Agriculture Mechanization In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Agricultural Engineering AE

Agriculture Mechanization In Nigeria


Abstract


Survey was undertake to assess the Anambra state Tractor Hiring Company. The study adopted the use of a questionnaire and interview schedules, discussion and personal observation for primary data collection. The unit had a total of 15 tractors 10 Disc ploughs, 6 Disc harrow 6 Discridgers, and 3 trailers, all in good working conditionexcept for one non functional tractor (scrap). The unit was poorly equipped with fairly adequate shed and was understaffed with a maintenanceculture that is service driven.

The unit had very few beneficiaries due to high cost of hiring, limited number of availabletractors to hire, delay in service delivery, delays in acquiring spare parts needed for repairs, in accessibility due to remoteness of farms and size of farm holdings, poor land clearing, unskilled tractor operators and administrative bottlenecks. It is recommended that an alternative shed be provide and the workshop should be properly equipped and it structure properly renovated, and in there should be adequate funding to it by the state government in order to help the unit serve the state better.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1. Background of the Study

Agriculture was and until the discovery of oil and oil boom of the 1970s, the mainstay of the Nigeria Economy cash crops such as cocoa, cotton, groundnut and livestock products contributed more than 70% of total exports. It provided employment for over 60% of the populaces most of whom were resident in the remote and rural areas of the country (source). Various food crops were also cultivated in sufficient quantities to meet the demand of the teeming population and Nigeria was one of the food self-sufficient countries of the world.(Ado, 2005; Anen, 2005; Balogun, 2001; Ikpi and Ikpi, 1998; Moorhead, 2005; Nwuba, 2009, Opafa 2006).

The discovery and exploration of crude oil as a more lucrative income earner for the country was the first major setback to the agricultural sector. Also the introduction of the nationwide Universal Primary Education (UPE) in the 1970s and free education in the country in 1979, further reduced farm labour are youths withdrew from the farms to go school. It becomes in caressingly difficult to feed the teeming masses and the country resorted to importing food to supplement the one grown at home. It was considered necessary to reserve the trend and the three approaches adopted were the use of improved and high yielding varieties of crops, use of agro-chemicals and expansion of hectares under cultivation by use of alternative source of power. These lead to the use of tractors as an alternative source of power since animal power wasn’t applicable in most regions of the nation due to tse- tse fly attacks, and also an encouragement youths who have been discouraged from farming operations due to its drudgery. But due to the high cost of acquiring these tractors, hiring schemes were set up at different levels of government to enable farmers increase their agricultural productivity. (Anon, 1990; Nwuba, 1986;Onwualu et al, 2006; Anazodo et al, 1987; Hamidu and Simmon, 1999)

Thus, tractors – hiring scheme was adopted by almostall the states in Nigerian, aimed at helping the small scale farmers increase their farms sizes. Hamidu and Simon (1999) reported that even though the establishment of tractor hiring service were expected to make farmers have access to tractors and implements for various farm operations, this opportunity has not been fully exploited by farmers because of irregular and untimely availability of these tractors due to frequent” breakdown, lack of spare parts and bureaucratic bottleneck


1.2. Significance of the Study

The work when adopted will provide data and information which will be useful in the following ways-

  1. To provide knowledge on the level of mechanization available from the unit in the state.
  2. To provide knowledge of the technical capacity of the unit in repairs and maintenance of equipment.
  3. To provide solution to improve the quantity and quality of service at the unit.

1.4 Objectives of the Study

  1. To asses how the unit activities are coordinated in state, federal and private owned ministries.
  2. To determine the equipment inventory and conditions in the units adequacy of the units’ personnel shed and workshop facilities.
  3. To assess the nature of services rendered and their charges.
  4. To asses the maintenance culture of the unit and common problems faced during maintenance, and proffer solutions.
  5. To observe the impact of the unit on the farming community.

1.5 Scope of Work

The scope of this work covers the assessment on the technical and operational capacity of south east states tractor hiring company.


Chapter Five


Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Conclusion

ASTRAC has in the past 26years (1989), rendered tractor hiring service for land preparation in the state and presently owns 14 functional tractors and a few implement but can’t provide this service efficiently due to lack of tractors, equipment, implements, workshop facilities skilled and trained manpower, quality management, sub-station and quality maintenance culture. The tractor hiring unit has the potential ability of boosting food production and job creation in the state if well managed.

ASTRAC needs to create its operational branch offices in all the 21 local Government Area of the State to cover all the Agro-ecological zones of the state


5.2 Recommendations

The viability of the agricultural sector is crucial to the growth and development of a nation. The sustainability of this sector should therefore be of paramount importance

Based on the finding and conclusion of this study, the following recommendation are made:

  1. Government should improve agricultural land development in the state to increase available land for mechanized agriculture.
  2. NCAN should approve only quality economic tractor imported into country
  3. The state government should always release enough funds for training of personal, repairs and maintenance of tractor and equipment.
  4. Enough and sufficient tractors /implements should be made available for use by ASTRAC by the state.
  5. The workshop should be made functional and well equipped to meet required standards and quality, to enhance maintenance and repairs of these tractors and equipment. This will prolong the useful life of the tractors and equipment.
  6. Sub- station should be erected at different strategic locations in the state to enable wider coverage of the unit.
  7. Efforts should be made through various programmes and extension workers to enlighten farmers of the existence and benefits of the tractor hiring scheme, for increased agricultural productively in the state.
  8. Incentives should be given to Tractor operation and periodic training or workshops and seminars should be organized for them to boost their skill and interest in the job.
  9. More funds should be made available to the development of agricultural sector of the economy since it offers employment to over 80% of the population of the state Thus, this will kick start industrial revolution as the agricultural produce will offer raw material for our industrial and curb rural/ urban migration which will reduce the crime rate in the state.

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