EFFECT OF FERTILIZER ON FARM BUSINESS IN NIGERIA A STUDY OF BENUE STATE
This study was conducted to determine The Effect Of Fertilizer On Farm Business in Nigeria a study Benue State. A total of 31 respondent participated in the study. Structured questionnaires were used to obtained information from the respondent which happens to be extension agents. Data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics such as percentage mean and frequency distributions revealed that some of the constraints to fertilizer use covering the extension agents are high cost of product, untimely delivery of the fertilizer, insufficient supply, scarcity of the fertilizer when it is needed by the farmers. Recommendations were made that extension agents require constant training and re-training to be conversant with recent technology development so as to disseminate same to farmers who lack the basic knowledge on recommended application of fertilizers. Fertilizer subsidy programme should continue but with reform such as the use of the voucher system to pave way for direct engagement with farmers instead of through middle men so that fertilizer can continue to be affordable by all farmers that need them.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Nigeria is predominantly an agricultural country although the contribution of agriculture to the cross domestic product (GDP) has over the years reflected low production and productively etc. Data shows that gross domestic production tell from 80% in the 1950’s to 43% in the 1970’s, between 1960 and 1975, annual output of food has remain largely unchanged. Nigerian population has increased from 55.7million to 745 million using estimates of 2.55 million annual increases before 1970 (FAO, 2011). Fertilizer subsidy have played an important role in promoting increase use if fertilizer and to significantly increase yield of food crop Moris et al., (2012). Thus, Nigerian farmers including those in Cross River State will be willing to make increase use of fertilizer. Nigeria with a population of about 144 million and a growth relate of 3.2% per annum if not checked, of Nigeria will double in less than 25 years (Oludipupo 2008).
Agriculture has recorded the growth rate well above 5% in recent years compared with less than 2% growth of early 80’s. However, the government has made its contribution to fertilizer use by subsidizing the product thereby products at lower costs. Former obtain the fertilizer subsidy can be said to be input made to fertilizer that helps to reduce its cost to farmers.
According to Akinyosoye (2010), despite this measure taken by the government, there is still low use of fertilizer among farmers in the country. The primary constraints to fertilizer use in the country is physical absence of the product at the time it is needed rather than problem of affordability or farmers lack of knowledge on the use of fertilizer (Aja, 2010). Fertilizer has to be recognized as one of the inputs that holds the key to increased food production in Nigeria Tisdale et al., (2004). Fertilizer could be organic or inorganic (minerals), organic fertilizers are those fertilizer developed from plant and animal residues while inorganic or mineral fertilizers are synthesized from chemical substances. The minerals are of different types and grades depending on the nutrient level, extension agents are more concerned about this fertilizer use and are out to ensure that they get to the small scale farmers to facilities adequate usage and to investigate the constraints to its use. As a matter of fact, over the years by trial and error, extension has identified fertilizer types which are suitable not only to their crops need but also to their soil conclusion.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In spite of the long years of fertilizer subsidy programme in Nigeria, there is still low use of fertilizers by farmers in the country. Agricultural extension service is the main custodian of knowledge of appropriate fertilizer application recommended to farmers (Adesima 2011). Several studies have reported that the primary constraints to fertilizer use in the country is physical absence of the product at the time it is needed rather than the problem of affordability by farmers (Ejiga et al., 2012). A contradicting intension appears to exist between efforts being made by government to boost food production and the actual use of the subsidized fertilizer. It is for these obvious reasons that this study was conducted to assess the socio-economic characteristics of extension agents, examine fertilizer use among farmers, and determine effect of fertilizer on farm business in Nigeria, with a special attention in Benue state
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of this study is to determine the effect of fertilizer on farm business. The specific objectives include:
- To examine the various factors affecting fertilizer use among farmers
- To analyze farmers perception of constraints to fertilizer use among farmers
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
What are the factors affecting fertilizer use among farmers?
What are the perception of constraints to fertilizer use among farmers?
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is on Effect Of Fertilizer On Farm Business. It was exclusively limited to Benue state, Nigeria.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is hoped that this research will be useful to agricultural researchers, farmers and other similar organization that may want to know the general response of fertilization on farm business in Nigeria.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
It is necessary to mention some of the limitation of this research work. The chief limitation is the difficulty in obtaining relevant information in that a few of our values were missing but these missing values were not statistically significant enough to be noticed.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
- Organic: produced by or from living things.
- Inorganic: not consisting of or coming from any living substances.
- Fertilizer: a substance added to soil to make plants grow more successfully.
- Crops: a plant that is grown in large quantities, especially as food.
- Synthetic: artificial; made by combining chemical substances rather than being produced naturally by plants or animals.
- Soil: the top layer of the earth, in which plants, trees etc grow.