Evaluating Sugarcane Production Farming Systems in Bauchi State, Nigeria

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Abstract:

This study examined the differences between rain-fed and irrigated farming systems of sugarcane production in Bauchi State, Nigeria. The specific objectives were to investigate the socio-economic characteristics of farmers, assess productivity and profitability, evaluate the adoption of improved technologies, and identify constraints faced by sugarcane growers. A purposive sampling procedure was employed, resulting in the selection of 123 rain-fed and 108 irrigated sugarcane farmers, totaling 231 respondents. Primary data were collected through structured questionnaires and analyzed using descriptive statistics, productivity index, farm budgetary techniques, Kendall’s coefficient of concordance, and Likert type scale. The findings revealed that farmers in both systems were predominantly married individuals aged between 26 to 55 years, with mean ages of 44 and 42 years for rain-fed and irrigated farming, respectively. Education and farming experience also varied between the systems, with the mean years of formal education being 6 and 8 years for rain-fed and irrigated farmers, respectively. The study identified limited access to credit facilities and extension services as significant challenges for both rain-fed and irrigated farmers. Productivity analysis indicated that irrigated farming outperformed rain-fed farming, with higher average yields of 1824 kg/ha compared to 382 kg/ha. Cost and returns analysis showed that irrigated farming was more profitable, with a profitability ratio of 1.85 compared to 1.14 for rain-fed farming, indicating a higher return on investment. The adoption of improved technologies varied between the systems, with different practices for land preparation, weeding, planting, fertilization, and harvesting. The main constraints identified in both systems were inadequate capital and limited access to credit facilities. The study concluded that sugarcane production is profitable in Bauchi State, with irrigated farming presenting higher profitability. It recommended that agricultural extension agencies should focus on educating and sensitizing sugarcane farmers on optimal resource utilization to enhance productivity in the region.

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