Socio-economic Determinants of Small-scale Rice Farmers Output in Abuja, Nigeria
Ajah Francis Chukwumah
The study examined the effects of some socio-economic factors on small-scale rice farmers output in Abuja, Nigeria. The population for the study included all small-scale rice farmers. A simple random technique was adopted for sample selection while semi-structured questionnaires were used for data collection. A total of 88 rice farmers drawn from all the agricultural zones (eastern, central, western and northern zones) were used for the study. Descriptive and multiple regression statistics were used to analyze the data. The results of a semi-log function (lead equation) indicated that fertilizer application, cost of chemicals (other than organic fertilizers) and farm size were the significant factors influencing rice output at 5% alpha level while the quantity of seed planted was significant at 10%. The R2 indicated that the socio-economic factors accounted for 37.60% variation in rice output. The average farm size was 1.84 ha with mean rice output per farmer and per hectare as 1349.50 and 730.367 kg, respectively. The fertilizer application rate was 107.32 kg ha-1 while the seed rate was 62.66 kg ha-1. The socio-economic characteristics showed that majority (90.91%) of the farmers were married with mean household size, age, education, years of farming experience as 8, 44, 7 and 14 years, respectively. Majority of the farmers indicated that their main reasons for cultivating rice were to get income and for household consumption. Although not all the variables were significant but based on the value of R2 (0.376), the paper concluded that the farmers socio-economic variables contributed significantly to the output of rice in the study area.
Received: November 18, 2013;
Accepted: February 14, 2014;
Published: April 10, 2014
There are so many crops that are cultivated all over the world for the benefit
of mankind. Rice is one of them and it has contributed immensely to global food
security. It is an annual grass of the genus Oryza with a natural order graminae
(FAO, 2013). In terms of comparative advantage, rice
can be grown in flooded and non-flooded soils because it has both lowland and
upland varieties that can adapt to different agro-climatic and soil conditions.
This favourable adaptive feature of rice is also contained in a report by Philip
et al. (2006) which indicated that cereal like maize and rice are
well distributed in high rainfall and low rainfall regions of the world. It
is the leading cereal crop in South East Asia where it originated (FAO,
2013) and among the food crops, it is widely cultivated. At the global level,
Akinbile (2010) stated that it ranks third after wheat
and maize in terms of production. In Nigeria, it is the sixth major crop cultivated
after sorghum, millet, cowpea, cassava and yam (Akinbile,
2010). Nutritionally, research showed that rice produces 27% of the dietary
energy supply and 20% of the dietary protein intake (Edoka
et al., 2009). It is used in the preparation of several local dishes
that are eaten in every home, especially during festivals and ceremonies (Ekeleme
et al., 2008). According to Onwueme and Sinha (1991),
more than half of human race needs rice as a source of calories. The importance
of rice in our society has been widely acknowledged, hence every effort to improve
its quality and quality is globally promoted.
Nigeria is one of the countries in the world that has the potentials to produce
rice in a larger quantity. This is a fact because Nigeria has an estimated 4.6
million hectare of land (Danbaba et al., 2013)
that is suitable for rice production and, interestingly too, a study by Ajah
and Nmadu (2012) on farmers access to farm inputs indicated that land was
one of the most accessible farm inputs. But despite all these potentials, only
about 1.8 million hectare, representing 39% is under rice production (Danbaba
et al., 2013). Although, Okonji et al.
(2012) stated that Nigeria is the largest rice producer in the West African
sub-region but ironically, Nigeria is one of the major importers of rice in
the Sub-Sahara Africa because a large proportion of its foreign exchange is
spent on the importation of rice. For instance, Sabair (2008)
reported that Nigeria spends about hundred billion naira (N100 billion = $ 454
million) on rice importation annually. Rice demand in Nigeria is about 5 million
metric tones while according to Nwalieji and Onwubuya (2013),
only 2.2 million metric tones are produced locally. The implication of this
is that more than half of the rice demanded in Nigeria is imported. The importation
is largely due to the increase in population because an average Nigerian according
to WARDA (2001), consumes 24.8 kg of rice per year and
Nigeria has over 140 million people (NPC, 2006). Apart
from importation, the market price of rice and other cereal crops like maize
and millet are on the increase too (NAERLS and NPFS, 2011).
In addition to the high import bill, a lot of money has been spent to improve
rice production in Nigeria. For instance, in 2000, 66.67 US dollars was spent
on an irrigation scheme aimed at improving rice production (Nwalieji
and Onwubaya, 2013). This is discouraging because Nwajiuba
and Ejiogu (2008) observed that staple foods like rice, maize and wheat
account for a greater share of the food demand in the developing countries compared
to developed countries. This ugly scenario calls for a comprehensive research
to identify factors influencing rice production in Nigeria hence, the need for
Similar studies have been conducted by Basoru and Fasakin
(2012), Ayoola et al. (2011) and Jamala
et al. (2011). The study is important because one of the challenges
facing Nigeria as a nation is how to improve the productivity of the cereal
crops, especially rice that has been marked as a major staple food crop. Again,
Ajewole and Aiyeloya (2004) noted that socio-economic
characteristics enable planners and policy makes to appreciate and develop a
more user-friendly policies and strategies that will enhance productivity.
This study was conducted in Abuja, Nigeria located between latitudes 8°25`
and 9°25` N and longitudes 6°45` and 7°45` E. The territory covers
an area of 8,000 square kilometers, lying in the centre of the country and is
bordered on all sides by four States namely: Niger, Nasarawa, Kogi and Kadunna
(Dawan, 2000). The vegetation of Abuja, which is squarely
found in the savannah environment, is generally classified as rain green vegetation
(Adakayi, 2000). It lies in the transitional zone between
the savannah in the Northern and the forest vegetation zone in the Southern
part of Nigeria which is endowed with tremendous potentials for supporting agricultural
production (Adakayi, 2000). The population for the study
comprised all the small scale-rice farmers in Abuja. To access the rice farmers,
a random technique was adopted for sample selection while semi-structured questionnaires
were used for data collection. Abuja has 4 agricultural zones-namely, central,
eastern, northern and western zones with 12 agricultural blocks and 93 cells.
In each of the agricultural zones, some Agricultural Extension Agents who were
familiar with the geographic and socio-economic characteristics of the people
were recruited, trained and mobilized as enumerators. A total of 30 questionnaires
were randomly distributed in each of the 4 agricultural zones in Abuja but only
88 properly filled and returned questionnaires were used for the study. Data
analysis was done using descriptive statistics and multiple regression models.
Four functional forms-linear, double-log, semi-log and exponential were fitted
to the data. The analysis was done with SPSS 15.0 package and it was tested
at 5% alpha level. The implicit form of the model is mathematically represented
Y = F (AGE, YFE, MCS, HHS, LDR, SLC, CMP, COC, FRT, LBO, LOE)
where, Y is the output of rice (kg). AGE is the Age of the farmers (years).
YFE is the Years of Farming Experience (years). MCS is the Membership of Cooperative
Society (dummy: Yes = 1, No = 0). HHS is the Household size (No. of persons
per household), LDR is the land rent in naira (N). Those who cultivated their
land were asked to state the amount they would have spent if under rent. FSC
is the Farm Size cultivated (hectare). CRS is the quantity of rice seed planted
in naira (kg). COC is the Cost Of Chemicals (herbicide, insecticide, pesticide)
in naira (N). FRT is the quantity of organic fertilizer applied (kg). LBO is
the Labour (N man-1 day-1) and EDU is the Literacy level
of the farmers. This represents the cumulative number of years the rice farmer
spent in acquiring formal education which is also a reflection of the certificate
obtained-no formal education (0 years), primary school education (6 years),
secondary/commercial/Teachers Training College (TTC) (12 years), Ordinary National
Diploma/Higher School Certificate (OND/HSC) (14 years), Nigerian College of
Education (NCE) (15 years), B. Sc/ HND (16 years), M.Sc degree (18 years).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Result of the socio-economic factors influencing rice output: Table
1 shows the results of the socio-economic factors influencing the small-scale
rice farmers output. Four functional forms-linear, semi-log, exponential,
double-log were tested. The lead equation was semi-log because it had the highest
R2 compared to other models and some of the coefficients were significant
with their signs in line with the apriori expectations. The F-ratio (4.171)
was significant at 1% implying goodness of fit of the model. The R2 (0.376)
indicated that 37.60% of the variation in the dependent variable (rice output)
was due to the independent variables studied. The magnitude of R2 (0.376)
is in line with the apriori expectation because there are so many factors that
influence rice production and these factors have been highlighted by many scholars.
Examples of such factors are pest and diseases, poor soil fertility and use
of low yielding varieties (Kamara et al., 2011),
rainfall, sunshine, wind, relative humidity and temperature (Alabi
and Ibiyami, 2000), drought in the Northern (Ekeleme
et al., 2008), use of simple and cheap farm tools, poor market channels
and poor input delivery services (Nwalieji and Onwubuja,
Among the independent variables tested, the results showed that the coefficient
of the farm size was positive and significant at 1%. This shows that (all things
being equal) the output of rice will increase if the rice farmers increases
farm size. This agrees with the findings of Basoru and
Fasakin (2012) but contrary to the one obtained by Nmadu
and Ibiejemite (2007) which showed that area of land cultivated did not
significantly increase farm output.
||Regression results of the socio-economic factors influencing
|***Significant at 1%, **Significant at 5% , *Significant at
10% , Source: Survey data analysis, 2013
The coefficient of the cost of chemicals other than organic fertilizer was
also significant at 1% and inversely related to rice output. The sign of the
coefficient was in line with the apriori expectation because the more money
is spent on buying chemicals, the less money that may be available to buy other
farm inputs and invariably output would be affected. The coefficient of the
quantity of fertilizer applied was significant at 5% and positively related
to output of rice. The positive sign indicated that output of rice (all things
being equal) increases with increase in fertilizer application. This result
agreed with those of Onyenweaku and Effiong (2005),
Onyenweaku and Nwaru (2005) and Okoye
et al. (2008) who observed that fertilizer shifts the production
frontier upwards leading to higher productivity. The coefficient of the quantity
of rice seed planted was significant at 10% level and positively related to
rice output. This shows that, all things being equal, the quantity of rice produced
increases as the quantity of rice seed planted increases.
The coefficients of the age of the rice farmers, years of farming experience,
household size, literacy level of the farmers, membership of cooperative society,
the amount paid to acquire land (land rent) and hired labour were not significant.
This does not mean that the above variables didnot have any effect on rice output
but the level of their significance fell below the level of confidence limits
The results on Table 2 revealed that, on the average, each
of the rice farmers cultivated 1.84 ha of land with mean output per farmer and
per hectare as 1349.50 and 730.37 kg, respectively. Although, the output per
hectare is low, it agrees with the report by Okeleye et
al. (2012) which showed that the grain yield in most developing countries
is as low as 0.5 t ha-1. It also agrees with the report by Ekeleme
et al. (2008).which indicated that the average rice yield in Nigeria
is low and ranges between 1 and 2.5 t ha-1. The output per hectare
is low compared with the one recorded by NAERLS and NPFS
(2011) which revealed that the output per hectare for 2010 and 2011 were
1.78 and 1.77 t ha-1, respectively. Similarly, when compared to some
other countries of the world, FAO (2013) stated that
Nigeria recorded less yields per hectare compared to countries like Thailand,
Malaysia, China and Indonesia.
||Estimate of some of the variables studied
|Source: Survey data analysis, 2013
||Farmers reasons for planting rice
|Values in parentheses are multiple frequencies, Source: Field
data analysis, 2013
||Distribution of the rice farmers according to source of land
|Source: Field data analysis, 2013
The seed rate is 62.66 kg ha-1 and it is within the recommended
lowland (50-60 kg ha-1) and upland (40-50 kg ha-1) seed
rates (Ekeleme et al., 2008). The fertilizer application
rate was 107.32 kg ha-1 which is approximately two bags per hectare.
This is low although fertilizer application rate is a function of the soil nutrient
Table 3 shows the farmers reasons for cultivating rice.
Greater proportion (52.27%) of the farmers indicated that they cultivated rice
in order to sale the output and get income. In other words it was cultivated
as a cash crop and this agrees with the findings of Basoru
and Fasakin (2012) which indicated that farmers cultivated rice because
it is a lucrative business that is capable of yielding income. The second set
of people (36.36%) said that they cultivated rice mainly for household consumption.
Only 2.27% indicated that they cultivated rice to secure their land while 3.42%
said it was a hobby. Although the proportion of the farmers that indicated that
they cultivated rice either to secure their land or as a hobby was small, it
points to the fact that many of them did not take rice farming as an occupation
or business and, therefore, may not have taken appropriate measures to improve
Table 4 shows the sources of land cultivated by the farmers.
According Ekong (2003), land tenure system refers to
the rights to hold, use and possess the natural resources found in the land
profile from the atmosphere to some few meters below the soil surface.
||Socio-economic characteristics of the rice farmers
|Source: Field data analysis, 2013
The distribution revealed that majority (50.00%) of the farmers cultivated
land inherited from their parents. This is a reflection of the land tenure system
that is very common in the study area. The least land used was that belonging
to government as none of the farmers interviewed indicated that he/she cultivated
land allocated by government.
Table 5 shows the socio-economic characteristics of the small
scale rice farmers. The results revealed that majority (86.25%) of the rice
farmers were married with an average household size of 8 persons. The mean age
of the farmers was 44 years and on average, they had farming experience of 14
years. This is a clear indication that they were middle-aged farmers that could
handle any of the cultural operations in rice production. Age is very important
in the study because it is one of the demographic characteristics that can be
used to classify rural population into targetable groups for development interventions.
Again, Gul Unal (2008) stated that old age might pose
problem in agriculture because most of the work is physically demanding. Greater
percentage (68.12%) of the rice farmers had, at most, primary school education.
The low literacy rate is equally revealed in the mean (6.5 years) which in Nigeria,
reflects primary school education that lasts for 6 years. Understanding the
literacy level of farmers is vital in this study because information from NGP
(2006) revealed that education improves the individuals quality of
life and offers him/her access to employment, income and political power. Majority
(71.59%) of the rice farmers were not members of cooperative societies. This
should be addressed because it enables farmers to solve their agricultural problems
among other things (Kehinde et al., 2009).
Globally, there are some crops that are very popular and have contributed immensely
to the sustenance of humanity. Rice is one of them and it is cultivated for
different purposes. The importance of rice to humanity deserves that every effort
should be made to identify all factors limiting its production hence, the aim
of the study is to determine factors influencing small-scale rice farmers
output in Abuja Nigeria. Data on some socio-economic characteristics were collected
from the rice farmers and analyzed using multiple regressive analysis and descriptive
statistics. Results indicated that the quantity of seed planted, fertilizer
application, cost of chemical (other than fertilizer) and farm size significantly
influenced the output of rice. The results have a lot of policy implications
in rice production. First, the value of R2 (0.376) indicated that
in addition to agro-climatic and biotic factors like rainfall, temperature,
humidity, pests and diseases, socio-economic factors also influence the output
of rice. Hence, policy maker and planners should be conscious of farmers
socio-economic variables in the planning and implementation of projects aimed
at improving rice production. Again, the result also showed that some of the
socio-economic variables influencing rice output were more important than others
hence any effort to improve rice production should take cognizance of that.
For example, the variables that were significant in the study were the major
determinants of rice output while the non-significant variables were the minor
determinants. In view of the findings, the paper recommended that the socio-economic
characteristics that influenced the output of rice should be properly addressed
in the formulation of policies and programmes that are aimed at improving the
output of rice in the study area.
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