The research has been designed to identify the problem and prospect of rubber farming in Edo State Ovia South West Local Government Area. This is done so as to suggest possible ways of exposing to the public the economic condition of rubber production problems and prospects.
The relevant literature to this work is therefore carried out largely under the following headings.
- The role of plantation agriculture in the Nigeria economy
- Problem confronting rubber plantations in Edo State.
- Solution to the identified problem
- Prospect of rubber production in Edo State.
1.1 Background Of The Study
Plantation agriculture is more than 400 years old and contributes to the regional and national countries. Agriculture is the cultivation of soil growing of crops and rearing of animals for man use. Agriculture has always been the major activity in Nigeria in general and also Edo State particularly producing a variety of food and cash crops. Agriculture is divided or categorized into three; they are subsistence agriculture, commercial agriculture and plantation agriculture.
The subsistence agriculture is practices with only crude implements, a few crops that are the cultivation. Here, the farmer grows crops for himself and his immediate family. This is done by clearing a small portion or area of land and cultivate it. The commercial agriculture is when food crops are grown for the purpose of making profit. The commercial agriculture is the combination of arable farming and animal husbandry; the people in this area produce for export market that is on commercial basis. Plantation agriculture practice in Nigeria and in Edo State in particular plantation agriculture is the growing of cash crops on a large hectare of land o a large scales. In plantation agriculture crops like cocoa rubber oil palm and shrub like cotton and coffee are grown.
Rubber is grown in Edo State and in the western states of the Nigeria. Large quantities are grown in small area like Iguorhiaki, Ehor, Irrua in Esan central Local Government Area and Ologbo in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area. Rubber (Heuea Brasiliensis) is originated from south America, belongs to the family of euphorbiaceous. It grows well on most soils that are well drained with annual rainfall of 2700-5000mm and the tree grows from 45cm at a height of 150cm from the ground. The seeds are planted at a spacing of 30cm to 30cm and later thinned to 30x60cm or 60x60cm depending on competition for nutrient. It has a smooth light grey trunk; the palmate leaves of rubber tree are alternate, each with three leaflets. The flower are monoecious and the three flower in the dry seasons, when the leaves are shaded the fruits have three seeds.
Harvesting is done when it has attained the age of 6-7 years when then tree are considered matured and have attained a girth circumference of 45cm at a height of 150cm from the ground. To open the plantation for tapping, the following materials are required.
Temperature for initial marking, collecting cups, cup hangers, spouts, tapping knife, and Sharping stone.
Rubber finds a wide spectrum of uses in almost every aspect of human endeavour. It is mainly used in automobiles tyres and other accessories, manufacturing of pillows balloons, gloves, boot wears, batts etc and also plastic industry in the production of articles, production of both hand wares among other things.
1.2 Statement Of Problems
The major factors hindering agricultural development in Nigeria and in Edo State specifically are as follows:
- Manpower problem
- Marketing and storage facilities
- Land tenure system
- Disease and pest problem
- Climatic factors such as inadequate rainfall
- Poor banking etiquette, laurck of capital and also inadequate collateral security
The hypothesis is formulated to guide the researcher in this study.
- The conservation attitude of rubber farmers hampers the growth of rubber production.
- Inadequate finance lead to low productivity of rubber production in Edo State.
- The system of land tenure also hamper the cultivation of plantation crops in Nigeria specifically Edo State
1.4 Objective Of The Study
The objective of this study is:
- To identify the problem of plantation agriculture in Edo State with special emphasis on rubber production
- To examiner the importance of rubber production in Edo State.
- To draw a conclusion and recommendations based on fining for improving extension practices.
- To analyze the harvest, processing and sales methods of rubber in area.
- And also to find solution to the identified problem stated.
1.5 Scope Of The Study
There are many plantation crops grown in Nigeria. In this study, an attempt will be made to ascertain the problems and prospect of rubber production. The area of interest is Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State.
1.6 Significance Of The Study
The significance of this study is that at the end of research work:
- People will be able to know those problems that are associated with rubber production and also how to handle such problem when they arise.
- It will help the rubber producers to improve their method of farming.
- It will also bring to the people awareness about the new variety of rubber.
- At the end of this research work the farmers will be able to know the new challenges arising from rubber production and also how to adapt to such challenges.
- It will also bring to the people awareness about the importance and contribution of rubber production in the economy of the state.
This research work is organized as follows chapter one is made up of the introduction while chapter two is the review of related or relevant literature on the subject matter. Chapter three is the method used, that is the methodology of the research work while chapter four is the presentation and analysis of the data hypothesized. Chapter five is the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations.
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