REPATRIATING AND DEVELOPMENT TO RURALITY (VILLAGE) ‘GLOCAL AGRARIAN’ AND BIO-DIGITALIZATION IN AGRICULTURE

Timothy Abiodun Adebayo PhD(1),


(1) Faculty of Agriculture, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, Nigeria
Corresponding Author

Abstract


Given the way the world system is constituted, unevenness in the application of the development paradigm lies at the heart of the Agrarian crises. The global agricultural system concentrates in a few so-called ‘’breadbasket’’ and this is replicated at the local level. This ‘breadbasket approach’ comes with an inherent damage to the diverse farming systems and landscapes in the global North and South. The time has come to ditch the ‘breadbasket approach’ and to revive diversity and food sovereignty as paradigm both for development and entrepreneurship in our agricultural strategy. The breadbasket approach is the methodology of dependency, and it makes the whole system vulnerable to disruption once a crisis emerges in the locus of supply, say in Northern Nigeria in West Africa or in Ukraine. What is needed at this moment are the strategies for overcoming this particular form of ‘dependency illusion’ According to Teriba (2022) ‘We cannot run away from the fact that development is a multi-dimensional process which must be founded basically on a country own capabilities and domestic resource base; such that whatever foreign assistance is available in the pursuit of the objective is nothing but supplementary’ This then in a nutshell, should be the mandate of the Ministry of Agriculture and rural Development in most developing countries and should guide the curricula of Agriculture in schools and universities. The selevation of rural areas from dependency and undevelopment. Development should be repatriated to the rural areas, and to ensure this we need to become what McMichael calls ‘rural activists’ activists for the entrenchment of what can be referred to as ‘developmental entrepreneurialism’ in the villages. In Nigeria for example, there are many villages. There is always some place each of us refers to as ‘my village’ or my country home in most advanced nations. This paper looks at the village and country home syndrome in the variety of places whether in Africa, Asia, or the North or Southern Hemisphere. What is the condition in those places we call home, our village? What has happened to the farming systems in those places? Do they enjoy food sovereignty? Have they not become dependent on food import? When the produce cash crop, is it not on the old colonial pattern of sacrificing food sovereignty in order to cultivate exports that are dependent on the whims of an external market from which profits are derived by middlemen and multinational corporations that have no investment in the village beyond appropriating the surplus produced by the village farmers? The villages, which are agrarian communities, by and large, have become vulnerable to famine. Their condition is the ultimate measure of development ranking. In most of these places, the hunger in the towns and cities, the poor healthcare provision, the lack of infrastructural development, the collapse of the educational sector, the brain drain etc. all derive from the deliberate policies of immiseration that has from colonial times characterized the conditions of life in the vital social formation that forms the basis of the existence as a nationthe village. This research focuses more on Nigeria. As a practicing farmer and a scholar, my piloting the Nigeria agricultural landscape will be applied. At the heart of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) of the Nigerian Government in particular, is ‘the idea that agriculture should be a business rather than a development activity and that efforts to grow the sector require strategic direction rather than the pursuit of piecemeal, disconnected projects. This is a programme for agricultural development lauded for its rigour but which obviously has suffered from the fate of all the programme. As diagnosed by Teriba(2022) ‘far too often, in underdeveloped countries, development problems are diagnosed and expatiated upon ad nauseam but nothing concrete gets done about them in the end’. The role of agricultural scholars lies in training and reproducing the critical mass of ‘rural activities’ to work for the entrenchment of the double paradigm of business and development in our villages, starting with reversing the effects of the ‘breadbasket’ approach through the rediscovery and revamping of diverse farming systems to meet contemporary challenges. The curriculum across the educational system is of key importance, the programme of training these rural activities, imbuing them with the requisite sociological vision in their research forays, ensuring that agribusiness becomes oriented towards profitmaking for the farmers in the villages as opposed to the enduring colonial pattern whereby the village, the locus of agricultural production, remains a backward place while development takes place elsewhere.

Keywords


Glocal Agrarian’, Bio-Digitalization, Agribusiness, Breadbasket

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