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This study focused on analysis of the adoption of recommended soybean production practices in Zaria Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Nigeria. Primary data were collected from 165 respondents using structured questionnaire. The statistical tools used to analyze the data were descriptive statistics and regression analysis. The result of the analysis shows that 44% of the respondents with were within the age range of 31-50 years, with a mean age of 40 years, 67% of the respondents had household size ranging from 1-10 people, with an average of 10 persons. Majority ( 99%) of the farmers were literate. About 86% of the farmers do not have access to credit and therefore financing their production through personal savings. Also, 72% of the farmers do not belong to any cooperative association while majority (79%) of the farmers had no access to extension visit. The result of this study also shows that cumulative contributions of independent variables to the adoption of recommended soybean production practices had coefficient of determination (R2 Adjusted) value of 0.68. This implies that all the variables together, explained 68 percent of the total variability in adoption of recommended soybean production practices in the study area. Meaning that farmers has 32% shortfall from total adoption of soybean production practices due to some factors outside their control (intervening variable) such as rainfall, temperature, humidity etc. The relationship between selected socioeconomic and institutional factors influencing adoption of recommended soybean production practices show that out of eight variables included in the model, six had significant influence on adoption of technologies. These were age, sex, education, farming experience, membership of cooperatives and extension contact. The effect of adoption of recommended soybean production practices on yield showed that planting date, spacing, fertilizer application, use of resistant variety and storage had significant influence at 10%, 10%, 10%, 5% and 1% respectively. While planting date, number of seed per hole, use of resistant variety and fertilizer application had significant influence at 5%, 1%, 1% and 1% respectively on farmers‟ income. The most important constraints faced by farmers to the adoption of recommended soybean production practices identified in the study area were high cost of the technology (59.4%), Insufficient credit facilities (30.9%), Inadequate awareness (13.9%) and complexity of the technology (12.7%). Based on the finding of this study, it could be concluded that adoption level of soybean production practices is on average having six out of thirteen technological practices being highly adopted by soybean farmers in the study area. It is recommended that the local government and non-governmental organizations dealing with extension agents should therefore embark more on the facilitation techniques of extension delivery. This will enable the farmers to identify their problems, determine their needs, and discover their potential themselves rather than always being fed with information.
1.1 Background to the Study
Soybean (Glycine max L. Merril) has been variously described as a miracle bean because it is a cheap and protein-rich grain. Soybean originates from East Asia (Onasanya, 2002). It contains 40% high quality protein, 20% edible vegetable oil, a good balance of amino acids (Singh et al., 1987; Weingartner, 1987) and has therefore, tremendous potentials to improve the nutritional status and welfare of the families of resource-poor farmers. Soybean also contribute to the enhanced sustainability of intensified cropping systems by improving soil fertility through nitrogen fixation, permitting a longer duration of ground cover in the cropping sequence, and providing useful crop residues for animal feed (Rahmianna and Nikkuni, 2002).
The world annually produced 28.6 million metric tons of soybeans in 1961-65, and reached 217.6 million metric tons in 2005-07. The quantity increased 7.6 times during the half century (AMREC, 2007). The USA produced more than 50 percent of the world soybean production until the 1980s but that share has declined to 37.0% in 2005-07. Brazil and Argentina though have significantly increased their shares steadily over the same period. Brazil is the second largest producer with 53.9 million tons, or 24.8% of world production. Argentina ranks third producing 41.4 million tons and 19.0% of world output. The top five countries; United States, Brazil, Argentina, China, and India, produce more 92% of the world‟s soybeans (AMREC, (2007).
Soybean is gaining prominence in Nigeria as over 200,000 ha of land were devoted to its cultivation as far back as 1992. This according to CTA was then the largest area of
land devoted to soybean cultivation in the whole of Africa (CTA, 1992). Soybean is farmed extensively, mainly by small scale farmers, which may account for its low yields. Despite this, Nigeria's experiment in the use of Soybean as a food crop offers a lot of promise. This is why its production has received considerable attention and direct government support in the last two decades. The interest in promoting soybean production and utilization is not unconnected with the immense economic and nutritional value of the crop.
It has been shown that Benue, Kaduna, Plateau and Niger are the major Soybean producing states in Nigeria, in descending order. Other Soya producing areas include Nasarawa, Kebbi, Kwara, Oyo, Jigawa, Borno, Bauchi, Sokoto, Taraba and the Federal Capital Territory. Benue State produced about 44 per cent of the national output while Kaduna State produced 26.7 per cent. The producing States for soybean accounted for 96 per cent of soybean produced in Nigeria. The high production levels in Benue state is both as a result of the large individual farm holdings and the number of producers. However, it was observed that, in Benue State, soybean is produced as a major crop in every Local Government Area, accounting for over half of the farm size of individual farmers. While in Kaduna state the production of soybean is localized in only fewLocal Government Areas(LGAs), soybean is produced in all the LGAs in Benue State. The LGAs producing higher quantities of soybean in Ondo and Oyo States are Akure North and Saki West indicating that these two LGAs have large markets for soybean in Southwest Nigeria (AMREC, (2007).
A glaring aspect of the Nigerian agricultural production system is the predominance of small- scale farmers using simple technology. They depend essentially on farming for their domestic consumption, income and the overall welfare of their family members.
These are farmers who cultivated their crops mainly for their consumption, and the excess of the produce is sold so that income generated from the sale is used to meet other family needs. However, soybean is a relatively new crop in Africa. It was seen as being appropriated only for large-scale farming where the crop can be used for industrial processing (Shannon et al., 1995). World production statistics on soybean show that Nigeria is second to Zimbabwe, the leading producer of soybean in tropical Africa. Soybean is now grown in all ecological zones of Nigeria. Soybean is a very important legume in the Nigerian market in terms of its marketability, consumption level and raw material source. This crop being like most leguminous crop is planted between May and June and harvested between October and November.
Locally, soybean can be processed into various forms of food for human consumption, these forms include soymilk, soya vegetable, soya pap, soya bread etc (Ajia, 1992). All these forms of foods processed from soybean are very rich in protein, cheap to obtain and easy to prepare.
A commonly held view is that soybean is of little or no importance in sub-Saharan Africa, as the crop will not bring benefit to small-scale farmers who form the bulk of the farming community in Nigeria (Singh et al., 1987). However, Soybean has good qualities which necessitated the Federal Government to develop policies on agriculture in favor of the production of soybean in Nigeria by encouraging research work on recommended soybean production practices such as proper land preparation, the use of improved seed varieties, proper seed treatment, sowing date, seed rate, spacing, fertilizer application, weed and pest control, harvesting and storage.
It is noted that soybean with various forms of food use, high nutritional values and relatively less expensive has very low level of adoption compared with other cereals and leguminous crops (Ajia, 1992).Soybean is farmed extensively, mainly by small scale farmers in the study area, which may account for its low yields. This could be attributed to poor production technologies, inadequate supply of inputs such as improved seed varieties, fertilizers and machineries, as well as pesticides and herbicides for pest and weed control respectively (Oyekan, 1987). Eziakor (1990) stated that there is a growing realization that the successful adoption and implementation of improved practices by the small-scale farmers holds the key to increased yields on their smallholdings. This study therefore, examinesthe adoption of recommended soybean production practices in Zaria Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Thus, the following research questions were raised:
i. What are the socio-economic characteristics of soybean farmers in the study area?
ii. What are the factors influencing the adoption of recommended soybean production practices in Zaria Local Government Area?
iii. What is the rate of adoption of recommended soybean production practices in the study area?
iv. What are the effects of adoption of recommended soybean production practices on farmers‟ yields and income?
v. What are the constraints to adoption of soybean production recommended practices in the study area?
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to examine the adoption of recommended soybean production practices in Zaria Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The specific objectives were to:
i. describe the socio-economic characteristics of soybean farmers in the study area;
ii. determine the factors that influence adoption of recommended soybean production practices in Zaria Local Government Area;
iii. describe rate of adoption of the recommended soybean production practicesby farmers in the study area;
iv. examine the effects of adoption of recommended soybean production practices on farmers‟ yields and income; and
v. identify the constraints to soybean production recommended practices in the study area.
1.4 Justification of the Study
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