Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Search results for: Obindah Gershon

3 Modern Agriculture and Industrialization Nexus in the Nigerian Context

Authors: Ese Urhie, Olabisi Popoola, Obindah Gershon, Olabanji Ewetan


Modern agriculture involves the use of improved tools and equipment (instead of crude and ineffective tools) like tractors, hand operated planters, hand operated fertilizer drills and combined harvesters - which increase agricultural productivity. Farmers in Nigeria still have huge potentials to enhance their productivity. The study argues that the increase in agricultural output due to increased productivity, orchestrated by modern agriculture will promote forward linkages and opportunities in the processing sub-sector; both the manufacturing of machines and the processing of raw materials. Depending on existing incentives, foreign investment could be attracted to augment local investment in the sector. The availability of raw materials in large quantity – which prices are competitive – will attract investment in other industries. In addition, potentials for backward linkages will also be created. In a nutshell, adopting the unbalanced growth theory in favour of the agricultural sector could engender industrialization in a country with untapped potentials. The paper highlights the numerous potentials of modern agriculture that are yet to be tapped in Nigeria and also provides a theoretical analysis of how the realization of such potentials could promote industrialization in the country. The study adopts the Lewis’ theory of structural–change model and Hirschman’s theory of unbalanced growth in the design of the analytical framework. The framework will be useful in empirical studies that will guide policy formulation.

Keywords: modern agriculture, industrialization, structural change model, unbalanced growth

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2 Modern Agriculture and Employment Generation in Nigeria: A Recursive Model Approach

Authors: Ese Urhie, Olabisi Popoola, Obindah Gershon


Several policies and programs initiated to address the challenge of unemployment in Nigeria seem to be inadequate. The desired structural transformation which is expected to absorb the excess labour in the economy is yet to be achieved. The agricultural sector accounts for almost half of the labour force with very low productivity. This could partly explain why the much anticipated structural transformation has not been achieved. A major reason for the low productivity is the fact that the production process is predominantly based on the use of traditional tools. In view of the underdeveloped nature of the agricultural sector, Nigeria still has huge potentials for productivity enhancement through modern technology. Aside from productivity enhancement, modern agriculture also stimulates both backward and forward linkages that promote investment and thus generate employment. Contrary to the apprehension usually expressed by many stake-holders about the adoption of modern technology by labour-abundant less-developed countries, this study showed that though there will be job loss initially, the reverse will be the case in the long-run. The outcome of this study will enhance the understanding of all stakeholders in the sector and also encourage them to adopt modern techniques of farming. It will also aid policy formulation at both sectoral and national levels. The recursive model and analysis adopted in the study is useful because it exhibits a unilateral cause-and-effect relationship which most simultaneous equation models do not. It enables the structural equations to be ordered in such a way that the first equation includes only predetermined variables on the right-hand side, while the solution for the final endogenous variable is completely determined by all equations of the system. The study examines the transmission channels and effect of modern agriculture on agricultural productivity and employment growth in Nigeria, via its forward and backward linkages. Using time series data spanning 1980 to 2014, the result of the analyses shows that: (i) a significant and positive relationship between agricultural productivity growth and modern agriculture; (ii) a significant and negative relationship between export price index and agricultural productivity growth; (iii) a significant and positive relationship between export and investment; and (iv) a significant and positive relationship between investment and employment growth. The unbalanced growth theory will be a good strategy to adopt by developing countries such as Nigeria.

Keywords: employment, modern agriculture, productivity, recursive model

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1 Measuring Biobased Content of Building Materials Using Carbon-14 Testing

Authors: Haley Gershon


The transition from using fossil fuel-based building material to formulating eco-friendly and biobased building materials plays a key role in sustainable building. The growing demand on a global level for biobased materials in the building and construction industries heightens the importance of carbon-14 testing, an analytical method used to determine the percentage of biobased content that comprises a material’s ingredients. This presentation will focus on the use of carbon-14 analysis within the building materials sector. Carbon-14, also known as radiocarbon, is a weakly radioactive isotope present in all living organisms. Any fossil material older than 50,000 years will not contain any carbon-14 content. The radiocarbon method is thus used to determine the amount of carbon-14 content present in a given sample. Carbon-14 testing is performed according to ASTM D6866, a standard test method developed specifically for biobased content determination of material in solid, liquid, or gaseous form, which requires radiocarbon dating. Samples are combusted and converted into a solid graphite form and then pressed onto a metal disc and mounted onto a wheel of an accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) machine for the analysis. The AMS instrument is used in order to count the amount of carbon-14 present. By submitting samples for carbon-14 analysis, manufacturers of building materials can confirm the biobased content of ingredients used. Biobased testing through carbon-14 analysis reports results as percent biobased content, indicating the percentage of ingredients coming from biomass sourced carbon versus fossil carbon. The analysis is performed according to standardized methods such as ASTM D6866, ISO 16620, and EN 16640. Products 100% sourced from plants, animals, or microbiological material are therefore 100% biobased, while products sourced only from fossil fuel material are 0% biobased. Any result in between 0% and 100% biobased indicates that there is a mixture of both biomass-derived and fossil fuel-derived sources. Furthermore, biobased testing for building materials allows manufacturers to submit eligible material for certification and eco-label programs such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred Program. This program includes a voluntary labeling initiative for biobased products, in which companies may apply to receive and display the USDA Certified Biobased Product label, stating third-party verification and displaying a product’s percentage of biobased content. The USDA program includes a specific category for Building Materials. In order to qualify for the biobased certification under this product category, examples of product criteria that must be met include minimum 62% biobased content for wall coverings, minimum 25% biobased content for lumber, and a minimum 91% biobased content for floor coverings (non-carpet). As a result, consumers can easily identify plant-based products in the marketplace.

Keywords: carbon-14 testing, biobased, biobased content, radiocarbon dating, accelerator mass spectrometry, AMS, materials

Procedia PDF Downloads 85