Nigeria as a nation has made progress with economic reforms that are delivering strong economic fundamentals. The macroeconomic policies undertaken by the government to strengthened financial institutions is slow and uneven, is undertaking reforms to transform the economy structurally. The reform has been supported by revenue from high oil prices, has led to significantly improved macroeconomic outcomes, including weaker inflation and strong GDP growth. Real GDP growth rose from 7.0% in 2009 to an estimated 8.1% in 2010 and further rise in the future. Not considering the pro developments and improvement of the Nigerian economy, the economy is still confronted by many serious con challenges. Structural imbalance and lack of diversification, infrastructure, lack of strategic management and enforcement of policies, instability of power supply - with the economy excessively dependent on oil - is preventing the domestic economy from reaching its climax. High youth unemployment, poor infrastructure facilities and widespread insecurity are the key challenges the government will have to take on.
DETERMINANTS OF WOMEN INTEREST IN AGRICULTURE: EVIDENCE FROM SOKOTO STATE, NIGERIA
Jatto N.A., Galadima Z.I., Maikasuwa M.A., Jabo M.S.M., Ala A.L.
Absence of first hand information regarding women's interest in agriculture is a major bottleneck to their level of participation which limit the opportunity to predict or formulate appropriate policy to boost their agricultural activities in Sokoto State. Towards this end, a study has been conducted within Sokoto metropolis to analyze the determinants of women interest in agriculture. The targeted populations for this study were women farmers group within Sokoto metropolis of Sokoto State. The data used in this study were primary data administered on a random sample of 60 women within the metropolis. Two local government areas were purposively selected because they form the largest population of Sokoto metropolis (Sokoto South and Sokoto North). Three districts were then randomly selected from each studied local government areas. In each of the districts, 10 women were randomly selected and interviewed. Data analyses were done with descriptive statistics, binary Logit regression and exponential regression. The result showed that variables such as years of education, experience in agricultural activities, family size, farm size, and participation in women group contributed significantly to women's interest in agricultural production. Participation in women group had the highest influence on women's interest in agricultural production. The result of the exponential regression showed that Age, years of education, group experience and farm size had regression coefficients that were positive, showing a direct relationship between participation of women in women groups and their interest in agriculture. It was recommended that: in order to improve on women interest in agriculture, more women group should be formed; they should equally be provided with farm inputs, increase their access to credits and be trained through workshops.
TRENDS IN OFFICIAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE TO DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AND POSSIBILITIES OF ALTERNATIVE FINANCING MECHANISMS
The study analyses trends in Official Development Assistance (ODA) to developing countries, mainly Africa, and possibilities of new financing instruments. Economies of most developing countries, especially those in Sub-Saharan Africa, are characterised by low investment flows, huge import bills and lower exports. Subsequently, development assistance is the major source of external finance and has taken the form of budget support, humanitarian and development finance. However, the noted fall in ODA in 2005, 2009 and 2012 might adversely impact directly on the attainment of millennium development goals in 2015. This negative trend in ODA is a result of a combination of factors such as economic constraints in the donor countries (for example, the debt crisis) and/or a new shift in financing mechanisms to developing countries.
ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE OF COMMUNITY GARDEN IN ZIMBABWE
Zivenge E., Shiferaw-Mitiku T., Thomas J., Ushadevi K.N.
Zimbabwe has experienced an unprecedented decline of nearly all human development indicators for the past ten years. Despite the introduction of community gardens in drought-prone areas of Zimbabwe, poverty persists amongst the vulnerable groups. The potential to improve household, community and national food and nutrition security through garden activities is high if issues of water availability cost and availability of inputs, marketing and farmer empowerment can be addressed. This paper seeks to assess the community garden's cost structure to sales volume and profitability and the land use efficiency. Primary data were collected through structured questionnaire. A two stage sampling techniques was used to select respondents. The study was conducted in Zaka district. Three major crops namely tomatoes, covo and onion were chosen for the study basing on size of land under that particular crop. Cost-Volume-Profit analysis employed for analysis of cost structure to sales volume and profitability. Land use efficiency was also employed to measure the ratio yield per acre of farm to average yield of locality. The results showed that although the farmers are able to break even the margin of safety is small especially for cove and onion. The study recommends farmers to increase the size of acreage under onion production whilst reduce acreage under production of covo. Farmers should adopt technology that would improve land use efficiency of onion. There is a need for the intervention by the Government and other stakeholders to improve the profitability and efficiency of the community gardeners. Stakeholders' collaboration especially, in terms of farmer training which can improve garden activities as participants lack knowhow.