FELICIA OLOKOYO, EVANS OSABUOHIEN, IBUKUN BEECROFT, UCHENNA EFOBI, TOLULOPE ADESINA
Covenant University, College of Development Studies, Nigeria
There has been an increase in the flow of Large-scale Land Based Investments (LLBIs) into Nigeria within the last decade with the aim of transforming the agricultural sector to improve the productive capacity. This is with the idea that LLBIs will be relevant in helping the country - especially the rural areas - improving food security and rural development in host communities. However, there is some disconnect between LLBIs and gainful employment opportunities in the host communities. This study aims to empirically investigate the extent to which the development of indigenous institutions can enhance the realisation of gainful employment as one of the promises of LLBIs to the host communities. The aim is premixed on the fact that the consequences of increasing unemployment, especially for the youths, can undermine social cohesion. Data from the Living Standards Measurement Study-Integrated Study on Agriculture (LSMS_ISA) are utilised. A regression model is formulated and estimated based on the tenets of impact evaluation using the propensity score matching (PSM) approach and complemented using the Difference"=in-Difference (DiD) approach. In addition, the study validates the results from quantitative analysis using qualitative techniques, notably: Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs). Evidences from the analyses show significant effects of LLBIs on the employment levels in the host communities in Nigeria when appropriate means of carrying the local institutions in the form complementarity and not substitutability are implemented. The study therefore recommends proper improvement of the instruments that can maximise the existence of the LLBIs particular in the host communities in Nigeria.
Keywords: Agricultural sector, employment, large-scale land-based investments