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Uchitel Publishing House

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Social Evolution & History

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DOI: 10.30884/seh/2018.01.05


In recent years, the low agricultural productivity, food insecurity and environmental degradation have become more apparent in many African societies. These trends have threatened the farmers' ability to increase productivity and to practice sustainable agriculture. The crisis in agricultural productivity is structural as it is demonstrated by the impact of the Nigeria-Biafra War and the emergence of the petroleum industry in the 1970s. This paper reveals that the agricultural crisis in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa has been misunderstood because the analysis often ignores how the ideology of state development interacted with local ecological conditions and peasants' actions to structure the changes in peasant economies. In the case of Eastern Nigeria, the Nigeria-Biafra War (1967–1970) and the emergence of the petroleum industry as the most important contributor to national GDP challenged the economic ideology that sought to use agriculture as a driver of economic development.


Published version. Social Evolution & History, Vol. 17, No. 1 (March 2018): 76-107. DOI. © 2008 “Uchitel” Publishing House. Used with permission.

Chima J. Korieh was affiliated with University of Nigeria at the time of publication.

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