Land Fragmentation In Nigeria

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CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.0 Background of the study In Nigeria, despite the dominance of the oil sector, agriculture still plays significant roles in economic development. It provides food for the growing population and raw materials for industries. It also serves as a source for foreign exchange and capital formation (Awotide and Agbola, 2010). Nigeria is an agrarian country whose agricultural sector is dominated by smallholder farmers who operate several scattered plots and produce a high percentage of total food in Nigeria (Kakwagh et al, 2011). The importance of these smallholder farmers cannot be over-emphasized in Nigeria. However, with the myriad of demerits associated with land fragmentation, this phenomenon is still wide spread in…show more content…
Land fragmentation has been defined as the existence of a number of spatially separate plots of land which are farmed as single units. Fragmentation of land is also taken to be the spatial dispersion of a farmer’s plots over a wide area, intermixed with parcels of land operated by other farmers (King and Burton, 1982). It has been observed that there are two sides to land fragmentation in terms of benefits and detriments to farmers and overall agricultural development. Some of the negative aspects to land fragmentation have been identified to include higher transport costs for inputs and outputs in addition to lower labour productivity as a result of increased travelling time between farm plots (Blarel et al, 1992), inefficiencies in production (Nguyen, 2014) and difficulty to mechanize farm operations due to spatial, size and shape awkwardness of land parcels. On the other hand, some benefits that have been associated with farm fragmentation include the enhancement of household food security through diversification of crops grown on plots of different soil quality, management of production and price risks through crop scheduling and use of multiple microenvironments (Van Hung et al,…show more content…
Moreover, the cost of fencing and neighboring conflicts between landowners increases due to this problem. Furthermore, the small size and irregular shape of parcels is another dominant problem associated with land fragmentation. The use of modern machinery is difficult or may be impossible in tiny parcels and may require an excessive amount of manual work in the corners and along the boundaries (Karuozis, 1980). Specifically, irregular parcel shape prevents the proper cultivation of land, especially for some crops (e.g. vines, olives) which need to be cultivated in series. Also, the implementation of soil conservation work is harder, the construction costs are higher, more fencing is needed and roads, which are usually adjusted to the shape of parcels, have low geometrical standards. As a result of these problems, productivity decreases and hence the income of farmers also declines. Thus, this situation emphasizes the need for agricultural commercialization via large farm sizes to attain economies of scale. However, although these arguments may seem logical, and many authors have revealed the positive relationship between farm size, productivity and net income (Jian-Ming, 1997), other authors have supported an

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