CONSEQUENCES OF POPULATION GROWTH ON AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION IN OBINGWA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ABIA STATE NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

Today, millions of people in the world are without food especially in the developing world which has been of great concern as stipulated in the United Nations millennium development goal 1, sub-targets A, B and C to fight hunger, poverty and starvation across the world and ensure environmental sustainability (UNCSD, Aug, 2011) .This study investigated the consequences of population growth on agricultural production in Obingwa local government area in Nigeria. This is a survey type of research and the instrument used for this study was a questionnaire developed by me for the purpose of this study. The collected data was analyzed by the use of bar graphs arranged in columns, showing the number of agreed and disagreed responses(higher numbers in the agreed responses indicates a significant match whereas higher numbers in the disagreed responses indicates no match) to the research questions. The result of this study shows that there is a significant effect of population growth and food production based on land pattern systems in the locality as a result of pattern of land ownership, communal land ownership, individual land tenure system and land fragmentation; rural-urban migration caused by shortage of land available for farmers for food production, higher paying jobs and better educational opportunities, capital intensive methods of production lack of proper land use decrees etc. To put an end to this menace, it entails a holistic approach not only involving the affected people but also people of great concern around the world. This study has therefore suggested that:

      Land polices and its implementations should be amended in the country or create new laws that could integrate both traditional (i.e. communal and individual) land ownership and legal right of land ownership in the country.

      There should be a public enlightenment on the current trend in agricultural production (best agricultural practices/ mechanized farming).

      Government of the federation should encourage farmers by giving grants and subsidies ( cash and improved seedlings)

      Ministry of agriculture and natural resources management to device means of educating farmers on the need for food security through mass media, Agricultural extension programs/workshops, internet etc.

      The government of the federation should encourage research and development activities in the area of plant and animal production for effective yield in order to boast the agricultural industry in Nigeria.





      Government should in its yearly budget, invest more in agriculture as it is an important aspect of livelihood in order to carter for the food needs of the growing population in the country.


TABLE OF CONTENT

1.0.      INTRODUCTION
1.1.      BACKGROUND OF STUDY
1.2.      STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
1.3.      AIM AND OBJECTIVES
1.4.      AREA OF STUDY
1.5.      MAP OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
1.6.      SIGNIFICANCE/JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY

2.0.      REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1.      CONCEPT OF POPULATION
2.1.1    MATHULSIAN IDEA
2.2       CAUSES OF POPULATION GROWTH
2.2.1    WORLD POPULATION FACTSHEET (1950-2050)
2.2.2    POPULATION PROJECTION IN ABIA STATE
2.2.3    IGNORANCE TO FAMILY PLANNING AND BIRTH CONTROL
2.2.4    IMPROVED MEDICAL CARE
2.2.5    DECREASED MORTALITY
2.2.6    LACK OF EDUCATION

3.0       EFFECTS OF LAND TENURE SYSTEM ON AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION

4.0       EFFECTS OF POPULATION GROWTH ON THE ECOSYSTEM

5.0       RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN POPULATION GROWTH AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION

6.0       RESEARCH METHODS
6.1       RESEARCH DESIGN
6.2       POPULATION FOR THE STUDY
6.3       SAMPLING AND SAMPLING TECHNIQUE
6.4       INSTRUMENT FOR DATA COLLECTION
6.5       VALIDATION OF THE INSTRUMENT
6.6       RELIABILITY OF THE INSTRUMENT
6.7       METHOD OF DATA COLLECTION
6.8       METHOD OF DATA ANALYSIS
6.9       DATA PRESENTATION AND RESULTS

7.0       DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
7.1       IMPLICATIONS OF FINDINGS

8.0       RECOMMENDATIONS

9.0       LIMTATIONS OF THE STUDY

10.       SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER STUDIES

11.       CONCLUSION
            References
            Annex


1.0       INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background of the Study
In recent times, one of the major issues in the world especially in third world countries has been the alarming rate of poverty, lack of proper education and food scarcity. In Nigeria, this has been a huge problem due to increased population with fewer resources. Therefore, the need to provide adequate food for the entire population becomes a huge concern to the entire populace. This grim condition was put forward early in the history of economics by Robert Thomas Malthus(Limits to growth,1766 - 1834) that population growth will always continue to be a problem due to the natural human reproductive urge which increases geometrically (1, 2, 4, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, etc.) in relation to food supply which only increases arithmetically (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, etc.) and thus could have a resultant starvation effect if left unchecked.

In recent times, this theory has been said to be criticized by other economists with many factors which Malthus did not consider when putting forward this theory (Gazu lakhotia, 2011). This has been a subject of keen controversy as he was regarded as a pessimistic economist by others. These criticisms are based on his inability to relate his theories to the history of western countries as population has failed to grow as rapidly as he predicted in these areas and production as well has increased due to technology advancements. As a result of this, living standard of the people has increased tremendously instead of falling as he predicted in his theory (Gazu lakhotia, 2011, revised edition 2012)

Secondly, (Ester Boserup, 1965) accused Malthus of basing his theory on the law of diminishing returns which is applied to agricultural production. But for the fact that he asserted that food production would not match with the high population, this has been falsified due to the increase in advanced technology and high capital investments in developed countries , Thus, Boserup proposes a "dynamic" relationship between arable and fallow land that changes in response to population density (Boserup 1965, page13,15& 20).


In contrast to the Malthusian idea of 'invention-pull' population growth, Boserup (1965) rather put forward an 'invention-push' agricultural change which makes it possible to substitute technological input like the use of fertilizers in agricultural production, better seeds for production of quality foods and the use of agricultural machineries to increase food production.

Thirdly, the Malthusian theory of population compared population growth with the increase in food production alone and as a result gave no proof of his assertion that population increased exactly in geometric progression. He taught that land was available in fixed quantity and therefore food production cannot increase more than population. He failed to put into proper account the different types of agricultural production and compare them with the increase in the total wealth of a country. This on the other hand does not show that population and food supply changes with these mathematical series. Scientists did not base their support for the populace just on food production from available lands, rather they industrialize themselves by nurturing other natural resources and accumulating man-made capital equipment (e.g. airplanes, factories, cars, tools, railways etc.) which they would use in other forms of production and in exchange for food from other countries through export trades. (Gazu lakhotia, 2011)

Similarly, The Malthusian theory of population may apply to the developing world such as Africa and the Asian countries. For instance, India and China are at present in that unenviable position which Malthus feared. Grinding poverty, disease outbreak, famine, communal wars and discrimination, insufficient food supply and low standard of living. But for the fact that technology increased has helped in solving these problems especially in the area of food insecurity, these notwithstanding has been falsified by other scientists as Malthus based his theories only on the present life conditions as that time.

As the society develops in size and quantity, the demands on resources increases in both intensity and density (Population & Environment 1994, Revise edition A.A Bartlett, 1997).


In these parts of the word, society goes through a rapid development to the extent where there are concerns regarding finiteness, (total usage) of resources. In many areas, population pressure is causing sub-division of fertile lands into smaller plots thereby intensifying land use as well as facilitating rural-urban migration. Similarly, marginal lands in some areas are also brought into production. One of the most socio-economic factors in soil and water conservation is undoubtedly the issue of land tenure. Great strides have been made since 1960s in adjusting land in many of the higher potential areas in Africa. In the drier areas, most of the land is still communally owned (Oyebola, 1970). Over the past years, a purely pastoral economy has a degree of dynamic equilibrium between the people, the livestock and the land etc., the fact that all land was common, it caused no essentials for stewardship. But with rising human and livestock numbers, coupled with a decline in grazing areas due to other forms of land use, the previous dynamic equilibrium has been...


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