24TH INAUGURAL LECTURE OF THE FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY OWERRI

THEME: AGRICULTURAL FINANCE: A PANACEA FOR AGRICULTURAL AND RURAL                    DEVELOPMENT

BY: PROFESSOR EZE, CHRISTOPHER CHIEDOZIE

DEPARTMENT: AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS

AFFILIATION: FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY OWERRI

The concern for rural development is due to the fact that over 70% of Nigeria reside in this sector and produce more than 95% of the food consumed, provide an appreciable quantity  of raw materials needed by industries as well as employ many hands and earn foreign exchange for the country. It is therefore only equitable that these rural people benefit from infrastructural development efforts which their urban counterparts enjoy. Hence developing the rural areas, would not only stem migration but would make for a more stable polity. Despite all the efforts made by Nigerian governments as Integrated Rural Development Strategy, Rural Banking Scheme, Small Scale Industrialization Strategy, Establishment of a Directorate for Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructures, Better Life Programme, Family Support Programme, Peoples Bank and Community Banks to accelerate rural development. Studies have shown that slow pace of agricultural and rural development is attributable, among other things to the poor financial status of the individuals in the rural areas.

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