1.1 BACKGROUND INFORMATION
In the 1960s Nigeria relied heavily on the Agricultural sector for economic development (contributing over 70% of the GDP). But with the oil boom of the 1970s, the contribution of agricultural sector fell drastically to the extent that the nation became an importer of major agricultural commodities in the 1980s (Husseni, 1996). Agriculture contributed an average of 74.6% to the Gross Domestic Product ( GDP) in 1960 and with the neglect of the sector, the contribution to the GDP dropped to 1.3% between 1996 and 1999 (Zanna, 2000).
Government, aware of this dangerous trend has since put in place various policies and programmes geared towards resuscitating the sector. These measures and programmes include, the National Accelerated Food Programme (NAFP); River Basin Development Authority (NALDA); National Fadama Development 1; National Fadama Development II, etc. They are some of the Programmes of Federal Government aimed at boosting the country’s food production and foreign exchange earning.
The anticipation that oil may not continue to dominate the economy in the future, as crude oil is an exhaustible asset, substantiates the need for an alternative source of foreign exchange.