One of the major focuses of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is agricultural development and the eradication of poverty and hunger. A significant percentage of the population in Africa lives in the rural areas with agriculture as their major preoccupation, but these group of the populace are barely or not informed about new techniques and improved technologies in agriculture.
There is no gain emphasizing the importance of education in driving home these new techniques and improved technological methods in agriculture; open and distance learning is a mode of learning that can render this education accessible to the generality of the populace regardless of time and space. ODL has proven to be effective in the acquisition of skills and knowledge for agricultural productivity as in the case of sugar cane farming techniques in Kenya etc and increasing the income of the farmers. These has expose the indispensability of ODL in achieving the MDGs, vis a vis, reducing poverty and hunger, therefore, this project attempts to shed more light on the potentials and the role of open and distance learning in achieving this major focus of the Millennium Development Goals.

Title page                                                                                                       i
Certification                                                                                                  iii
Dedication                                                                                                     iv
Acknowledgement                                                                                       v
Abstract                                                                                                         vi
Table of contents                                                                                         vii
1.1       Background of the study                                                                 1
1.2       Statement of the Problem                                                                5
1.3       Objective of the study                                                                     6
1.4       Theoretical framework                                                                    6
1.5       Methodology of the study                                                              8
1.6       Significance of the study                                                                8
1.7       Research hypothesis                                                                        10
1.8       Scope/ limitation of the study                                                        11
1.9       Definition of terms                                                                          11
1.10    Organization                                                                                                 12
Reference:                                                                                         13
1.2       Literature review                                                                              15
Reference                                                                                          39
3.1       Data Presentation                                                                             42
3.2       Data analyses                                                                                    44
3.3       Testing of Hypotheses                                                                     45
4.1       Implication of the study                                                                  51
4.2       conclusion                                                                                         51
4.3       Recommendation                                                                             54
Bibliography                                                                                                 59
Questionnaire                                                                                   64


               The establishment of the Millennium Development Goals has set poverty reduction as a fundamental objective by development. In recent years, there has been an upsurge of interest in the impact of development on poverty. Poverty has increasingly become a major global issue, with halving extreme poverty by 2015 constituting the first, and perhaps the most critical, goal of the millennium development Goals (MDGS).
               Since the 1980s, the poverty rate has been tending significantly downward in all regions of the world except in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The ratio of poverty for all less developed countries (LDCS) fell from 27.9% to 21.1%, but the ratio for Africa actually increased from 44.6% to 46.4% (Ravallion and Chen, 2004) Against this background it is not surprising that several recent papers argue that most African countries will not achieve the target of reducing poverty by half by 2015 (Fosu, 2008, UNDP 2003, Hammer and Naschold, 2000). In the last two year decades in Nigeria, there has been little or no project made in alleviating poverty despite the massive effort made and investment into many programmes established for that purpose. For instance, Canagarajah et al, (1997) reported increased level of poverty over the period spanning the 1980s and 1990s in Nigeria and inequality was established with an increased in the Gini coefficient from 38.1 percent in 1985 to 44.9 percent in 1992. Results of the 1996/97 National consumer survey showed that 56 percent of Nigerians live below the poverty line. In 1985 about 43 percent were below the figure at 34.1 percent at 1985 prices.
In 1992, 46.4 million Nigerians were said to be living in absolute poverty, out of which 80.2% or 37.7 million are in the rural areas (Ogwumike, 1996). The marginalization of the rural areas through urban-biased development policies is largely responsible for the high poverty incidence in the rural areas (Obi, 2007). These statistics indicate a worsening poverty situation in the country and a cause for concern (Okunmadewa, 1999).
               The most frequently advocated manner to achieve such poverty reduction is through economic growth (Arsenio and Fuwa, 2003). Growth has therefore traditionally been considered the main engine for poverty reduction. As reported by the world bank (world Development indicator, 2002), real per-capital income in the developing world grew at an average rate of 2.3 percent per annum during the four decades between 1960 and 2000. This is a high growth rate by almost only standard. In order to achieve reduction in poverty, however, income growth has to be equitably distributed (Kalwij and Verschoor, 2007, World Bank 2006). Thus, the current thinking on how best to achieve poverty reduction, both economic growth and equity have to assume a central place in development strategies. Further, equity is seen not only as of intrinsic importance but also of instrumental importance but also of instrumental importance through its impact on the rate at which economic growth leads into poverty and income redistribution among the mass majority especially the rural dwellers.
               What is more, evidences in the literature points to the increasing level of income inequality in developing countries including Nigeria, over the last two decades (e.g. Addison and Cornia, 2001; Kanbur and Instig, 1999) thus, to attain the objective of reducing poverty in Nigeria the pre-occupation of the government has been the growth of the economy as a pre-requisite for improved welfare. To this effect the government therefore indicated several economic reform measures which include economic stabilization measures of 1982, economic emergency measures in 1985 and structural adjustment programme (SAP) in 1986 components of SAP include market determined exchange and interest rates, liberalized financial sector, trade liberalization, commercialization and privatization of a number of enterprises (Aigbokhan, 2008) specialized agencies were also established to promote the objective of poverty reduction. These include Agricultural Development Programmes, Nigeria Agricultural, Cooperative and rural Development Bank, National Agricultural Insurance scheme, National Directorate of employment, National primary Health care Agency, people’s Basic education transit, mass education through universal basic education (UBE), Rural Electrification Schemes (RES) among others. The recent effort is based on the seven point agenda. Like earlier reform packages, the strategy considers economic growth as crucial to poverty reduction. The major issues of the seven point agenda include, power and energy food, security, wealth creation and transportations, others are land reforms, security and mass education.
            Additionally, attention to the importance of income distribution in poverty reduction seems to be growing. Whether growth reduces poverty, and whether in particular growth can be deemed to be “pro-poor”, depends however, on the impact of growth on inequality feeds into poverty (Araar and Duclos, 2007). This paper is thus set to analyze the growth and inequalities of poverty, that is, by how much does poverty decline in percentage terms with a given percentage rise in economic growth and inequality in Nigeria. Technically, the growth elasticity of poverty is the rate of reduction in poverty resulting from a 1% increase in average income if, for example the growth elasticity of poverty is 2, then we would expect an increase in poverty average income of 2% per year to yield a reduction of 4% per year in poverty. Previous research has shown that the value of the growth elasticity is lower in countries with higher inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient (Ravllion, 2001, Hanmer and Naschold, 2000).
This means that policies which reduce inequality will increase the amount of poverty reduction associated with economic growth. This is not to say such policies will necessarily lead to more poverty reduction, as they may also lower the rate of economic growth. This is the well-known trade between growth policies and redistribution (Anderson, 2005).
The problems associated with poverty in Nigeria are multifaceted. Nigeria has no reason to be a poor country because of the vast economic potentials and human resources that it is endowed with, but why is Nigeria then lagging behind a country like liby a that relies only on oil for survival?
Self-sufficiency and self-reliance in food production has always been a daunting task for the policy makers in Nigeria, especially, after the ephemeral oil boom of the mid-1970s. Infact, this challenging situation is not confined to Nigeria. Akindele and Adebo (2005:55) note that food production is a major challenge that the new states have to contend with. A retrospective look at the Nigeria’s economic pattern shows that before the civil war the country relied on its agricultural base for its export earnings that represented “66 percent of the country’s foreign exchange, while it rose to 73.4 percent in 1968” when activities in the oil sector were paralyzed due to the country’s civil war (1967-1970).
(Richard, 1978). The importation of food further wrecked serious harocs on agriculture when full exploitation of oil resumed in earnest and consequently, “the government could think of no other alternative than to mortgage the country’s economic future to the good behaviour and concordance of the multi-nationals and the local capitalists” (Richard, 1978: 224) arguing along the same line, it is acknowledged that:
               During the 1970s, Nigeria evolved from a poor agricultural economy into a relatively rich, oil dominated one. In 1969 the oil sector accounted for less than 3 percent of GDP and a modest US $370 million in exports (43 percent of total export), per capita income was only US $130, and more than half of GDP was generated in the agricultural sector. By 1980, the oil sector had come to account for nearly 30 percent of GDP, oil exports totaled us $25billio (96 percent of total exports) and per capita income exceed US %1.100. Following the discovering and exploration of oil, the economy experienced many symptoms of the “Dutch disease” (NCEMA cited in
1.3              OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
It is therefore the purpose of this research to elucidate on poverty reduction, its features and operations of millennium development goal. The research work in tended to show how MDG can help in reduction of poverty in Nigeria. It also looked into theoretical framework of MDG’S on reduction of poverty in Nigeria.
i.             To find out if MDG’S can help in poverty reduction.
ii.         To determine the role of MDG’S in supply of food to the rural area.
iii.        To know the extent of MDG’S in economic growth of Nigeria
One way to answer our research question is to compare countries with and without PRSPS in term of MDG progress. But, as the Appendix shows, nearly all low-income countries participate in (or have completed) the PRSP process since 1999. This precludes a statistically meaningful comparison with the few that do not. An alternative “treatment” approach is to compare countries before and after they enter the PRS process. About 60 countries are involved in the PRS process since 1999, a year later, in September 2000, the MDG’S were acknowledged by the UN member states. For these countries we performed an exhaustive search for data on the 48 indicators for the 18 targets connected to the eight MDG’S. Unfortunately limitations on useful data turn out to be such that we can research only three MDG’S these goals are (to achieve universal primary education), (to promote gender equality and empower women) and goal 4 to (reduce child mortality). After receiving many data collection options, for reasons of constituency and data availability we settled for this study on the world development indicators and the UN millennium development Goal indicator database for our MDG indicators and controls, we use data on school enrolment and completion rates, literacy, gender parity, health, income and urbanization. They are collected from by UNESCO, UNICEF and WHO sources.
In figure 3 below we compare the change in per-country average values of nine MDG indicators for 59 countries, before and after the country enter the PRS process. We look at the change in indicator values as a percentage of the pre-PRSP level for instance, for Albania which started the PRSP process on May 3, 2000 with submission of an I-PRSP, we compare MDG indicator values averaged over 1990-1999 to the 2000-2005 average (later data are were not available at the time of writing). The findings are encouraging on average, all indicators improved after countries entering the process, and all differences are statistically significant (P<O.OI) except for the indicator “share of women in non-agricultural wage employment”. This finding holds regardless of whether we compare country-level averages (as in the figure) or pool all observations. Nor are findings particularly sensitive to time period. If we start observation in 1995 instead of 1990, some findings disappear due to data scarcity but no results are overturned.
Having extensively reviewed existing and related literature in the last chapter, the research in this chapter seek to explain how he under takes the fact finding mission. Bearing in mind that the quality of a research work is influenced greatly of its methodology (Agbonifoh and Yomere 1999) the approach to this research work is quantitative, descriptive, and analytical.
Agriculture is important to the world nay Africa and Africans. About 70% of the populace in Africa is involved in agriculture. It is the main stay of the economy of several African countries (and other countries of the world) contributing a high percentage of the GDP (Adewale, 2007). An estimated 1.2 million people are absolutely poor, living on less than US $1 per-day nearly twice that number live on less than US $2 per-day. Currently, about 800million people go hungry each day. Approximately 75% of the absolute poor in developing countries live in rural areas where they depend on agriculture for their livelihood therefore, reducing poverty in rural areas, and hunger in both rural and urban areas will depend heavily on the sustainable developments of agriculture through efforts in the agricultural sector, income of the rural poor must increase rapidly, and food production in the developing world must more than double over the next twenty years to keep up with population growth.
Agriculture policy papers has highlighted the critical role of agricultural productivity in stimulating agricultural growth and poverty reduction. Agriculture is strongly linked with the eradication of poverty and hunger which is the foremost goal of the MDG’S, having by 2015 the proportion of those suffering from extreme poverty and hunger. However, other MDGS have direct or indirect linkages with agriculture a more dynamic agricultural sector will change the assessment of economic returns to educating children compared to the returns from keeping children out of school to work in household agricultural enterprise. Also, in promoting gender equality and empowering women Agriculture empowers women for farmers directly and indirectly through reduction of child mortality, agriculture directly contributes by increasing diversity of food production and making more resources available to manage childhood illnesses. Agriculture directly helps improve material health through more diversified food production and higher quality diets and indirectly through increased incomes. It also help combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases through higher quality diets, and indirectly, by providing additional income that can be channeled to health services. Agricultural practices can be both direct cause of and importance solution to environmental degradation. More productive agricultural technologies allow the withdrawal of agriculture from sensitive environment developing a global partnership for development will help maintain the steady increase in agricultural trade, and significant increases in development assistance offered to the agricultural sector.
However, agriculture especially African agriculture is faced by several problems making the continent the most backward in agricultural production. The farmers are largely in the rural areas with small and fragmented plots having little or no contact with extension services and crucial information needed for production, processing and marketing farmers have no large knowledge of market prices and little access to input and output markets. Consequently yield are low, and income from agriculture leaves little for the farmer to turnover.
1.7              RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
1.         Ho: There is no significance relationship between MDG’S and poverty reduction in Nigeria
            Hi: There is a significance relationship between MDG’S and poverty reduction in Nigeria.
2.         Ho: There is no significance relationship between MDG’S and Government intervention on poverty reduction in rural areas.
Hi:       There is a significance relationship between MDG’S and Government intervention on poverty reduction in rural areas.
This study is within the Nigeria economy and millennium Development Goal and Poverty in Nigeria. Its benefit and constraints with particular reference to Nigeria.
This research cannot be regarded as being perfect and complete in all as some difficulties were enciphered in the course of study.
Financial resources of data collection and final production of this research also passed as a limiting factor to the research. Unavoidability of some vital material, refrained for the research as there material were considered to be highly confidential in some sourced place.
However, strenuous effects have been made to minimize the effect of the effective work.
1.9              DEFINITION OF TERMS
i.             MDGS-Millennium Development Goals
ii.            PRSP-Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers
iii.        Development paradigms-Negative development of the economy.
iv.        ODL- Open and distance learning
In this research project, it is made up of four chapters; chapter one contains, the general introduction, chapter two is the review of literature analysis. Chapter three is the presentation of the research methodology, and chapter four is summary.

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