This study was conducted basically to determine the effect of the National Programme on Food Security (NPFS) on output/food product. Its specific objectives include identifying how the NPFS has helped in increasing output and the problems associated with the NPFS. The main instrument for the collection of primary data is the questionnaire. Data were collected from 72 farmers selected through a combination of cluster and random sampling techniques, from a population of about 7290 farmers constituting the farmers in Anambra state presently benefitting from the NPFS. Data were analysed with frequencies, simple percentages, tables, descriptive and inferential statistics, and regression analysis. The regression analysis was used to determine the variables that accounted for increase in output. The model used in the regression is Y1 = α + β1x1 + β2x2 ... + β11x11 + e i .where Y is the output which is the dependent variable, x1 x2 x3...x n are the independent variables representing the socio-economic characteristics of the farmers and the various services provided by the NPFS. Chi square was used in testing the hypothesis. The result shows that the NPFS has significantly increased food production/output. The researcher thereby recommends that more NPFS demonstration sites be established and also that the services provided by the NPFS should be made more adequate and accessible to the farmers.



1.1 Background of the Study
Several attempts have been made towards ensuring food security. Some of these attempts are in the form of programmes designed to help increase or boost food production. Some of these programmes have gone moribund while some are still operational. The National Programme on Food Security (NPFS) is one of such programmes. It is government’s effort targeted at increasing food production. Its major objective is improving, enhancing and ensuring maximum food security.

The origin of this programme could be traced to November 1996 when Nigeria participated in world food summit. As one of the Low Income Food Deficit Countries (LIFDCS), she requested for assistance under the United Nations’ (UN) Food and Agricultural Organisations’ (FAO) Special Programme on Food Security (SPFS). A tripartite participatory review of beneficiary communities was held in Nigeria which resulted to a pilot phase of the Special Programme on Food Security (SPFS) being conducted in Kano state in March 1998. (ASADEP NSPFS Internal Implementation Completion Report ICR-Revised Jan 2007).

As a follow up to the success story of the SPFS pilot phase in Kano state, the SPFS was extended with the aim of initiating pilot actions in the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory. At this stage the special programme on food security (SPFS) became known as the National Special Programme on Food Security (NSPFS). The NSPFS funded three production/ demonstration sites in each of the 36 states and one site for the Federal Capital Territory, bringing the total to 109 sites in the Federation. (ASADEP NSPFS Internal Implementation Completion Report ICR-Revised Jan 2007)

In Anambra state, the three sites were located one each in the three senatorial districts in the state. They were at Amansea, Igbariam and Ogboji for Anambra Central, Anambra North and Anambra South Senatorial districts respectively.

The need to improve small holder productivity and the importance of sustainable agriculture for food security among other things led to the further expansion of the NSPFS. Under this phase, six additional sites were established in all the 36 states and two additional ones in the FCT. In Anambra state the additional sites were created in Ekwusigo, Nnewi, Nteje, Agulu, Ukwulu and Omasi. Two sites were created for each of the senatorial districts. Under this expansion phase, the programme became known as the National Programme on Food Security (NPFS)

The NPFS provides for grass root farmer mobilization and empowerment through the group approach. In order words, farmers are encouraged to organise themselves in groups to be able to access the funds/ loans and other assistance provided by the NPFS.

The NPFS recognises the importance of cooperatives to farmers. This importance was highlighted by Anioke (2000). According to him, cooperatives will help farmers and their household solve their socio-economic problems effectively. He equally pointed out that through cooperatives, farmers will mobilize own resources for investment purposes and utilization of existing government extension delivery system. Each NPFS site is made up of primary cooperative groups. Each group is made up of between 25 to 30 farmers. The chairman, secretary and treasurer of the primary groups form the apex cooperative. Within the apex, there is an elected chairman, secretary and treasurer. The Apex cooperative serves as the primary cooperative groups micro finance bank. It is through the apex groups that farmers assess the NPFS loans.

1.2 Statement of the Problem
Food is man’s most basic need. Successive governments in Nigeria are quite aware of this fact and have attempted in one way or the other to address the issue of food security. Over the years, concerted efforts have been made by various administrations towards ensuring maximum food security. A lot of programmes have been designed and implemented to this effect. Unfortunately, the effect of such attempts have not been significant (Nweze, 1995)

These programmes include; National Accelerated Food Production Programme (NAFPP), the River Basin Development Authority, Agricultural Development Programme (ADP), Operation Feed the Nation (OFN) and so on.

Often times, the set objectives of these programmes are not accomplished. Ajakaiye (1987) opined that one factor that causes the failure of these programmes is inadequate level. This according to Onugu (2007) is basically so because such farmers lack the capital to expand their production. Another major hitch-back of these programmes is that most of them become dormant once the administration that introduces them leaves office. In order words, they lack the capacity for continuity. There is also a general consensus that output from such programmes does not justify the huge amount of funds channelled into them.

Ojo (1987) and Ohabuchiro (2001) are of the view that adequate funding has not been pumped into agricultural activities. They equally opined that government has neglected agricultural activities. Enukora (2009), an extension staff of the Anambra State Agricultural Development Programme believe that farmers have the capacity to expand and boost agricultural production if they are adequately funded. He opined that one of the major problems of farmers is lack of credit facilities and even where loans are available, they are obtained at cut throat rate under oath. He went further to say that if adequate credit facility is extended to these farmers at a low interest rate, they are capable of moving from subsistence to commercial farming thereby contributing to food security.

The National Programme on Food Security (NPFS) is one of government’s attempts at addressing the issue of food security. Over the years agricultural programmes had centred on the top-down approach which tends to keep the target beneficiaries by the side during the programmes’ planning process. Consequently, such agricultural programmes could not achieve the set objectives and therefore not sustainable. Group formation is thereby encouraged under the NPFS. For this reason cooperatives are vehicle for accessing funds to execute various economic enterprises provided by the NPFS.

It is therefore against this backdrop that the researcher is set to examine the extent to which the National Programme on Food Security (NPFS) has achieved its set objectives and enhanced food production. The study is also set to examine how the lot of cooperative farmers have been bettered through the NPFS.

Furthermore, the researcher hopes to make meaningful recommendations that will make the NPFS, other operational programmes and subsequent programmes on food security more feasible and effective.

1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to determine the effect of the National Programme on Food Security (NPFS) on food production.

The specific objectives are to:
1.     determine the socio-economic characteristics of the farmers benefitting from the NPFS;

2.     identify how the NPFS has contributed to increasing food production/output;

3.     identify the problems associated with the NPFS; and

4.     make recommendations based on the findings.

1.4 Research Questions
The research will answer the following questions:

1.     What is the effect of the NPFS on food production?

2.     What are the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents?

3.     How has the NPFS increased food production/output?

4.     What are the problems associated with the NPFS?

1.5 Statement of the Research Hypothesis
The following hypothesis was formulated to guide the study:
H0; The National Programme on Food security has not significantly increased food production in the study area.

H1; The National Programme on Food security has significantly increased food production in the study area.

1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this research will be of great importance to the government and policy makers. It will help them restructure and make necessary adjustment and redesign the NPFS if there is need to do so. It will also be helpful in designing and implementing subsequent programmes that will also be targeted at food security.

1.7 Scope of the Study
The study covers activities of farmers who are benefitting under the NPFS in Anambra. There are 9 demonstration sites, three in each of the senatorial district.

1.8 Problems Encountered
In the course of this research the researcher encountered the following problems:

·     Inadequate finance: The researcher was constrained by the limited fund available for this research.

·     High illiteracy level of the Respondents/ Farmers benefitting from the NPFS: The farmers are mostly illiterates. Filling the questionnaire was difficult for them. The researcher has to help them out with filling the questionnaire and this was a difficult task for the researcher.

·     The Location of the demonstration sites: The demonstration sites are located in far places. It was difficult getting to the sites.

·     Poor record keeping of the farmers: The farmers have a poor attitude towards record keeping. As a result of this, the researcher could not obtain all the necessary data required for the purpose of this research.

·     Time: The researcher was also constrained by time. The time available for this work was not adequate for the researcher to carry out the research.

·     Non response: Some of the farmers were not cooperative, they refused filling the questionnaire. The researcher made repeated visits before some of the questionnaires were returned. Some were not returned.

In spite of these shortcomings the results of this research are valid and reliable.

1.9 Operational Definition of Terms
Pilot phase: It is the experiment phase of a programme. A system of testing a package on a small piece of land or group of people before extending the result to others.

SPFS: It means the Special Programme on Food Security. It is the first phase of the programme on food security.

NSPFS: It is the expanded phase of the SPFS. It means National Special Programme on Food security.

NPFS: This is the expanded phase of the NSPFS. It means the National Programme on Food Security.

Food Security: Food security simply refers to the ability of individuals and households to meet staple food needs all year round.

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