FACTORS CHALLENGING PLANTATION AGRICULTURE
This study is about the factors challenging plantation agriculture in Edo state, A case study of Ovia North East Local Government Area. Several factors were identified that challenged plantation farm. example of such factors are lack of capital, use of old plantation, farm, unavailability of land, lack of adequate farm implements, lack of governmental support, access to market (transportation) lack of laborers, illiteracy, bad road, networks, poor cultural practices and land tenures system, climate condition e t c. A questionnaire approach was used to obtain data from farmer in Ovia North East Local Government Area. The result of this analysis shows that lack of capital was the main factor challenging plantation farming in Ovia North East Local Government Area. This project work focuses on the two major factors or types of plantation farming which are: Rubber plantation farming and Cocoa plantation farming. We will come to see the problems or the challenges that is affecting these two forms of plantation farming in Edo state, especially Ovia North East Local Government Area worthy of note, is that these factors are not only limited to cocoa and rubber plantation, but also affect other types of plantation farming in Edo State. Knowing these problems that affects cash-crop or plantation farming will expand our knowledge in putting solution to such challenges.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Agriculture has always been the most important part of human history because we as individuals, family, industrial and the nation as a whole all depend on agriculture. Agriculture has played a long term activities in Nigeria in general, including Edo state in particular, in providing varieties of food and cash crops Cash-crop has actually played an important role in Edo state, in particular Ovia-north east local government area. Before the discovery of crude-oil, cash-crops such as, palm oil, rubber (latex), cocoa (cocoa beans) has always been boosting Nigeria from Brazil, it was an important cash-crop. Nigeria at then used to export large quantities of rubber, oil and cocoa. But in recent years, there has been a drastic reduction in rubber and cocoa production in Nigeria. A total 207,500, which represent 86% of the country’s land area under rubber cultivation on small holdings in 1966 declined to 147,200 hectares in 198. Recently, field survey showed that more than two thousand of the small holdings have been lost to other crops
Presently rubber production in Nigeria has decreased and the rubber industries have continued to fold-up (Agra, 2016) the fact is that Nigeria as a nation is presently drifting from being the exporter of cash-crop (plantation produces) into a net importer in the nearest future. Something that is also missing is that Nigeria as a country and Edo State have chosen to forget the factors challenging plantation farming because of their newly found means of finance. For example, during 60’s (1960s) Nigeria used to have one of the best quantity and quality of cocoa but during year 2000 the quantity? The issue of fermentation was taken for granted cocoa was not permeated according to its normal process. Farmers in Ovia-North East Local Government Area no longer follow the processes of fermentation. Fermentation of cocoa is supposed to last for six (6) days, but the day of harvesting has turned into the day of drying pruning of cocoa trees is not views as important, removing of parasite –inspected pod is not followed regularly clearing around cocoa trees is no longer effective. All these vital principles have been left behind by farmers and also the government. That is why this project work is going to open our mind and broaden our knowledge on factors that is affecting plantation farming in Edo state under Ovia-north east local government of Nigeria
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
There are a lot of factors affecting plantation farming in Edo state to be specific in Ovia-north east do not have the knowledge of plantation. Agriculture also the varieties of plantation farms within and around Ovia-north east shows that plantation farms are poorly managed due to lack of capital, orientation and literacy. The important question or issues is what is the reason for the drastic turn down or reduction in production of plantation produces, especially in Ovia-North East Local Government area of Nigeria
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the studies are:
1. The identify the problem of plantation farming in the study area
2. To bring out the main challenges or factors so that farmers can easily identify it and put a solution to such problem
3. To confirm the acclaimed decline in cocoa and rubber production in Ovia North East Local Government Area.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study will be guide by the following
1. What are the factors challenging plantation farming in ovia-north east local government area?
2. What are the ways in which these factors can be improved?
3. How can knowing the factors help in improving the present condition we find ourselves with regard to plantation farming?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCEOF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study lies in the fact that it will make the necessary suggestion and recommendation to government and plantation farmers (cocoa and rubber) about the problem of plantation farming. The importance of this study is based on the need to exploit other sources of earning foreign exchange for the country. Since the discovery of crude-oil plantation farming or agriculture has not been given serious attention by the government. This study will help to bring out the factor that is challenging plantation farming by analyzing every details affecting plantation farming so that any individual or farmer going into plantation agriculture will be able to succeed just by knowing the challenging he may encounter in the near future.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study will cover the problems or factors challenging plantation agriculture in Edo state, under Ovia-North East Local Government.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Plantation Agriculture: A large area of land, where crop such as coffee, cocoa rubber are grown.
Cocoa: This is a fruit tree that produces pod that are filled with beans.
Rubber: This is a tree that produces latex which is used in producing material such as cups, tyres, boots, electrical and gloves e t c.