ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF MAIZE MARKETING IN FCT
Maize (Zea mays), is one of the oldest and widely cultivated cereals in the world. It provides food for man and livestock. Maize production in Nigeria, however, has been experiencing a declining trend. One of these factors is climatic factors hence; this study investigated the effects of climate variables on maize production and also assessed the degree of vulnerability and cropping strategies adopted by the farmers. Empirical models are defined as models directly describing observational data, Ambara Region Agricultural Research Institute and SWHISA Project (2006) opined that one form of empirical model is prediction equation resulted from regression analysis.
Regression analysis of FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) (1986) is technique utilized to fit a line through a set of observation. As a result, a prediction equation is developed and used to predict the performance of those dependent variables, when values of these independent variables vary. Crop yields and demand for irrigation were estimated using
aLadoke Akintola University of Technology, Nigeria
Ayinde Alani Ezekiel, Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, P.M.B 4000, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria
DSSAT (Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer) models (Thorp et al. 2008).
Irrigation agriculture is crucial to the economy, it is too important to be marginalized as it is vital for world food security. However, irrigated agriculture often radically changes land use and is a major consumer of freshwater. Recognizing that the full potentials of Nigeria agriculture could not be realized without the development of her water resources for irrigation, governments in Nigeria have adopted various development policies to implement irrigation (Palmer and Philip 1990).
Agriculture has an important impact on the environment. Pollutant sources from land use and poorly managed agriculture are causing widespread deterioration of ground water and surface water, while over irrigation results in water logging and the consequent accumulation of salts, which will lead to salinization of top soils and groundwater if not provided with proper drainage. Intensification of agriculture may lead to an increase in degradation of water quality and irrigated land because of an increasing intensity of inputs in agriculture (Aremun and Ogunwale 1994).
The study revealed that water is scarce in Orire LGA (Local Government Area) during dry season; there will be an increase in use of brackish water and sewage effluents for irrigation. Recycling of water although may improve efficiency of use of water, it could also reduce both surface and groundwater quality. However, increased water withdrawals will lead to salt intrusion in estuaries and over-draught coastal aquifers. Maximum management of water quality is required to prevent these conditions and there is a need for proper monitoring of inflows and effluent water, in the same manner, recycling and reuse systems should take into account its cumulative effect overtime and its impact on the soil and water environment (Edwards et al. 1993).
The protection of water is not only based on the prevention of pollution alone, but also on the recovery,
conservation, and the development of their self-purifying power. At this level, the restoration of rivers and lakes is an important task to be accomplished.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
A critical investigation of the performance of irrigation farming in Nigeria reveals that sub-sector is deficient in technical, financial institution and human resources which subject farmers to being persistent in the vicious cycles poverty, due to low income from low productivity and investment. This study examined the constraints encountered by the irrigation users and provided solution to increase resource utilization. Therefore, these questions are fundamental to this study:
What extents have the farmers thrived in irrigation farming using small-scale irrigation technologies?
How can urban, rural, and irrigation interest work together on how to meet future water needs of irrigation farmers in the study area?
How can irrigation equipments be made available for the benefits of farmers use?
The main objective of this study therefore is to analyze the economic impact of water, irrigation on maize production in the study area.
Specifically, the study:
(1) Highlight the socio-economic characteristics of irrigation users;
(2) Identify the type(s) of crop enterprises engaged by the irrigation farmers in the study area;
(3) Determine how urban, rural, and irrigation interest can work together on how to meet future water needs for the study area;
(4) Determine how local irrigation equipments and other technologies can be made available for the benefits of farmers use.
JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
The benefits of irrigation have resulted in lower food prices, provision of employment, more rapid agricultural and economic development. The spread of irrigation has been a key factor behind the near tripling of global grain production; therefore, there is a need for a critical assessment of the performance of irrigation farming in the study area in order to achieve more of benefits of irrigation.
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