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Socio-economic characteristics of farmers in five agrarian communities in Anambra State, Southeastern Nigeria

Author: 
Asadu, A.N., Agbo, F.U., Asadu, C. L. A. and Onyeme, E.
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

A socio-economic survey of farmers in five agrarian communities in Anambra State, Nigeria was conducted in 2017 to elicit the characteristics of the farmers in order to proffer solutions that can improve their productivity. Designed structured questionnaires containing over 100 questions were administered to a group of farmers in each location and individual household heads randomly selected the groups. Data were analyzed using simple statistics. Most of the farmers were in an active age group (31- 45yrs) with formal education and had farming as both their primary occupation and main source of income. Male farmers dominated the farming population. The land tenure systems identified were in decreasing order of importance: individual > family > community > government ownerships. Acquisition of land for agricultural purposes was not a challenge especially by purchase or lease or patrilineal inheritance. Cases of land dispute were few communities. Small-holder Farming System (SFS) was proposed in all the locations involving three cycles of rice production in a year. The average farm holding of ≈ 6 ha per farmer is well above the national average of < 2 ha. Only 54 % have had access to loans before but 92% of the farmers expressed the desire to have grants and loans. With adequate mitigation measures their limitations such as mechanization, provision of agrochemicals, mills, access road, loans and grants by the government, the area can produce sufficient rice to serve the entire states of the Southeast with excess for exportation to other states.

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