The study was conducted to determine the assessment of farmers’ attitude towards using agro-chemicals in rice production in patigi local government area, Kwara State. Farmers attitude was measured by constructing a 5-point likert type scale ranging from 1= strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree. Each respondent was asked to express his extent of agreement or disagreement by checking against any of the statement, Multistage sampling technique was used to select the respondents for this study. First stage involved selection of 5 wards from the local government area; second stage involved a random selection of one (1) village each from the selected wards making a total of five (5) villages. Lastly, 16 farmers were randomly selected from each of the villages making a total of eighty (80) respondents that constituted the sample size for the study.
The result of the analysis showed that 60% of the respondents were male while 40% were female. This result implies that there were more male into rice farming in the study area. Above average (52.5%) of the respondents were between the age of 31-40 years, 26.2% were above 40 years of age while21.3% were less than or equal to 30 years of age. This result implies that youth are more into rice production in the study area, an indication that their production level might be high due to the energetic and productive age that the farmers belong to. Above average (57.5%) of the respondents were Muslims, 38.8% were Christians while only 3.8% were traditional worshippers. It was found that there was a significant relationship between sex (r=0.246*; p=0.028); annual income (r= 0.245*; p= 0.029; and years of experience (r=0.391*; p=0.000) all had significant relationship with the attitude of agrochemicals on rice production. From the findings made during the cause of this research work, it was concluded that matured, young and agile personalities were involved in rice production in the study area. The research suggest that Trainings on the use of agrochemicals should be done for the farmers in order to reduce the risk attached to misuse of it and Agrochemicals should be make accessible to the farmers in order to aid its timely arrival and its availability for use.
- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
While population is rising and creating the need for more food, many diseases, pests and other inhibitors of crop growth contribute to reducing crop production. However, many types of chemicals have been developed through science and technology to fight these plant diseases and pests and control the effects of inhibitors in crop production. The introduction of these chemicals is, therefore, an important farm innovation which when used by farmers can significantly improve crop production. The Crop Protection Chemicals (CPCs) particularly useful to farmers consist of different types of insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, rodenticides and nematicides available in the market. The other group consists of seed treatment chemicals and growth regulators, which are mainly chemicals that eliminate the effect of inhibitors. In Nigeria, the strategy has always been to encourage the establishment of private agrochemical plants in the country or their importation by interested investors. The existing plants only re-formulate and package CPCs for sales.
The use of agrochemical is very beneficial in crop production. Lomborg B (2001). Reported that pesticides were abolished, the lives saved would be outnumbered by a factor of around 1000 by the lives lost due to poorer diets. Secondary penalties would be massive environmental damage due to the land needs of less productive farming, and a financial cost of around 20 billion US Dollars. Pesticides of various kinds have been used on a large scale to protect crops from damage inflicted by insects and diseases in Nigeria since 1950s. Annual pesticide production has reached more than 500 thousand metric tons after the mid-1990s (Huang et al., 2000). Although grain production increases have been realized, intensive pesticide use can have several drawbacks. In addition to the direct costs of the pesticides, long term, highly concentrated application of pesticides may not only contaminate the products of field crops, but also pose a serious danger to the agro-ecosystem (e.g., the surrounding soil and water quality) and human health (Rola and Pingali, 1993). Rice is a staple food for some 4 billion people and it provides 27% of the calories in the world’s low- and middle-income countries (Dawe et al 2010, GRiSP 2013a). 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 issues related to soil fertility is very important for overall integrated plant nutrient management (Hasan et al., 2005a). Excessive uses of agrochemicals are harmful to environment and health of the people (Hou and Wu, 2010; Pimentel, 2005). According to the World Bank (2006) report, approximately 1-5 million people around the world are suffering from pesticide contamination and over use of it and about 20000 faces death due to this poisoning in the developing countries. This condition is so severe in the developing countries than that in the developed ones (Hou and Wu, 2010)
It is the staple food in many countries, accounting for more than 40% of global food production. People in the majority of countries in Asia depend on rice as their main source of nutrition, as well as for income and employment (Maclean et al, 2002; Makino, 2011)
The Rice Market Monitor by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2012 stated that the current supply of rice outpaces consumption Nevertheless; an increase in the supply of this cereal crop would be required to meet the future demands of rice in world population. This demands an estimated 50% increase in the yield of rice in order to sustain the predicted world population of 9.3 billion by 2050 (Sheehy & Mitchell, 2013).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Agrochemicals such as chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers have been reported to compromise water quality and environment, and thus causing threat to human health and aquatic organisms. The uses of agrochemicals contribute not only to health growth of crops and animals but also to improve farm work efficiency and stable supply of tasty agricultural produce. Although many kinds of chemical are used in agriculture, they can be categorized into simple groups according to the functions they performed. This includes insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, molluscides, and rodenticides (peter, 2012). The application of agrochemicals for control of wide variety of insectivorous, herbaceous pest and green leaves since chemical age, has contributed enormously to the success of agricultural advancement globally, but with some noticeable pollution effects on ecosystem and human health (Beseler et al., 2008). Most farmers in developing world are not aware of the environmental impact of using agrochemicals on their farms, human being and wildlife (kamel, 2004) With the usefulness of Agrochemical on rice production we can also have some effect of it; it is for these reasons that this research was being pursued to address the following question.
- What are the socio-economic characteristics of rice farmers?
- What are the types of Agro- Chemicals used by rice farmers in the study area?
- What are Farmers’ attitudes towards using agro-chemicals on rice production?
- What are the effects of Agrochemical on rice production?
- What are the constraints faced by farmers towards using agrochemicals in the study area?
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objectives of this study are to determine the farmers’ attitude towards using agro-chemicals in rice production in the study Area
The Specific objectives are to
- describe the socio-economic characteristics of rice farmers.
- determine the types of Agro- Chemicals used by rice farmers in the study area.
- examine the farmer’s attitude towards using of agrochemicals on rice production.
- determine the effects of agrochemicals on rice production.
- identify the constraints faced by farmers towards using agrochemicals in the study area.
- HYPOTHESIS OF THE STUDY
H01: There is no significant relationship between the selected socio-economic characteristics of the respondents and farmer’s attitude towards using agro chemicals
- JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
This study intended to assess the attitude that farmers shows towards using of agrochemicals on rice production. It is seen in the study from the last few decades that different pesticides are used to safe the crops from pest damage and thereby increase the crop production. The most important benefit of using pesticides are economical, comprising yield and quality of crops and decrease of other inputs like labor and fuel, many important benefits are achieved by the use of agrochemicals. These are largely associated with increased yields of plant and animal crops, and less spoilage during storage. These benefits are substantial. In combination with genetically improved varieties of crop species, agrochemicals have made important contributions to the successes of the green revolution. This has helped to increase the food supply for the rapidly increasing population of humans. Despite the beneficial attributes of agrochemicals use, it uses also cause with hazardous effect which can be which can be control if the farmers are well equipped adequately informed about its use, hence, the need for this research work.