1.1 Background to the Study

Three out of four poor people in developing countries live in rural areas, with majority relying, either directly or indirectly on agriculture for livelihood (World Bank, 2007). Suffice it to state that agriculture remains the main source of income for around 2.5 billion people in the developing world (FAO, 2003). In essence, the impact of the agricultural sector is wide-ranging, extending to economic growth, food security, poverty reduction, sustenance of livelihood, among others (Green, 2005). Observably, after 50 years of independence, Nigeria is still battling with an agricultural sector characterised by food shortages and inconsistent agricultural policies. This trend has been attributed to the country‘s excessive reliance on rain-fed agricultural outputs, without due attention given to dry season farming. Succinctly, self sufficiency in food production will be very difficult to achieve in Nigeria if the country depends only on rain-fed farming. For self-sufficiency in food production to be realised, there is need to extend farming season beyond the rainy season through irrigated agriculture (Anambra State Agricultural Development Programme, 2000). Heavy dependence on rain-fed agriculture during conditions of erratic rainfall and recurrent droughts affects agricultural output, with adverse effects on the general economy. The World Bank (2001) estimates that hydrological variability currently costs the economy over one-third of its growth potential and has led to a 25 per cent increase in poverty rate. Enhancing public and private investment in irrigation development has been identified as one of the core strategies to delink economic performance from rainfall and enable sustainable growth and development (World Bank, 2006). Obviously, there are two distinct seasons in Nigeria, the rainy (April to October) and the dry (November to March). Farmers are usually less busy on the farm during the dry season; therefore, irrigation farming serves as an alternative employment and additional source of income during this period. Dry season farming through irrigation contributes to the national economy in several ways. At the micro level, irrigation leads to an increase UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN LIBRARY 2 in yield per hectare and subsequent increase in income, consumption and food security (Bhaffarai & Pandy, 1977; Vaidya, 1994; Hussain & Hanjra, 2004). Irrigation enables smallholders to diversify cropping patterns, and switch from low-value subsistence production to high-value market-oriented production (Hangos, 2005). Dry season farming can benefit the poor especially through increased production, more yields, reduced risks of crop failure and all year round farm and non-farm employment (Hussain & Hanjra, 2004). Dry season or irrigation farming at the aggregate level acts as production frontier to a higher level and makes crop production possible which is otherwise, risky, if not impossible, because of shortage of moisture. This has a positive effect on economic growth. Studies have shown that agricultural growth serves as an ―engine‖ of overall economic growth, (Franks, 1997; Van Koppen, 2005), and irrigation-led technological changes were identified as the key-divers behind productivity growth in the agricultural sector (Dhawan, 1988; Alagh, 2001; Hussain & Hanjra, 2004). The distinct dry season starting in November and lasting till the middle of March each year plays important roles in Nigerian agriculture. During this period, little or no rainfall is experienced and irrigated dry season farming remains the only viable option left for food vegetable production. The benefit of irrigation or dry season farming (which is the artificial supply of water for agricultural crop growth) in Nigeria is not limited to food supply, it also serves as a source of employment and income to dry season farmers during the dry season. Notably, there are lots of constrain to dry season vegetable production. They include: non-availability of land, low prices, non-availability of credit, inadequate supply and high price of fertilisers, non-availability and high cost of improved seeds and inadequate extension services (Baba & Etuk, 1998). Others are water shortage, problem of pests and diseases, transportation problem, lack of storage facilities and poor marketing system.

Statement of Problem

In Nigeria, there are two distinct seasons, rainy and dry. The rainy season is the normal cropping season which starts from April and stops in October, while the dry season starts from November and ends in March. During the rainy season, the production of vegetable is high, resulting in the saturation of the market, but during the dry season there is usually the scarcity of this important farm product, leading to a high price due to inadequate supply. This seasonality has resulted in food insecurity, a challenge to sustainable food production. It has also been established that most farmers do not want to go into large scale production because they are apprehensive of high risk. This has made the farmer to plant vegetables as intercrop of low significance as a way of avoiding risk. Even at this, it is still surprising that after more than two decades of horticultural research and extension activities in Nigeria; the nation is yet to be self sufficient in vegetable production

How to get complete project materials

Step 1: make payment of N3000 to any of the bank below

NAME:                       TITUS AYANI SOLA
BANK:                       FIRST BANK PLC
ACCT NO:                  3111741042
AMOUNT:                  N3000

NAME:                       TITUS AYANI SOLA

BANK:                       WEMA BANK
ACCT NO:                  0237422220


Updated: 9th October 2019 — 8:58 am