Abstract: Agriculture has been the backbone of the economy in Nigeria providing employment and source of livelihood for the increasing population and accounting for over half of the GDP of the Nigeria economy at independence in 1960. However, the role it plays in the regional and economic development of the country has diminished over the years. This downward trend has been attributed to many factors. The crop section has been more dependent on rain-fed and production has been seasonal (limited). With the increasing food demand in Nigeria, the country has available water resources and potential for increasing the volume of crop production towards meeting the food and nutritional requirement of the rapidly increasing population and guarantee food security in the country. The study articulates the possible effect of water resources development on increased volume of agricultural crop production in Nigeria. The study revealed that there are opportunities for water resources development in the country through irrigation to supplement the water requirements and needs of farmers for agricultural production activities in many areas in the semi-arid and arid regions. Available data shows that there are available land and water resources that could be developed to support the production of food and agricultural development with opportunity for increased productivity. However, while, the water resources are unevenly distributed in the country, there is need for the efficient use and management of the available water resources and increasing the productive use especially in the northern region of the country where there is increasing incidence of drought and competing need for water among the different sectors of the economy. The study also made possible recommendations for policy formulation to address the current problems facing the agricultural section in conjunction with the requirement for the development of the water resources.
O.W. Olowa and B.T. Omonona , 2008. Water Resources Development: Opportunities for Increased Agricultural Production in Nigeria. Agricultural Journal, 3: 366-374.