecosystem,
Virtually all the nations’ crude oil and gas deposits are obtained in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria; it’s a region of low terrain, constant floods, and difficulty in constructing transport networks. Agriculture is the most dominant economic activity in the region, Worgu (2000) observed that agricultural activities account for about 90% of the economic activity in the Niger Delta region, Worgu (2000) also estimated that about 50%-68% of the active labor force is engaged in one form of agricultural activity or the other. Agricultural technology has remained relatively unchanged over the years and over 90% of the farmers are subsistent farmers operating on traditional methods using basic tools. There is no doubt that the Nigerian oil industry has influenced the region in a variety of ways. It has fashioned a remarkable economic landscape for the region however on the negative side, petroleum exploration have influenced agriculture which is the traditional means of livelihood of the people of the oil producing communities in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
Eteng (2007) stated that oil exploration over the last four decades has impacted disastrously on the socio-physical environment of the Niger Delta oilbearing communities in Bayelsa state, massively threatening the subsistent peasant agricultural economy and hence the entire livelihood and basic survival of the people. Various harmful and toxic organic compounds introduced into the natural environment during oil exploration and extraction has changed the geo-chemical composition of the soil, river and other components of the environment, which in turn has likely lead to a drastic decline in the output of farming activities. Ibaba and Olumati (2009) lament that the oil boom has affected the contribution of agriculture to the economy, agriculture has recorded very low average growth rates. Suffice to say; oil exploration is the major contribution of low growth rates of agricultural industry in Bayelsa state owing to the fact that it has likely impacted negatively on, crops, livestock’s such as goat, sheep and poultry, forest and aquatic organisms. Therefore this situation could be improved or reduced through the identification of the likely impact affecting low productivity in the agricultural sector; in order to infer certain solutions that could be utilized to reduce the impact of crude oil exploration activities on agricultural productivity; hence the study.
Statement of the Problem
Agriculture plays a very vital role in the economic development of any nation. It contributes to a prosperous economy and provides the basic needs of the population. Lawal and Atte (2006) state that the Nigerian economy and its development reveals that agriculture was the main stay of the country’s economy and the chief foreign exchange earner in the 1960s. Enogholase (2009) reported that agricultural economy was thriving with about 90% of the population engaged in such activities as artisan, fishing, farming, boat building and palm wine tapping among others. At that period agricultural growth was related to flourishing rural economy thereby improving the standard of living of the rural farmers. Presently, the contributions of agriculture to the Nigerian economic growth is very low when compared with what it used to be in the past. Agricultural growth has seriously declined over the past two decades and as a result affecting the standard of living of rural farmers. This decline in agricultural growth in Bayelsa state is mainly due to the impact of oil exploration on crops, livestock’s, forest and aquatic organisms. Eteng (2007) stated that oil exploration over the last four decades has impacted disastrously on the socio-physical environment of the Niger Delta oil- bearing communities in Bayelsa state, massively threatening the subsistent peasant agricultural economy and hence the entire livelihood and basic survival of the people. Ibaba and Olumati (2009) observed that the various harmful and toxic organic compounds introduced into the natural environment during oil exploration and extraction has changed the geo-chemical composition of the soil, river and other components of the environment, which in turn has likely lead to a drastic decline in the output of farming activities.
If the impact is left unabated, future generation will find it difficult to survive. Therefore, it is necessary to find out the effect of oil spillage on soil properties and plant performance in east senatorial district of Bayelsa state in order to identify appropriate strategies for better rural living standard, hence the study.
Purpose of the Study
The major purpose of this study was to identify the effect of oil spillage on soil properties and plant performance in East Senatorial District of Bayelsa state.
Specifically, the study sought to find out the impact of oil exploration on:
(1) Crop productivity.
(2) Livestock productivity.
(4) Aquatic organisms and identify the
(5) Strategies for coping with the negative impact of oil exploration on agriculture
Significance of the Study
The findings from this study are expected to be of immense benefit to farmers, agricultural extension agents, oil companies and community leaders or members.
The study will provide information to farmers on the reasons for reduced productivity in crops, livestock’s, forest and aquatic organisms. The information will then motivate them towards seeking for solutions from extension workers in order to enhance their productivity. Farmers will also benefit through training by extension agents in increasing farmers’ knowledge and skill base, which are essential for efficient use of inputs that can resist the impacts. The study will also provide farmers with strategies that could enable them cope with the impact of oil exploration on their crops, livestock, forest and aquatic organisms and being effective and accurate in reporting spillage occurrences to the oil companies responsible for exploration in the region.
The finding of this study is expected to be relevant to extension officers. It will awaken extension agents for further research that will be applied in mitigating the impact caused by oil exploration on crops, livestock, forest and aquatic organisms. The findings of this study will also be of benefit to extension agents in identifying the damage resulting through oil exploration faced by farmers in this region and redesign a strategic plan to the education of farmers
The findings of this study is expected to be of importance to community leaders to seek ways in compelling the federal government and oil companies to devote more resources to tackle environmental problems that can lead to low agricultural productivity, lack of interest in agriculture and poverty.
The finding of this study is expected to be of benefit to oil companies in redesigning an effective strategy towards coping with the damage and degradation of land and water. The study will also enlighten the oil companies on the impact of their exploration on crops, livestock, forest and aquatic organisms through crude oil drilling, gas flare, and use the suggestions to be proffered to reduce the impact caused by oil exploration. It will also provide useful information to the oil companies operating in the East Senatorial District of Bayelsa state in alleviating the problems faced by farmers. It will also serve as a guide to oil companies in detecting areas to be adjusted for harmonious operation in the state.
The study answered the following research questions:
(1) What is the impact of oil exploration on crop productivity?
(2) What is the impact of oil exploration on livestock productivity?
(3) What is the impact of oil exploration on forest?
(4) What is the impact of oil exploration on aquatic organisms?
(5) What are the strategies for coping with the negative impact of exploration on agriculture?
The following null hypotheses were formulated and will be tested at 0.05 level of significance:
Ho1: There is no significance difference in the mean ratings of farmers and extension agents on the impact of oil exploration on crop productivity.
Ho2: There is no significance difference in the mean ratings of farmers and extension agents on the impact of oil exploration on livestock productivity.
Ho3: There no significance difference in the mean ratings of farmers and extension agents on the impact of oil exploration on forest.
Ho4: There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of farmers and extension agents on the impact of oil exploration on aquatic organisms.
Ho5: There is no significance difference in the mean ratings of extension agents and oil company officials on the strategies for coping with the negative impact of exploration on agriculture.
Scope of the Study
This study was restricted to determining the impact of oil exploration on crop productivity, livestock productivity, forest, aquatic organisms and strategies for coping with the negative impact of oil exploration on agriculture in East Senatorial District of Bayelsa state. The instrument for data collection will be restricted to the use of questionnaire, while the respondents will be restricted to farmers, extension workers, and oil company officials in East Senatorial District of Bayelsa state.
The study covered East Senatorial District of Bayelsa state which is made up of Nembe and Ogbia local government area.
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