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THE IMPERATIVE OF AGRO-INDUSTRY FOR SUSTAINABLE ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECT

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Abstract Most agricultural produce require post harvest processing operations before they are consumed or stored. This offers great opportunities for local companies which specialize in fabricating agro-allied machineries/equipments. This paper, the
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  THE IMPERATIVE OF AGRO-INDUSTRY FOR SUSTAINABLEENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECT.BEING APAPER PRESENTED JAPHET P. FULDAWA. CISM, AICRMB.AGRIC (Hons AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICSUNIVERSITY OF MAIDUGURIP!"s#$%%&')*oo.+o/010102ATTHE SCHOOL OF VOCATIONAL AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION (SOVET WEE3 412HELD AT THE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AUDITORIUM, 5ING TARABA STATE.4 TH  -44 ND  AUGUST, 412. 1  A6s78)+7  Most agricultural produce require post harvest processing operations before they areconsumed or stored. This offers great opportunities for local companies which specialize in fabricating agro-allied machineries/equipments. This paper, the Imperative of gro-industry for !ustainable "ntrepreneurship #evelopment$ %roblems and %rospects highlighted the current issues in the agro-sector and e&plored the problems affecting entrepreneurship development inthis sector of the economy as well as the prospects. Inadequate wor'ing capital, lac' of training,low standard of education, economic, social and political factors were identified to be the ma(or  problems facing entrepreneurship development in the agro-industry sector. s part of the prospects of entrepreneurship development in the agro industry, we are of the opinion that, theagro-allied will ma'e the possibility for equitable distribution of national income more realisticby providing employment on large scale and also help mobilizing capital and human resourcesthat would otherwise be left idle. It was however, recommended that government should e&tend the current reforms to our "ducational system to ma'e it more functional, relevant and need-oriented driven as well as enacting processes or programmes towards training )igerian youths. 2  In78o9!+7$on Most agricultural produce that are sold in formal markets requires post harvest processingoperation. The market for processing machines therefore is of significant economic importanceand offers great opportunities for local companies which specialize in fabricating agro-alliedmachinery (both “pre and “post harvest machines! and their e"istence and operations is pivotalto the overall success of the country as a would-be industrialized nation. Machines fabricated bysuch include the cassava press# cassava grater# cassava chipper# maize $heller# plate mill# honey press# cassava sifter# hammer mill# multi-purpose grain thresher# de-stoners# dryers# planters% feedmill mi"ers# graders etc. &ood processing is an integral part of agriculture as most farm producemust undergo one form of conversion or the other either for storage or breaking down intosmaller# workable units as a food source or raw material# 'mobowale# ()*)!+orroborating with 'mobowale# ,ohn and deola ()*)!# asserted that strengtheningtechnological capability and innovation capacity are pursuit of developing countries that haveachieved significant reduction in poverty and are on the path to technological economic catch-up.Though efforts and resources has been committed to building local technological capability in igeria as reported by ,ohn and deola# significant impact on industrialization and other economic activities is yet to be apparent. /n other words# the innovation capacity is weak andconsequently# opportunities for growth and development are limited in critical sectors of theeconomy. 0oosting indigenous technological capability thus remains a ma1or developmentchallenge in igeria. The challenge is more pronounced in the industrial sector because industryforms the centre of technological activities in any economy. Muchie and 0askaran# ())2!# posited that# in a system of national innovation# firmswhich constitute the industry are the centre of technological innovation that sustains theeconomic growth. /t has been severally demonstrated from economic theory and empiricalstudies that technological innovation is the engine of economic growth. /t is however not limitedto the secondary sector of the economy# but rather cuts across every sector as corroborated by3oel# koryukin# 0hatia and garwal# ())4!5owever# for a later industrializer such as igeria# the transition from dependence on therelatively poor level of technological capability# igeria6s indigenous technological capability isnot only limited in its function but also lack significant capacity to assimilate# absorb or adoptforeign technology# ('ke1iri# )))% deoti# ))a!.befe-0alogun and wankpa# ()**!# asserted that# entrepreneurship7vocationaleducation which aimed at combining skills# 1ob ethics and training to encourage talented 3  entrepreneurs# especially among young people# to be self-reliant# can-do spirit# and commitmentto succeed has become inevitably desirable not only to boost local production# create innovationsand productive youngsters but also enable them meet their future challenges has fallen belowe"pectation./t is against this background that this paper aim to appraise the imperative of agro-alliedindustries and look into the problems and prospects of this sector of the economy for sustainableentrepreneurship development. Con+&7 o; A<8o-$n9!s78  common and traditional definition of agro-industry refers to the subset of manufacturing that processes raw materials and immediate products derived from the agriculturalsector. gro-industry thus means transforming products srcinating from agriculture# forest andfisheries. /ndeed a very large part of agricultural production undergoes some degree of transformation between harvest and final use. The industries that use agricultural# fishery andforest products as raw material comprise a very varied group. They range from simple preservation (such as sun drying! and operations closely related to harvesting to the production# by modern# capital intensive methods# of such articles as te"tiles# pulp and paper.gricultural productions are shaped by technologies of growing comple"ity# and theyincorporate the result of ma1or research and development efforts as well as increasinglysophisticated individual and collective preferences regarding nutrition# health and environment.8hile one can still distinguish the phase of production of raw materials from processing andtransformation phase# often this distinction is blurred by the comple"ity of technology and thee"tent of vertical integration9 the industrialization of agriculture and development of agro- processing industries is thus a 1oint process which is generating an entirely new type of industrialsector. The agro-industry is basically grouped into9 food industries# non food industry andupstream and downstream industries. The food industries are much more homogenous and areeasier to classify than the non food industries since their product all have the same end use. Thenon food industries# in contrast to the food industries# have a wide variety of end uses. Theupstream industries are engaged in the initial processing of agricultural commodities such as ricemilling and fish canning# while the downstream industries under take further manufacturingoperations on intermediate products made from agricultural materials. :"ample are bread# biscuitand noodle making# te"tile spinning and weaving# paper production# clothing and footwear manufacturing% and rubber manufactures# (&'#)))!Today# however# it is becoming even more difficult to provide a precise demarcation of what should be considered an agro-industry activity. The impact of innovation processes and new 4  technologies suggest a widening of the range of agro-industry inputs that could be considered#including biotechnological and synthetic products for e"ample# &'# (*222!. This implies thatagro-industry today continues to process simple agricultural goods while also transforminghighly sophisticated industrial inputs that are often the result of considerable investment inresearch# technology and innovation thus the call redressing entrepreneurship in the nation withrespect to agro-industry development ccording to 3ayal# ());!# <gro-industry= is an omnibus e"pression. /t could cover avariety of industrial# manufacturing and processing activities based on agricultural raw materialsas also activities and services that go as inputs to agriculture. The agro-industries corporations#set up during the =si"ties in most states# have mainly been engaged in supply of farm machinery#fertilizers# seeds and other modern inputs available to farmers. >rocessing of agricultural produceis# however# a well-known agro-industrial activity. 0esides the two-way linkages to agriculture#one would need additional criteria to classify agro-industries. To make no distinction between thenature of economic activity involved in spinning and weaving in modern mills and the traditionalvillage weaver working with home-spun yarn would# for obvious reasons# be not 1ustified. /ndustrial development is arguably the engine of sustained long term economicdevelopment. /ndustrial development represents a deliberate and sustained application andcombination of suitable technology# human resources# management techniques and other resources to improve the production system. The economic argument for embarking on industrialdevelopment is that rising productivity in the economy depends largely on industrial performance often obtained through technological innovation# which result from improved factor input combinations. The higher wage rate associated with the modern industrial sector attractssurplus labour from the subsistence traditional sector. /n countries where technologicalinnovations in both the secondary and primary sectors have advanced# industrial developmenthas produced synergy between the two sectors and net economic welfare has /mprovedconsiderably for every strata of the population# (deoti and detola# ))!?ntil igeria attained independence in *2@)# agriculture was the most important sector of the economy as it accounted for more than one-half of 3ross Aomestic >roduct and for morethan three-quarters of e"port earnings (Binda# ))*# 8ikipedia# )*)b!. This show howimportant this sector of the igerian economy was until it was neglected after the oil boom.>olitical and institutional instability was another factor that affected the management and performance of igerian agricultural research institutes who were meant to be developing newand innovative ways of solving agro-related problems and pass the knowledge on to industriesfor adoption. The decline of agriculture in igeria also led to a general neglect of local agro- 5
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