CHALLENGES IN ADMINISTERING THE CROSS RIVER STATE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

The study was conducted to identify the challenges in administering the Cross River State Ministry of Agriculture, Nigeria. All the staff of the ministry constituted the population for the study. A proportionate sampling technique was used in selecting respondents, with twenty percent (20%) of respondents from each of the departments. Thus the total sample size for the study was one hundred and thirteen (113) respondents. Percentages, mean and frequency were used in the presentation and analysis of the data collected. The result of the study showed that the majority of staff (85.5%) were married and 64.5% of respondents were males; the mean age of staff was 43.85%. About 43.5% of the respondents had Bachelor of science (B.Sc) as their highest educational qualification, above average (55.3%) of the staff specialized in agricultural science related discipline. Results revealed that the State government (85.5%) was the ministry's major source of funding, and 80.9% indicated that fund was insufficient. They agreed the approved budget was three hundred and sixty nine million, four hundred and nineteen thousand, three hundred and sixty five hundred, forty one kobo (N 367,419,365.41) rather than a proposed budget of one billion, five hundred and sixty eight million, six hundred and twenty two thousand, eight hundred and sixty three naira, zero kobo (N1,568,622,863.00) for different departments. The ministry is understaffed by three hundred and fifty seven persons (357) and lacks infrastructure as only buildings for offices was indicated as available (71.8%) and functional (62.7%) by respondents. Major constraints identified from this result were: poor funds for purchase of equipment (M=2.18), improper and inadequate staffing (M=1.55), insufficient electricity supply (M=2.49), inadequate funding of State ministry's interrelationship activities (M=2.54). Results also show that the State ministry had weak linkage with universities (M=1.31) and the research institutes (M=1.37). Suggestions to address the challenges are: increased budgetary allocation (54.5%), training and retraining of staff (58.2%), constant recruitment (36.4%), funding for research work and facilities (32.7%).

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1      Background Information
To administer means to serve, to direct, to control and to manage affairs. Administering according to Paulinadu (2005) is a rational human activity, inherent in any organization public or private. He further added that to administer involves a cooperative human effort towards achieving a common goal. In the words of Gladden (2007), administration is a long and slightly pompous word, with a humble meaning-caring for people and managing affairs. He further defines it as determined actions taken in pursuit of a conscious purpose. It is thus a goal-oriented, purposive, cooperative, joint activity undertaken by a group of people (MacQueen, 2007), which consists of only three factors: men, materials and methods.

Willoughby (2007) divides the scope of administration into five categories. These are General Administration: which entails who is to perform the function of direction, supervision, and control; Organization: which deals with building up the structures for the actual performance of the administrative work; Personnel: stating who manages different services; Materials and supply: enlisting the tools with which the work of administration is carried on and finally Finance: making provision for the financial needs of administration.

Administration can likewise be understood as the operational performance of routine office tasks, which is usually internally oriented and reactive rather than proactive (Encyclopedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition). The essence of administration, is to plan projects, “wield together” an organization for their accomplishments, keep the organization functioning smoothly and efficiently to achieve their goals within the allotted personnel, time and resources available. (http://staff.neu.edu.tr/~apolatoglu/files/inttopubadm.pdf).

The full institutionalization of agricultural administration in Nigeria commenced in 1900 (Federal Ministry of agriculture, Water Resources and Rural development -FMAWRRD, 1988). Following expert advice, the military government created full-fledged Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources in 1966 (Food and Agriculture Organization-FAO, 1966) and with changes in government structure from regional to state and local governments, administration of agriculture in Nigeria became decentralized leading to the creation of state ministry of agriculture as well as department of agriculture in the local government areas. The state ministries and local government department of agriculture were saddled with the responsibilities of complimenting the Federal government policies on agriculture in their domain (Federal Government of Nigeria-FGN, 2001).

The  Federal  Ministry  of  Agriculture  and  Rural  Development  (FMARD),  regulates research in agriculture, natural resources, forestry and veterinary medicine all over Nigeria. The mandate of the ministry is to be a significant net provider of food to the global community, through the promotion of agricultural development and management of national resources in a value-chain approach to achieve sustainable food security, enhance farm income and reduce poverty (http://www.fmard.gov.ng/).


The Cross River State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources is charged with empowering, reinvigorating and transforming agricultural production in the state (Cross River State Ministry of Agriculture-CRSMOA, 2012). The state government working with the federal government and other development agencies like International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), FADAMA III and the World Bank through the Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP) provides assistance to farmers and investors across the agricultural value chain (CRSMOA, 2012). This includes the acquisition and preparation of land, provision of inputs, and providing technical assistance through the Ministry of Agriculture’s Extension Unit (http://www.crossriverstate.gov.ng/).

Cross River State Ministry of Agriculture has eleven departments: Livestock; Veterinary; Produce services; Fishery; Agricultural services; Agricultural finances; Cross River Agricultural Rural Empowerment Scheme (CARES); Administration; Finance and supplies; Planning, Research and Statistics and finally Agricultural development programme. The livestock development services department was established to supply seed stock for sundry livestock and provide technical support to farmers in the livestock production and management; the veterinary service department was established to provide quality health care for farm and domestic animals, including pets through prophylactic and curative treatments of animals and to ensure wholesome meat products; the fisheries development department to promote fish farming as an income generating activity and provide information to the public (CRSMOA, 2012).

Furthermore, the agricultural service department was established to support and promote farming activities with a view to increasing crop production; the agricultural finance department was established to facilitate financing and marketing for agricultural enterprise and last but not the least amongst the few departments mentioned is the produce service department which was established to monitor, control and certify standards of quality post-harvest agricultural produce for export or sale in other parts of the country (CRSMOA, 2012).

The state ministry of agriculture has in the past and present implemented several programmes and projects to actualize its set objectives. These include;

Cross River Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CRCADP): It is a World Bank supported project established in 2005 aimed at improving agricultural production in Nigeria by supporting commercial agriculture production, processing and marketing outputs amongst......
For more Agricultural Economics & Extension Projects click here
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Item Type: Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 111 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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