1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The agricultural sector in Nigeria is dominated by small scale farmers who produce the bulk of food requirements in the country. The small scale farmers belong to the poorest segment of the population despite their unique and pivotal position and therefore cannot invest much on their farms. The vicious circle of poverty among these farmers has led to the unimpressive performance of the agricultural sector. While several efforts have been undertaken to raise the production and productivity of these farmers so as to achieve food security, such efforts have had negative implications for the environment. At the industry level, the resources managements are a key element for its development. Agriculture, as an industry, also needs an efficient use of resources in order to sustainable increase income and reduce poverty while improving agricultural productivity. For instance, Christiaensen (2017) finds that increasing productivity requires a rational or efficient use of resources as supports the neoclassical production theory. The rational behavior is, therefore, a key factor of productivity and producers’ income while contributing to the development dynamics. Indeed, the agricultural sector continues to be the key driver of economic and social development for most developing countries (Dorosh and Thurlow, 2018; Christiaensen et al., 2011).
According to Diao et al. (2010), agriculture employs more than 60% of the workforce and contributes more than 35% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of most African countries and more than 40% for the least developed countries. In most developing countries, agricultural products fulfill food security and play an important role in income generation and meet farmers’ subsistence needs (Sun and Li, 2018; Christiaensen et al., 2011; Valdés and Foster, 2010). Moreover, agricultural products, mainly cash crops, account for a significant share of exports (Narayan and Bhattacharya, 2019). Given the various agricultural programs and policies implemented over the years to increase agricultural productivity in Nigeria, it then becomes imperative to quantitatively measure the current level of and determinants of technical efficiency and policy options available for raising the present level of efficiency, given the fact that efficiency of production is directly related to the overall productivity of the agricultural sector vis-à-vis the ginger sub-sector. Nigerian agricultural sector experienced staggering growth before and after the implementation of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) between 2018 and 1986 (just before the implementation SAP) and between 2012 and 2010 (after the implementation of SAP). However, the growth rate decline to an average between 2013 and 2015. The reasons behind this decline are not far-fetched going by the sudden resurgence of the oil sector and the neglect of the agricultural sector by the government of Nigeria.