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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Colonial and post-independence agricultural policies in Eastern Nigeria, 1946-1980
Author:Iwuagwu, Obi
Year:2008
Periodical:Lagos Historical Review
Volume:8
Pages:64-78
Language:English
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:agricultural policy
agricultural development
agricultural history
Abstract:There is a thin line between agriculture and rural development, at least in Nigeria. This paper assesses the various colonial (1946-1960) and postcolonial agricultural policies in Eastern Nigeria up to 1980, with a view to showing their impact on rural development. During the colonial period agricultural policies in Eastern Nigeria were, on the whole, a mixture of exploitation and development. Emphasis was on the production of cash crops for export, in particular oil palm. Although the revenue potential of the cash crops failed to reach the farmers since the Marketing Boards which had been established between 1947 and 1949 controlled the prices, the revenue from the Marketing Boards did aid infrastructural development, from which at least several communities in Eastern Nigeria benefitted. The administration of M.I. Okpara, the first postindependence premier of Eastern Nigeria, recognized the importance of rural development, particularly through the improvement of the agricultural sector. The agricultural policy of this period emphasized the rapid expansion of tree crops. Community plantations, farm settlements and the Eastern Nigeria Development Corporation plantations were established in order to penetrate the basis of traditional village life and thereby improve farming techniques and social facilities. The civil war of 1967-1970 severely disrupted agriculture. Government attention after the war shifted to reconstruction and rehabilitation and despite a commitment to continue most of the prewar policies, by 1976 most of the prewar schemes had been completely devastated. Ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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