ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF THE USE OF AGRO- CHEMICALS FOR RICE CULTIVATION IN UFUMA, ORUMBA NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA; ANAMBRA STATE
The study investigated the profitability of rice production in Aguata Agricultural Zone of Anambra State Nigeria by specifically determining the enterprise profitability; ascertaining the determinants of maximum variable profit; and identifying constraints to rice production. Multistage, purposive and random sampling techniques were used to select 90 rice farmers for the study. Structured questionnaire were used in collecting primary data while means, percentages, enterprise budgeting and profit function regression were employed in data analysis. A gross margin of N4,278,961, net farm income of N3,858,516, mean net farm income of N42,872,40 and net return on investment of 0.37 proved the enterprise profitable. Maximum variable profit was statistically and significantly influenced by per unit price of output, per unit price of labour and farm size at 5% level. High cost of labour and lack of capital were identified as the most serious constraints to rice production. Ensuring easy access to credit facilities for the farmers, supply of modern rice production technologies and inputs at subsidized rates through the provision of improved extension services would mitigate the problems and enhance the farmers’ productivity and income.
Rice (Oryzea spp) is one of the major staple food of the world, ranking third after wheat and maize on global production level and second in terms of area under cultivation (Adeoye, 2003). It is a major source of food for about half of the world’s population supplying basic energy needs of the people. In Nigeria, rice cultivation is an age long enterprise providing employment opportunity and source of food to vast and diverse population of the country. It is ranked the fourth major cereal crop in Nigeria after Sorghum, millet and maize in terms of cultivated area and output (Babafada, 2003). The importance of rice in the Nigeria diet can succinctly be explained by its demand and consumption pattern over the years. Starting from the 1960s when paltry 360 metric tonnes of locally produced rice was unable to meet local demand, to the 1.45 million tonnes produced in the 1990s which also fell far short of demand (National Cereals Research Institute [NCRI] 2004). The nation’s current annual production level of about 3 million tonnes is again a far cry from its consumption level of 5-6 million tonnes (Ugwu, 2013). The short fall, according to Ugwu (2013), is usually filled through importation with figures oscillating between 1.7 to 3.2 million tonnes