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This study focuses onthe relationship between agriculture and economic development and how agriculture has contributed toeconomic development of Soba Local Government area.In order to achieve this, we adoptedsurvey research method where we obtained data from primary sources using the instruments of questionnaire backed by interviews while secondary data were also collected from the records of the local government finance department and department of agriculture and natural resources. Data collected were presented and analyzed using tables and simple percentage while the hypotheses of the study were tested using the chi-square statistic.We found that agriculture has contributed immensely to economic development as it has been the main source of employment to many and that increasing agricultural productivity among farmers has enhanced opportunities for more income generation. The income being used by farmers has promoted health and educational status of many households as well as being a source of food and nutritional upliftment of households in the local government. We also found that lack of adequate farm inputs, microcredit scheme, use of inappropriate technology, environmental hazard including overdependence on imported agricultural food items were the major factors and problems militating against the development of agricultural productivity for economic development. We therefore recommended that mechanization of agriculture that will help improve the sector in rural areas and involve the use of modern machines and technologies such ploughs, tractors, harvesters, among others will make the sector productive and economic development-driven but government must intervene as rural farmers cannot afford these machines. We also recommended that adequate supply of farm inputs such as fertilizer, pesticides and insecticides, improved seedlings, chemicals, storage facilities among others to help in controlling pests and other diseases that can destroy agricultural produce can be useful in improving yearly productivity of farmers, increasing their incomes as well as impacting positively on their standard of living. There should be a microcredit scheme for farmers which should be at low interest rate and that local, states and federal governments should make it a policy to allocate specific percentage of its annual budget to the agricultural sector which must be strictly adheres to by successive governments.
1.1 Background to the Study
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation opines that agriculture is an
industry that produces, processes and markets food largely in response to the daily demands of
consumers within a given area, town, city and metropolis, dispersed throughout the urban areas,
applying intensive production methods, using and re-using natural resources and urban wastes to
yield a diversity of crops and livestock (FAO, 2004). Despite the dominant of the oil sector as
the major foreign exchange earnings, agriculture remains the mainstay of the Nigerian economy
in addition to contributing the largest share of gross domestic product (GDP). It is the largest non
–oil export earner, the largest employer of labour and a key contributor to economic
development and poverty alleviation as the large percentage of the population derive incomes
from agriculture and related activities.
Agricultural sector outputs Proxied by its contribution to GD P average 50.2 percent during the
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