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Today, millions of people in the world are without food especially in the developing world which has been of great concern as stipulated in the United Nations millennium development goal 1, sub-targets A, B and C to fight hunger, poverty and starvation across the world and ensure environmental sustainability (UNCSD, Aug, 2011) .This study investigated the consequences of population growth on agricultural production in Obingwa local government area in Nigeria. This is a survey type of research and the instrument used for this study was a questionnaire developed by me for the purpose of this study. The collected data was analyzed by the use of bar graphs arranged in columns, showing the number of agreed and disagreed responses(higher numbers in the agreed responses indicates a significant match whereas higher numbers in the disagreed responses indicates no match) to the research questions. The result of this study shows that there is a significant effect of population growth and food production based on land pattern systems in the locality as a result of pattern of land ownership, communal land ownership, individual land tenure system and land fragmentation; rural-urban migration caused by shortage of land available for farmers for food production, higher paying jobs and better educational opportunities, capital intensive methods of production lack of proper land use decrees etc. To put an end to this menace, it entails a holistic approach not only involving the affected people but also people of great concern around the world. This study has therefore suggested that:

  • Land polices and its implementations should be amended in the country or create new laws that could integrate both traditional (i.e. communal and individual) land ownership and legal right of land ownership in the country.
  • There should be a public enlightenment on the current trend in agricultural production (best agricultural practices/ mechanized farming)

. • Government of the federation should encourage farmers by giving grants and subsidies ( cash and improved seedlings) Ministry of agriculture and natural resources management to device means of educating farmers on the need for food security through mass media, Agricultural extension programs/workshops, internet etc.

  • The government of the federation should encourage research and development activities in the area of plant and animal production for effective yield in order to boast the agricultural industry in Nigeria. 4 • Government should in its yearly budget, invest more in agriculture as it is an important aspect of livelihood in order to carter for the food needs of the growing population in the country.





In recent times, one of the major issues in the world especially in third world countries has been the alarming rate of poverty, lack of proper education and food scarcity. In Nigeria, this has been a huge problem due to increased population with fewer resources. Therefore, the need to provide adequate food for the entire population becomes a huge concern to the entire populace. This grim condition was put forward early in the history of economics by Robert Thomas Malthus(Limits to growth,1766 – 1834) that population growth will always continue to be a problem due to the natural human reproductive urge which increases geometrically (1, 2, 4, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, etc.) in relation to food supply which only increases arithmetically (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, etc.) and thus could have a resultant starvation effect if left unchecked. In recent times, this theory has been said to be criticized by other economists with many factors which Malthus did not consider when putting forward this theory (Gazulakhotia, 2011). This has been a subject of keen controversy as he was regarded as a pessimistic economist by others. These criticisms are based on his inability to relate his theories to the history of western countries as population has failed to grow as rapidly as he predicted in these areas and production as well has increased due to technology advancements. As a result of this, living standard of the people has increased tremendously instead of falling as he predicted in his theory (Gazulakhotia, 2011, revised edition 2012) Secondly, (Ester Boserup, 1965) accused Malthus of basing his theory on the law of diminishing returns which is applied to agricultural production. But for the fact that he asserted that food production would not match with the high population, this has been falsified due to the increase in advanced technology and high capital investments in developed countries , Thus, Boserup proposes a “dynamic” relationship between arable and fallow land that changes in response to population density (Boserup 1965, page13,15& 20). In contrast to the Malthusian idea of ‘invention-pull’ population growth, Boserup (1965) rather put forward an ‘invention-push’ agricultural change which makes it possible to substitute technological input like the use of fertilizers in agricultural production, better seeds for production of quality foods and the use of agricultural machineries to increase food production. 10 Thirdly, the Malthusian theory of population compared population growth with the increase in food production alone and as a result gave no proof of his assertion that population increased exactly in geometric progression. He taught that land was available in fixed quantity and therefore food production cannot increase more than population. He failed to put into proper account the different types of agricultural production and compare them with the increase in the total wealth of a country. This on the other hand does not show that population and food supply changes with these mathematical series. Scientists did not base their support for the populace just on food production from available lands, rather they industrialize themselves by nurturing other natural resources and accumulating man-made capital equipment (e.g. airplanes, factories, cars, tools, railways etc.) which they would use in other forms of production and in exchange for food from other countries through export trades. (Gazulakhotia, 2011) Similarly, The Malthusian theory of population may apply to the developing world such as Africa and the Asian countries. For instance, India and China are at present in that unenviable position which Malthus feared. Grinding poverty, disease outbreak, famine, communal wars and discrimination, insufficient food supply and low standard of living. But for the fact that technology increased has helped in solving these problems especially in the area of food insecurity, these notwithstanding has been falsified by other scientists as Malthus based his theories only on the present life conditions as that time. As the society develops in size and quantity, the demands on resources increases in both intensity and density (Population & Environment 1994, Revise edition A.A Bartlett, 1997). In these parts of the word, society goes through a rapid development to the extent where there are concerns regarding finiteness, (total usage) of resources. In many areas, population pressure is causing sub-division of fertile lands into smaller plots thereby intensifying land use as well as facilitating rural-urban migration.

Similarly, marginal lands in some areas are also brought into production. One of the most socio-economic factors in soil and water conservation is undoubtedly the issue of land tenure. Great strides have been made since 1960s in adjusting land in many of the higher potential areas in Africa. In the drier areas, most of the land is still communally owned (Oyebola, 1970). Over the past years, a purely pastoral economy has a degree of dynamic equilibrium between the people, the livestock and the land etc., the fact that all land was common, it caused no essentials for stewardship. But with rising human and livestock numbers, coupled with a decline in grazing areas due to other forms of land use, the previous dynamic equilibrium has been 11 tremendously destroyed and land degradation has become endemic in many areas. In Nigeria today, Natural and anthropogenic causative factors such as erosion and landslide, pollution from oil spill and other greenhouse gases over land and desert encroachment has led to the destruction and loss of several hectares of arable farmland( UNCSD,1997). Annually, Anambra, Abia, Ondo, and Imo states encounter a massive loss of arable farmland caused by erosion as a result of heavy precipitation. In lined with this, prolonged drought and the pressure of animals grazing on the land is on its daily increase in the northern deserts while in the Niger delta region, oil spill and severe land degradation daily pollutes and renders hectares of arable farmlands infertile and this contributes immensely to about 80% of loss of biological diversity. (UNU, 1996) The rise in population has resulted to marginal rainfall areas being vulnerable to drought and more bared lands as a result of the decline in vegetative cover resulting from the intensive anthropogenic activities by humans, higher rates of animal grazing , deforestation for building and fuel needs, thereby exposing the soil to the ravages of wind and water erosion (UNFCCC, 2011) Similarly, the demand for gathering of firewood has shifted on the increase as a result of high demand for fuel especially in the rural communities. As this is said to be a time consuming occupation, it has really affected the farmers input to crop production and thus has led to reduced agricultural practice (IEA.ORG) Population growth in developing countries has caused a shift of population from rural to urban. Some communities or even individuals have been forced to move out of a particular area of land due to limited job opportunities being provided for them and leasing or even selling off their available land to fast growing/mechanized farmers thereby leading to the shortage of land available for a growing number of low income farmers. Arable farmland is lost annually because of population increases; rural-urban migration also increases to areas of paid labor by high income farmers. The expansion of these urban areas leads to the conversion of so many hectares of arable farmland for urban projects like the construction of houses , schools , roads , parks for recreational activities as well as new towns when necessary (UNCSD, 1997) The high rate of population growth in Nigeria has resulted in the unsustainable use of natural resources which is the basic foundation for livelihood without having concern for 12 the future. This has led to tremendous effects on our natural ecosystem. The provisioning, regulatory, cultural and supporting services which are derived from the ecosystem are put at a high risk due to the harsh use of these natural resources (UN.ORG) Over the years, there have been several symptoms of ecological stress like the deteriorating nature of the grass land areas, very low crop yield, soil erosion which has forced so many migration activities to the cities and low standard of living by the poor. All these effects can produce long-term, possibly permanent damage to the environment which in turn would have a huge negative effect on agricultural production. Most of these problems are closely related to a simple factor of human population which has exceeded the carrying capacity of the land. In the light of the above problems, I would say that this thesis has been set out to identify and articulate population and production consequences within agriculture with Obingwa local government area as a reference point

1.2 VISION 2020

The declared aims of Nigeria’s national agricultural policy are to “(i) attain food security, (ii) increase production and productivity, (iii) generate employment and income, and (iv) expand exports and reduce food imports thereby freeing resources for critical infrastructure development and delivery of social services.” The current government seems to attribute the unsatisfactory state of Nigeria’s agriculture to its subsistence-orientation. The efforts of previous governments are characterised as having treated agriculture purely as a development issue. Hence the focus shifts to the role of agribusiness. Specifically, the Agriculture Transformation Action Plan (ATAP, launched in August 2011) seeks to develop the value chain of five key commodities, i.e. rice, cassava, sorghum, cacao and cotton. This entails reforming the input supply regime, a targeted region-specific increase in the output of the five priority commodities, post-harvest systems development, a strong orientation towards agri-business and promoting value-addition in the product chain. The success of the programme depends largely on reforming the fertiliser supply mechanism which has a history of large-scale corruption. The programme is promoted by the current Minister of Agriculture who, however, has to contend with his own officials and the states who have not bought into this vision. State-level involvement in the agricultural reforms is key because agriculture is on the concurrent legislative list and, in practice, is largely dealt with at the local and state level.



Food and indeed agriculture is very indispensable to human development. Man`s endeavor has always centered on the quest to provide for himself with the basic needs of life such as food, clothing and shelter. It is evident that the population of Nigeria grows very fast. For instance in the national census in 1963, the population of nigeria was 54,959,426 whereas as in 1991, it has increased to 88,992,220 which is about 61.7% increase within 28years (OBLGA Gazetteer, 2001). For instance in 1963 National census, a total figure of 55.6million was recorded officially though it was said to have been encumbered with charges of inaccuracy and manipulation for regional and local political purposes. Nonetheless, the official 1963 figure of 55.6 million as total national population is inconsistent with the census of a decade earlier because it implies a virtually impossible annual growth rate of 5.8 percent. In addition to likely inflation of the aggregate figure, significant intraregional anomalies emerge from a close comparison of the 1953 and 1963 figures. For instance, in portions of the southeast, the two sets of data show that some nonurban local government areas had increased at a rate of almost 13 percent per year, while other neighboring areas experienced a drastic growth rate of 0.5 percent per year. Despite the controversy, the results of the 1963 census were eventually accepted. (U.S. Library of Congress) 13 Inevitably, rise in population leads to higher demand for food production. This is one of the major problems facing Nigeria today for its growing population.For  a country like Nigeria where agriculture is no longer effective and population has continue to increase tremendously,it has pose a problem where the demand for food has continue to increase without increase in production  of food.This takes us back to Mathlusian theory of population,where population will increase at a geometrical rate while food production will increase at an arithmetic rate which will pose a serious problem to the economy at large.




H0:there is on significant relationship between population growth and food production

H1:there is a relationship between population growth and food production



H0:there is no significant relationship between land pattern system and population growth

H1:there is a relationship between land pattern system and population growth



H0:there is no significant relationship between rural urban migration and agricultural production

H1:there is a significant relationship between rural urban migration and agricultural production.



The main purpose of this study is to investigate and identify the consequences of population growth on agricultural production.



The study introduces the following question to help in conducting the research;

1.To what extent have population growth affected agricultural practice in Nigeria?

2.To what extent have land pattern systems matched with population growth?

3.To what extent has rural-urban migration affected agricultural production?



The purpose of this study is to analysis how food production is affected by the increasing rate of population and other factor like land pattern and the system of agricultural practice in a locality.The rate of food production has continue to increase arithmetically and population has continue to increase geometrically which has cause population increase to offset food production increase.Finally,possible solution will be  profer to solve this problem of scarcity.

1.8 AREA OF STUDY                 

The Federal Republic of Nigeria commonly referred to as Nigeria, is a federal republic in West Africa, bordering Benin in the westChad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. It comprises 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, where the capitalAbuja is located. Nigeria is officially a democratic secular country.[Modern-day Nigeria has been the site of numerous kingdoms and tribal states over the millennia. The modern state originated from British colonial rule beginning in the 19th century and the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914. The British set up administrative and legal structures whilst practising indirect rule through traditional chiefdoms. Nigeria became a formally independent federation in 1960. It experienced a civil war from 1967 to 1970. It then alternated between democratically elected civilian governments and military dictatorships until it achieved a stable democracy in 1999, with the 2011 presidential elections considered the first to be reasonably free and fair.[7]

Nigeria is often referred to as the “Giant of Africa”, owing to its large population and economy.[8]  With approximately 186 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world. Nigeria has one of the largest populations of youth in the world. The country is viewed as a multinational state as it is inhabited by over 500 ethnic groups, of which the three largest are the HausaIgbo and Yoruba; these ethnic groups speak over 500 different languages and are identified with wide variety of cultures.The official language is English. Nigeria is divided roughly in half between Christians, who live mostly in the southern part of the country, and Muslims, who live mostly in the north. A minority of the population practise religions indigenous to Nigeria, such as those native to the Igbo and Yoruba ethnicities.

As of 2015, Nigeria is the world’s 20th largest economy, worth more than $500 billion and $1 trillion in terms of nominal GDP and purchasing power parity respectively. It overtook South Africa to become Africa’s largest economy in 2014. The 2013 debt-to-GDP ratio was 11 percent. Nigeria is considered to be an emerging market by the World Bank; it has been identified as a regional power on the African continent, a middle power in international affairs, and has also been identified as an emerging global power. Nigeria is a member of the MINT group of countries, which are widely seen as the globe’s next “BRIC-like” economies. It is also listed among the “Next Eleven” economies set to become among the biggest in the world. Nigeria is a founding member of the African Union and a member of many other international organizations, including the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations and OPEC.



This study may or may not be able to help the government and all other concerned authorities to review and improve the different ways of land management systems in the state and at the local government level, but will point out some related or closely related issues in food production in relation to population increase. By so doing, helps to device means through further research studies to provide solutions to the problem of land availability to farmers which may perhaps lead to more available farm land and hence boost food production. In view of the above, the general public could benefit through the availability of more information now and in the future and which will also serve as baseline knowledge for subsequent scholars on a similar or related topics.



POPULATION: The total number of people inhabiting a specific area. The set of individuals, items, or data from which a statistical sample is taken. All the organisms that constitute a specific group or occur in a specified habitat.

POPULATION GROWTH: An increase in the number of people that reside in a country, state, county, or city. To determine whether there has been population growth, the following formula is used: (birth rate + immigration) – (death rate + emigration).

FOOD PRODUCTION:This include the cultivating of crop through agricultural means and food processing from industries.

LAND PATTERN SYSTEM: A footprint or land pattern is the arrangement of pads (in surface-mount technology) or through-holes (in through-hole technology) used to physically attach and electrically connect a component to a printed circuit board. The land pattern on a circuit board matches the arrangement of leads on a component.

AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION: the science, art, or occupation concerned with cultivating land, raising crops, and feeding, breeding, and raising livestock; farming.

RURAL URBAN MIGRATION: This is the movement of persons and property from a rural settlement(village) to an urban settlement(town).

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