Integrating Green Fiscal Reforms into the Agricultural Transformation Agenda: Panacea for Boosting Soil Enrichment and Water Conservation for Sustainable Food Production in Nigeria
Nigeria had a booming agricultural industry and prominent world market shares in many of its commodities at independence. With the continuous decline in these, the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) has been floated to promote twelve commodities in production along their value chains. Various innovations and expected benefits feature in the programme. The cultivation methods and other activities within the nodes of the value chains do not however specify green growth strategy promoted by green fiscal reform policies. This implies the shortchanging of green growth strategy in the national development process and so the compromising of sustainability. This paper valued the environmental services loss resulting from deforestation associated with “slash and burn” arable crop expansion and the benefits of “green grabbing” - the deliberate appropriation of nature in the ATA. The profitability of food crop production with and without green fiscal reform policies integration was also assessed. Sampling procedures that included the stratified, simple random and purposive sampling were used at various stages depending on the objective. Primary data were collected through structured questionnaire. The analytical tools adopted were the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) of the referendum type, on-day site travel cost method and the budgetary analysis. Results showed that 66.37% forest land use changes occurred in a seven year periods for arable food crops expansion. The environmental services loss as depicted by the Willingness To Pay (WTP) was averagely N0.60billion/year. The stock recreation value derived from “green grabbing” for the same period with 5% of the Nigerian population of 150 million visiting the Obudu Mountain Resort (OMR) for recreational purposes considered was N4.41 x 1012 million. The recreation use benefits of the OMR based on the Marshalian consumer surplus computation was slightly higher for the same period. Profitability in food crop production without green fiscal reforms was higher as compared to when it was considered. This will encourage the food crop farmers to engage in actions that are inimical to environmental sustainability in the ATA. Sustainability of farming livelihood is therefore more likely to be ensured with green fiscal reform policy instruments integrated into the ATA. The ATA therefore cannot be sustainable under the current “business as usual” practice of “slash and burn” agriculture. The need to integrate green fiscal reform policies into the agenda therefore is urgent.
Keywords: Sustainability, deforestation, green growth, value chain analysis, green fiscal reform, Willingness To Pay, Marshalian consumer surplus.