Vol 11, No 1

Table of Contents


Resource Use and Productivity Among Rain-Fed and Irrigated Irish Potato Producers in Plateau State, Nigeria PDF
Panwal Ephraim Fomyol
Although Potato is grown in all the three zone of Plateau State, reports indicate that only part of the central and northern zones produce substantial quantities for consumption within the zones and sale to others. Its importance to plateau State its people are evidenced in the number of producers involved, land area cropped, quantities realised and valued. This study which lasted from October, 2004 to September, 2005 was carried out to evaluate the resources use and productivity among rain-fed and irrigated Irish potato producers in Plateau state. A questionnaire was designed to collect data from 90 randomly selected irrigated irish potato producers and 90 randomly selected Irish potato producers in the study area, making a total sample size of 180 Irish potato producers (respondent) that were surveyed. The data were analysed using regression analysis model. Also an average comparative cost-returns analysis was used to compare the costs and return of the rain-fed and irrigated Irish potato producers. The major findings of the result for rain-fed shows that the resources used have 705 influence on productivity with fc>Ft (23.8823>2.02). This therefore implies that we should reject the three hypotheses which seem to accept that:- • The Socio-economic characteristics of producers do not influence resources efficiency and productivity. • There is no significant difference in resource use and productivity between rain-fed and irrigated Irish producers. • There is no significant difference between rain-fed and irrigated Irish potato production. for the irrigated Irish potato production, the result of the findings show that the resources used ha 95% influence on Irish potato productivity, with high value of Fc=282.373. the overall model is statistically significant, hence we are to reject the three hypotheses as stated above. From the findings, we therefore recommend among others a realistic and aggressive Irish potato programme which will promote all season production through rain-fed and irrigated Irish potato production. The research therefore solve a range of problems in Irish potato production

Assessment of the Variability of Soil Properties for OFC Cultivation under Minor Irrigation Systems PDF
Pradeep Gajanayake, Y.G.D.P. Wijewardana, S.K.D. Wijesinghe, M.I.M. Mowjood, L.W. Galagedara

Combined paddy and other field crops (OFC) fields are unique from other wetland or upland soils, because of seasonal alternation of wetting and drying conditions resulting anaerobic and aerobic conditions. Therefore, objective of this study was to assess spatio-temporal variation of soil properties in paddy fields under minor tanks with respect to OFC cultivation. Soil samples were collected at two soil depths from 24 locations covering the entire command area of the Bayawa Minor Irrigation Tank (MIT), Sri Lanka. Soil properties were analyzed and mapped using Arc GIS. Hardpan depth (HPD) was also determined by collecting undisturbed core samples at 0, 15, 25, 30, 45 and 60 cm depths from the same locations Statistical analysis was done to identify spatio-temporal variability of each property. Results revealed that, Bayawa command area showed low coefficient of variation (CV) for pH and bulk density, but high CV for saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks). HPD was found to be varied in each section within the effective root zone. Overall, low Ks, high clay content, high field capacity, poor drainage and the presence of hardpan are major obstacles to introduce OFC. Therefore, introduction of site specific OFC by considering the variability of soil properties is very important for sustainability of the MIT system.

Implications for Access and Non-Access of Agricultural Market Information in Tharaka Nithi County PDF
Julia N. Ameru, Damaris Odero, Alice Kwake

Agriculture is the mainstay of Kenyan economy. It accounts for 26% GDP and provides 18% and 42% formal and informal employment respectively. Tharaka Nithi has a population of about 400,000 persons, over 90% of whom rely on agriculture as a source of livelihood. Although surplus food production is common in the county, often farmers sell their produce at losses or lose it via post-harvest losses. Good output markets exist within the country but farmers lack sufficient knowledge to make use of them. This study aimed at establishing the importance of such information in addition to determining the challenges and opportunities for accessing the information in the County. The study sample included farmers and extension workers. Data was collected by use of semi-structured interview schedules and analyzed using qualitative and quantitative methods. The results show that farmers make losses due to lack of information. Unscrupulous middlemen confuse farmers with distorted market information causing them to make losses. Challenges facing access to information include poor physical/technological infrastructure among others. Opportunities for improving information access exist such as use of mobile telephony to communicate information to farmers. Despite these challenges, there are opportunities for increasing use of agricultural marketing information to improve farmers’ livelihood.

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