The state and integrated rural development in southwestern Nigeria, c.1945-1992, with a case study of the Etiki-Akoko Agricultural Development Project, Ondo State
This thesis examines the changing role of Nigeria's state system in integrated rural development, the post-war global effort to draw peasant producers irretrievably into commercial agriculture. The thesis analyzes policy and programme interventions by the state, or by international development institutions acting through the state, to promote capital-intensive agriculture as well as expand market-based exchange relations in rural Nigeria. The study's structural context is provided by southwestern Nigeria's experience in state-led agrarian change since the 1940s. Its immediate empirical referents are the Ekiti-Akoko Agricultural Development Project (EAADP) and the Ondo State Agricultural Development Project (ODSADEP), implemented successively in cocoa-growing Ondo State in the 1980s with World Bank assistance. Agriculmral change in southwestern Nigeria since the 19th century has been conceived in terms of the near-total absence of state intervention or its ubiquity; high turnover of multiple, conflicting policies, strategies and implementing agencies; and class-based conflict between state, capital, and peasantry. While these conceptions still capture the essence of state action in rural Western Nigeria, they have occasionally oversimplified reality. Existing analyses have also had a predominantly national and/or regional focus and reinforced established policy biases by emphasising export-crop agriculture to the near-total exclusion of food-cropping. The present study attempts a historical and structural analysis of the state's role since the 1940s, focusing on small-scale food farming at sub-regional and project levels. Quantitative and qualitative methods are applied to a data base comprising archival material; official documents and project reports; interviews with farmers and with officials; as well as a survey of farmers in four villages in north-eastern Ondo State, to analyze policy and socio-technical constraints to commercial agriculture, and to assess EAADP and ODSADEP's operations. The thesis concludes that state activism in rural Ondo State has produced mixed results. The reason, however, is not so much because small farmers have been unremitting opponents of capitalist methods as because local realities have been ignored in the design and implementation of official strategies. One policy implication of this is that the 'blueprint model' of planning must be reconstructed to promote greater local influence on development thinking. Another is the need to redefine the scale of development projects in favour of programmes with more modest objectives and performance targets. Above all, policy and political processes have to be opened up to autonomous farmers' groups.