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Through out history, hunting and gathering has been man’s major occupational activity, and later man began to think of how to produce food, rear livestock as well as engaging in commercial activities. However, food production and rearing of animal in most developing countries is done largely at subsistence level. Agricultural activities such as food production, rearing of animals as well as commercial activities is the mainstay of the economy of the most developing countries. Nigeria has a population of 150 million people, the largest in Africa and a fast growing economy. Agricultural growth in Nigeria is increasingly recognized to be central to sustained improvement in economic development. Agriculture contributed about 45 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). Agriculture sector employs about two thirds of the country’s total labour force and provides a livelihood for about 90 percent of the rural population.
The food and agriculture organization (FAO) statistics indicates that, the total number of commercial fishermen and fish farmer’s across the glove was estimated to be one hundred and thirty eight (138) million: fisheries provide direct and indirect employment to over five hundred (500)
million people in development countries. The word harvest in 2005 consisted of 93.3 million tones capture by commercial fishing in wild fisheries, plus 48.1 million tones produced by fish farmers. The livelihood for over 500 million people in developing countries depend on fisheries and agriculture.1
Fish production is a sub-sector of agriculture that contributes to the socio-economic development in the country. Nigeria is also a major producer of fish and import large amount of grain, livestock products and fish. The sector plays a very significant role in food security poverty alleviation and human development chain.
In Nigeria, fish production has a very old history of artisanal fishery activities due to availability of numerous inland water bodies such as river Niger, River Benue, among others. Fish production in Nigeria pre-dates the advent of colonialism in Africa.
The industrial revolution brought about a shift from the orthodox trade by barter to a sophisticated marketing system where consumers need and satisfactions become the ultimate goals and economic activities. This revolutionary design made largely scale trawling in the ocean possible for the first time, resulting in a massive migration of people (fishermen) from
post in the south of England that were points of access to the large fishing ground in the Atlantic Ocean.2
In Nigeria, the law of the land had provided statutory allocation to all 774 local governments as subvention across the federation known as “external revenue”. A part from this source, Yauri local government has its own ways of generating revenue through internal source. The revenue are generated throughout fish production and commercial fishing activities in the area. fish production is carried out by both male and female actors, I is done on a large scale for domestic consumption and income federation. People come from neighboring states. For instance from Lagos, Kwara, Oyo, Sokoto and Niger states etc. for economic exchange in the area due to availability of fish in the area. Likewise, some local government within and outside the state such as Zuru, Koko Besse, Maiyama, Bagudo, Jega in Kebbi state and Kontagora, Rijau, Nasko and Agwara local government in Niger state.
Before the discovery of oil in Nigeria, stay economic sector for growth and development in the country was agricultural sector. In line with the above statement, Ingawa (2004) maintain that “Nigeria economy depend largely on oil revenue from petroleum. Of the non-oil sources agricultural activities such as food production, rearing of animals and fish production
contributed to the socio-economic in the country. Agriculture also contributes 41% percent (GDP), and 88% percent of the non-oil foreign exchange earning. Agriculture can therefore play a critical role in addressing issue of over dependence on oil revenue”.3
Nigeria is an agricultural country and therefore a country where rural communities predominate. It is in these communities that the overwhelming majorities of its population live and earn their livelihood. Thus, balanced national development can only take place in this country, if we pursue an integrated rural development strategies.4
1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT
Economic activities abound every where, in every community. The economic systems of every society vary from one to another. Fishing is agriculture-based occupation but unlike agriculture and livestock rearing, over the year fishing has been a commodity that is free for all. There is no limit to the number of fishermen than can go and fish in a particular lake or river because it is a common property. The concentration of fishermen in fish production and commercial fishing activities in the area has been attributed to the fishing market close to the rich ground, and the availability of numerous inland water bodies in the area. But a downturn in the
economy of the country naturally affected all sectors. Consequently, the fishing sector is also being affected by the impacted of the worsening economic situation. Despite the enormous resources in this country, it is disheartening that Nigeria is still rated among the poorest nations in the world today. This has been a burden to the nation and efforts are being made to alleviate or reduce poverty. Therefore, it is in this regard this study intends to appraise the political economy of fish production in Yauri local government area of Kebbi state. Thus, the study seeks to address questions.
1.3 RESEACH QUESTIONS
1. What are the socio-economic characteristics of the fishermen in the area?
2. How has fishing as an occupation impacted on the living conditions of the people?
3. What are the challenges militating against fish production and commercialization in the study are?
4. What are the possible solutions in addressing the problems identified?
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The study has the following objectives:
1. To describe the socio-economic characteristics of fishermen in the area.
2. Investigate the profitability of fish production in the area.
3. To identify the challenges faced by the fishermen in fish production in the area.
4. To examine the problems militating against fish production and commercialization in the study area.
5. To suggest possible solutions to the problems identified.
The research study has the following assumptions:
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