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1.1       Background of the Study

Sugarcane (Saccharum Officinaum) is one of the most important crop in the world because of its strategic position and immense uses in the daily life of any nation as well as for industrial uses aimed at nutritional and economic substance. Sugarcane contributes about 60% of the total world sugar requirement while 40% came from sugar beet (Onwueme, 2005). It is a tropical crop that usually takes between 8 – 12 months to reach its naturity. Matured came may be green, yellow, purplish or reddish and considered ripe when sugar content is at its maximum.

The current estimated sugarcane production of the nation as at 2008 was put over 1.4m tones. This figure represents the combined production of both industrial and domestic consumption. Sugarcane for domestic consumption is produced more than that produced for industrial use. Thus, chewing care accounts for between 55 – 65% of the total Cane production. The bulk of these are consumed raw for its sweetness of the juice but some of it is processed into a variety of products such as sugar, molasses baggasse, sweets and left-over leaves/stalks (Busar and Misari, 2007).

Although there are vast potential for commercial production of thus crop; its processing industry did not come into existance in Nigeria until the early 1960s (Abdullahi, 2000). Commercial cultivation of sugarcane did not start until 1950 while industrial production of referred sugar started in the early 1960s with the establishment of the Nigeria Sugar Company (NISUCO) at Bacita, Kwara State in 1964. Since then another will, the Sarannahsugar company (SSCL) has take off at Numan, Adamawa State in 1980 and Smaller one in Lafiagi in 1983. Similarly, National Sugar Development Council, Abuja, is installing a medium-size 250 tonnecane – day Mini Sugar Plant at Sunti, Niger State. The combined installed capacities of these nulls are about 120,000 metric tonnes of processed granulated white sugar per annum. However, total domestic production has fluctuated between 16,000 and 50,000 tonnes annually, which are able to satisfy only about 5% of the total national demand for sugar (Busari and Misari, 2007).

Sugarcane has there main products namely: Suagar, Bagasse and Molasses and the sugar industry is responsible for the manufacture of raw of refined granulated brown or cubed sugar from sugarcane which consumed as a basic food item. In addition it serves as a raw material for a variety of products for brewing beer, soft drinks and confectionaries.

Pharmacentical etc (Nasir, 2001). Sugarcane plant is the most efficient converter of solar energy, carbon dioxide and water into energy giving food and the first food sweetening material of our ancestors (Kochhar, 1996).

The area where sugarcane is cultivated includes the tidal water areas, naturally flooded areas such as the Fadama of Northern Nigeria. These areas have a total munimum of 1500mm of rainfall during the growing season. However, in some area like the Bacita Sugar Company in Kwara State and Savannah Sugar Company at Numan in Adamawa State, water is supplemented through irrigation to enhance production. 40% of the sugar, which is consumed in Nigeria, is from these establishments (Girel, 2006).

Sugarcane is grown for chewing, drinking juice, raw sugar and centrifugal sugar. Thick noble canes, which are relatively soft with a high sugar and juice content and low fiber, are best for chewing, by boiling the juice. Over an open fire until it is almost dry a form of sugar is prepared (Onwueme and Sinha, 2003). With further improvement, all insoluble materials and all impurities are separated from the juice and the resulting products is a fine-graned, pale yellow sugar which is further refined to produce while sugar which has become on important item of human diet, the dark brown Viscons liquid separated from the crystalline sugar in the last stage of juice processing is called molasses containing 35% sucrose and 15% reducing sugars. It is an important industrial raw material in producing raw, gin, Vodka, ethylalcohol, aceton and butanol, also bakers and brewers yeast are produced from it. It is widely used as a stock feed and preparing silage as additives and used in constructing roads (Davies, 2009).

Bagasse is another by product of sugarcane used as fuel in sugar factories, in paper manufacturing, carbboard, fiber board, wall board and plastic, cattle feed and in producing furtural (Gibbon and Pain, 1995). NSDC (2002) also observed that bagasse is the fibrous remain after squeezing out the juice from sugarcane. The modern sugar estates use this by-product as fuel for power generation. It has great potentials as fodder crop.

1.2       Problem Statement

The demand – supply gap of major industrial crops in Nigeria and most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa is largely met by importation (GAIN, 2008) this is because most of the vital inputs in production such as planting material, fertilizer, herbicides and irrigation facilities are not always within the reach of the farmers. This has contributed significantly to the poverty state of the nation judging from the fact that Nigeria is an argrarian economy and agricultural development is a sine qua non to economic growth. One of such industrial crops is sugarcane (Wayagari, Ayoola, Imolehin and Misari 2003).

Considering the shortfall in sugarcane production in Nigeria, the government has set up and mandated research institutes and agencies such as the national sugar Development Council (NSDC) and National Cereal Research Institute (NCRI) to facilitate increase in sugarcane production and utilization. The Millennium Village Commission Programme (MVCP) on sugarcane production, in Jigawa State is a fall out from this initiative. However, many if not all the established institutes have not met the set out objective (Babalola, Ajani Omonona, Oni and Awoyinka, 2009).

Furthermore, over the years the government has carried out policies aimed at boosting sugarcane production in the country. Some of the policies are: 50% tariff on importation of white sugar, 5% levy on imported raw sugar, 5year tax waving to sugar refineries and privatization of the major sugar firms in the country, still domestic production of sugar is slightly less than 5% of the country’s animal requirement (CBN, 2008 and 2010).

In addition, the reports of Agricultural production survey, conducted by KADP in the years 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 showed that the annual quantity of sugarcane production in the state is declining. The average yield falls from 18.90 tonne per hectare in 2010 to 3.31tonne per hectare in 2013. Also, the sugarcane annual average price increased from 2010 to 2013 by 95% while number of sugarcane retailers and wholesalers/dealers dropped by 18% and 28% respectively, within this period.

In view of the foregoing, the following research questions have been put forward.

i.              What are the effects of socio-economic factors on efficiency in sugarcane production in the study area?

ii.            What are the costs and returns (Profitability) of sugarcane production in the study area?

iii.          What is the contribution of sugarcane faming to farm income of the farmers?

iv.          What are the major constraints associated with sugarcane production in the study area?

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The broad objective of the study is to examine the economics of sugarcane production in Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State, the specific objectives area to:

                                i.            describe the socio-economic characteristics of sugarcane farmers in the study.

                              ii.            determine the costs and return associated with sugarcane production

                            iii.            describe input level used and output obtained in sugarcane production

                            iv.            describe the constraints faced by sugarcane farmers in the study area.

1.5       Justification to the Study

Sugarcane is the raw material used for manufacturing sugar in Nigeria which accounts for about 61% of the total world sugar production. Two types of sugarcane are grown in Nigeria – industrial and soft (Chewing) care but only the later one would be interested in this study.This is because soft cane accounts for about 60% of total sugarcane production in many years in Nigeria. Globally the major use of the crop is in the manufacture of sugar. Major industrial users of the product include the pharmaceutical industries, the food and beverages industries, bakeries, soft drinks bottling plants as well as biscult and other confectionery manufacturers. Domestically, it is used in large amounts as a table sweetener.

The high economic potentials of sugarcane crop as an income earner to the producers makes is imperative for concerned effort to be made by researchers on its agronomy practices in order to boost it production. However, from available records no adequate socio-economic data on the production of sugarcane in Kagarko Local Government Area. Thus, this study is expected to provide the valuable bench mark information to the partially existing knowledge about the production of sugarcane in the study area.

According to KADP, (2012), Jere and Shadilafiya were selected as sugarcane basket of the local government. Thus, detailed information on sugarcane production and identifying the problems associated with the production will help governmental and non-governmental organizations to design appropriate intervention measures in order to boost and improve production and the efficiency of sugarcane crop.

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