Evaluation of Rain-Fed and Irrigated Sugarcane Farming Systems in Bauchi State, Nigeria



This study investigated sugarcane production systems in Bauchi State, Nigeria, differentiating between rain-fed and irrigated farming methods. The objectives encompassed characterizing socio-economic aspects, gauging productivity, evaluating costs and returns, assessing technology adoption levels, and identifying constraints within the sugarcane sector. Through a three-stage purposive sampling process, 123 rain-fed and 108 irrigated sugarcane farmers were selected, yielding a total of 231 respondents. Primary data collection employed structured questionnaires, and data analysis included descriptive statistics, productivity indices, budgetary techniques, Kendall’s coefficient of concordance, and Likert-type scales.

Analysis results indicated that farmers were predominantly aged 26 to 55, with mean ages of 44 and 42 for rain-fed and irrigated systems, respectively. Marital status was prevalent, with 96.7% and 97.2% being married under rain-fed and irrigated systems. Education levels averaged 6 and 8 years of formal schooling for rain-fed and irrigated farmers, while farming experience averaged 10 and 12 years, respectively. Limited access to credit was evident, with 17.1% and 12.0% of rain-fed and irrigated farmers having such access, while contact with extension agents was noted for 48.8% and 21.3% of farmers, respectively.

Sugarcane productivity analysis revealed that 60.2% of rain-fed farmers achieved 261–1000 kg/ha with an average yield of 382 kg/ha. Conversely, 58.3% of irrigated farmers exceeded 1000 kg/ha, averaging 1824 kg/ha. Cost and return analysis demonstrated gross margins of ₦430,038.82 and ₦947,697.23, and net farm incomes of ₦414,342.25 and ₦926,638.34 for rain-fed and irrigated systems, respectively. Profitability ratios of 1.14 and 1.85 indicated returns of ₦1.14 kobo and ₦1.85 kobo per ₦1 invested for rain-fed and irrigated systems.

Technological adoption differed between systems. For rain-fed, 56.1% utilized light-textured soil, 69.9% established sugarcane nurseries, and 71.5% employed Autumn planting. Under irrigated conditions, 62.0% plowed to a depth of 30cm, 65.7% sowed at the same depth, and 74.8% applied water every 7 days. Constraints included inadequate capital and credit access, ranked highest (X ̅= 2.74) for both systems. Consensus agreement was evident (Kendall W values: 0.201, 0.166, and 0.155), while a t-test value of 9.579 indicated significant productivity differences.

In conclusion, sugarcane production proved profitable, with irrigated farming showing higher profitability compared to rain-fed methods. Recommendations included enhanced efforts by agricultural extension agencies to educate and sensitize farmers, optimizing resource utilization for improved sugarcane productivity.

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