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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF IRISH POTATO PRODUCTION IN PLATEAU STATE

 

 

 

 Format: Ms-word   Chapters: 1-5

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 May 18, 2022 |  08:22 pm |  226



Project topics and materials on ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF IRISH POTATO PRODUCTION IN PLATEAU STATE

CHAPTER 1
 
1.0 INTRODUCTION

Inspite of the tremendous human and land resources in Nigeria, food supply has continued to fall below demand level.  Fabiyi and Idowu (1991) indicated that Nigeria has been finding it difficult to feed its population without recourse to massive importation of food.  The food import bill for instance, increased from N= 15.7 billion in 1987 to N= 375.3 billion in 1996, while the per capita calorie food intake showed a deficit of 11.3 and 9.1 percents in the same years (Central Bank of Nigeria, 1994 and Federal Office of Statistics, 1997). Similarly, rice imports rose from N=3.32 billion ($259 million) in 1999 to N9.615 billion ($750 million) in 2003. (Oke 2003).


Decline in food supply in Nigeria can be attributed to the apparent failure of past agricultural strategies (Saito 1994).   NAERLS and PCU (2001) indicated that the production of maize, cowpea, cotton, cassava and yam  was  expected  to  increase by only 6%,  27%,  0.02%, 5% and  4%
respectively, while those of sorghum, rice and groundnut are expected to decrease by 45%, 0.8% and 0.01% respectively.  The report also indicated that there was low productivity of livestock, high cost of production and serious financial crises in Agricultural Development Programmes (ADPs) leading to retrenchment and reduction in extension services.
With regard to root and tuber crops,  Scott, Best and Bokanga (2000)

indicated that many developing countries policies towards the potato sector


is at best characterised as one of benign neglect. Whereas other commodity groups have managed  to  interest  government  to  the point of garnering public  financial  support  for integrated  strategies  for crop  improvement, marketing schemes that include product promotion both at home and abroad and  industralisation.  This  is  the  situation  with  cassava  production  in Nigeria. .Similar emphasis should also be extended to Irish potato crop.
1.1 Economic Importance of Irish Potato

The Irish potato (Solanum Tuberosum L.) is by far the most efficient tuber crop in Nigeria in terms of tuber yield and days to maturity. It matures in about 80 – 90 days as compared to 9 – 12 months respectively for yam and cassava.  Therefore, because of the short maturity period, the crop it is produced almost throughout the year making it the highest yielding tuber crop in Nigeria. (Okonkwo et al., 1995)
The genetic diversity found in potatoes makes it possible through breeding and selection to produce new varieties that can grow well under wide range of ecological conditions. This varietal improvement has been responsible for the expanding potato production in the world today. (Horton 1987). According to International Potato Center (2004), potato is the fourth most important food crop in the world, with annual production approaching
300 million tons. More than one-third of the global potato output comes from developing countries. For instance, in Nigeria, the establishment of the National  Roots  Crop  Research  Institute  (NRCRI)  in  1976  has  lead  to increase in the production of potato through breeding and selection of new


 
varieties such as Nicola, B9462, Diamond, , etc. Thus yield per hectare of potato increased from 7.92 in 1992 to 14.17 in 2000 while total production increased from 400,000 tonnes in 1991 to over 742,000 tonnes in 1996.
Table  1.1:  Area  Cropped  and  Annual  Irish  Potato  Production  in Plateau State(1991-2000).
 

 
Irish potato can be characterized as a high-input, high-output and high-risk crop.  Its great  responsiveness of  yield  to  inputs-such  as  high quality seed  tubers,  fertilizers, pesticides,  additional labour, - motivates farmers to use inputs more heavily on potatoes than on other crops. Because of the relatively high level of potato yields, the short growing period, and high market value, the potato crop generates larger returns per hectare and per day than most other crops grown in developing countries. However,


because of the susceptibility of the potato to pests, diseases, moisture stress and extremes in weather makes its yields more variable than those of many other crops. This yield variation coupled with price fluctuations and high input costs, makes potato production risky. Due to these problems, few farmers specialize in potato production; most grow potatoes with other crops. (Horton 1987).

Consumption of Irish potato in developing countries has increased from 9kg/capita in 1961-1963 to 14kg/capita in 1995-1997 according to FAOSTAT 1998 in CIP online2004. Irish potato crop produces more edible energy and protein per hectare and per unit of time than practically any other crop (CIP 1984). Over 80 percent of the potato produced in Nigeria are consumed by boiling or frying. Some of the products made from potato and their uses include: potato crisp (thin sliced and dried potatoes used as snacks);  potato  starch  (used  in  pharmaceutical  industries  and  in  the production of alcoholics and wines). Others are potato (used in bread baking industries and animal feeds). Potato also constitutes a major part of diabetic diet due to its high protein content. (Okonkwo et al., 1995, Scott, Best and
Bokanga, 2000).

1.2 Problem Statement

The establishment of the Irish Potato Programme at Kuru, Jos by the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) Umudike in 1976 marked the beginning of rapid expansion of Irish potato production in Nigeria. Earlier on, potato has been a popular tuber crop grown among farmers on


 
the Jos Plateau. The crop was introduced as far back as the later part of the 19th century and early 20th century by Europeans notably the tin miners. The progamme was mandated to tackle the problems of Irish potato production in Nigeria. The problems include; low productivity of the existing potato varieties, inadequate supply of good quality true potato seed (TPS) and
control of the major potato pests and diseases. (Okonkwo et al., 1995).

The total land area under Irish potato production in 1986 was 20,000 hectare up from 10,000 hectares in 1973. Average tuber yield also doubled from  5  tonnes  to  10  tonnes  per  hectare.  (Okonkwo  et  al.,  1995).
Similarly,Irish  potato  production  steadily  increased  from  over  473,000 tonnes in 1991 to over 742,000 tonnes in 1996.   However, production gradually  declined  to  about  470,000  tonnes  in  2000.  Hectarage  under cultivation also recorded a similar trend during the same period. (PADP 2002).
Despite the efforts of the Irish Potato Programme in Kuru to improve the production  of potato  in Nigeria,  the decreasing level  of production suggests that there are problems or constraints facing small-scale potato farmers in Plateau State. Generally, the agricultural industry in Nigeria has performed   below   expectation   despite   the   various   efforts   made   by government in increasing food production. The major factors contributing to the generally low level of agricultural production in Nigeria include; poor allocation   and   management   of   resources,   low   level   of   technology, inadequate   capital,   poor   economic   infrastructure,   lack   of   adequate

 
incentives   among   others.  These   drawbacks   led   to   the   sub-optional utilization of scarce resources. (Sanni 2000). The declining production of Irish potato production in Plateau State can be akin to these problems.
In order to identify the major problems of Irish Potato production in Nigeria this study will examine the Economics of Irish potato production in Plateau State. Therefore, some pertinent questions need to be asked and investigated thus:
 
i. What are the socio-economic characteristics of Irish potato farmers?
 

 
ii. What are the various Irish potato production system?
 

 
iii. What is the pattern of resource allocation in the potato production?
 

 
iv. What is the optimal farm plan of the potato farmers in the area?
 

 
v.
 
How will changes in some limiting factors affect the optimal  farm

plan  ?

vi. What are the major socio-economic and technical constraints

of Irish potato farmers?
 



 
 
1.3 Objectives of the Study

The  main  objective  of  the  study  is  to  examine  the  Economics Analysis of Irish Potato Production in Plateau State. The specific objectives are to:-
 
i.
 
describe  the  socio-economic  characteristics  of  Irish  potato farmers and the various potato production cropping patterns;
 

 

 



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