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1.1       Background to the Study

Agriculture is the mainstay of many economies. All over the world, the development of an enduring economy goes hand in hand with agricultural development. Agriculture is considered a catalyst for the overall development of any nation. It is thus a critical sector that drives the economic development and industrialization of the developing nation like Nigeria, and also holds the ace for reducing unemployment. Thus, its’ development is critically important for ensuring food and nutritional security, income and employment generation, and for stimulating industrialization and overall economic development of the country (Aliyu 2015).

Agriculture involves the science, practice, and occupation of cultivating land and raising crops. It also involves the feeding, breeding and raising of livestock. The main purpose of agriculture is to provide food and raw materials for human use. It provides food for about 182million teeming population, and contributes about 24.18 percent of the total Gross Domestic Product (National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), 2016). However, despite the importance of agriculture in terms of employment generation and its potential for contributing to economic growth, it is still far from being fully exploited (Josephine, 2016). For example in 1960, 1970 and 1980, its contribution was only55.20%, 40.70% and 18% to GDP respectively, while its contribution to the GDP in 1996, 1997 and 1999 only stood at 39%, 39.4 %, and 40% respectively and as at first quarter of 2012 stood at 34.47% National Bureau of Statistics (NBS, 2012).

Agriculture is the main occupation of Kaduna State and major source of livelihood, the sector remains the largest employer of labour, which is key contributor to wealth, income and poverty alleviation. It is estimated that about 60% of Kaduna State citizens are self-employed, and 27% are employed by private enterprises while the remaining 13% are engaged in the public sector. Agriculture and related activities provide employment for 50% of the citizens, while 15% of them are engaged in retail trades, and the manufacturing sector employs just 5% of the population. Another 5% are employed in hotels and restaurants, education or social and personal services. The State Development Plan (SDP) vision for the sector is to be a leading sector in Kaduna State, spearheading sustainable agricultural development and the overall goal of the state is to improve quality of life for Kaduna State citizen ( Bodams, 2015).

Small scale irrigation is one of the most useful irrigation systems designed to increase production and productivity and reduces risk related with rainfall variability and increasing employment opportunity of rural farm households indeed (Surojit, 2016).

Small scale irrigation tomato contributes to the overall livelihood improvement through increased income, food security, employment opportunity, social needs fulfillment and poverty reduction. It Increases agricultural production through diversification and intensification of crops grown, increased household income because of on/off/non-farm employment, source of animal feed, improving human health due to balanced diet and easy access and utilization for medication, soil and ecology degradation prevention and asset ownership are contributions of irrigation farming (Asayehegn, 2012)

Unemployment always increase whenever an economy experienced a recession, and in the case of Nigeria where the unemployment rate was already high and rising even when the economy was growing strongly, it implies a recession would lead to an even sharper rise in unemployment than would normally have been expected,(National Bureau of  Statistics (NBS 2017).

Although, the unemployment rate in Nigeria went by 18.8% in Q3 2017 from 13.9% recorded in Q3 of 2016, marking the highest jobless rate since 2009 (Frank2017).On yearly basis, the unemployment rate increased by 4.9 percentage points while quarter-on-quarter it increased by 2.6 percentage points, as unemployment rate was 16.2% in Q2 2017. Therefore, this project would look at the contributions of small-scale irrigation of tomato farming in reducing unemployment, poverty and improving farmers’ livelihood in Ikara local government Area of Kaduna State.

Kaduna state is the highest tomato producer in Nigeria. The Growth and Employment in the States (GEMS, 2015) stated that Kaduna state produced 1,095,513 tonnes of tomato. Ikara Local Government Area alone produced 105,113tonnes in dry season. This vindicates clearly that there is need to conduct a research on small scale tomato production in the study area.

The joint partnership between Springfield Agro and Kaduna State government is expected to reduce the country’s tomato imports and create about 1000 direct jobs for the rural community with a spin-off that will create other indirect numerous jobs to the residents within the community.

With the ban on tomato paste importation, there is the need to look inward. The Ikara tomato processing plant has been in existence there for over twenty years but only operated for two years before it was abandoned. The factory is situated at the tomato belt area of the state. With this, Springfield Agro would be able to address the issue of wastage in the tomato value chain, (Victor 2016).

The people of Ikara Local Government Area of Kaduna State are mainly small-scale farmers. They engage in agricultural production both in the raining and dry seasons. Tomato production is one of the major dry season farming activities in the area. Tomato is a versatile and widely grown vegetable throughout the world in nearly every home garden; both in wet and dry seasons cropping system contribute immensely to the national development. Therefore, the bulk production of tomato is in the dry season cropping system when farmers depend totally on irrigation. Nigeria is ranked the second largest producer of tomato in Africa and fifteenth largest producer in the World (Food and Agriculture Organization, 2014). It is in this regard that this study investigates the economic effect of small scale irrigation tomato farming on employment generation in Ikara local Government area of Kaduna state.

1.2       Statement of Research Problem

Nigeria ranks as the second highest producer of tomatoes in Africa, the country is 15th in the world, (FAOSD, 2016), but Nigeria is not on the list of official exporting countries of tomato or tomato products, rather Nigeria import both fresh and processed tomatoes. A whooping N11.7 billion is spent annually to import processed tomato paste into the country. The productivity and economic value of this vegetable crop in Nigeria is hindered by an array of factors that make its cultivation difficult and cumbersome. Pests and diseases are major factors in the low tomato production; Storage technologies for the fruit need to be modernized to avoid post- harvest losses. Farmers usually practice rain fed agriculture and at the peak of the season there is a market glut that results in very high loss (Jauro 2011).

Nigeria consumes over 2.3 million tons of tomatoes annually while it currently produces about 1.8 million tones locally (Walumbe, 2016).Only 50% (0.9 million tons) of the produce makes it from farm to fork, thereby, creating an immediate gap of 1.4 million tones to filled. The gap is essentially filled via importation, a scenario which put more pressure on the demand for the already scarce US dollars.

Kaduna State is of strategic importance in the overall national output of tomato, contributing over 817,300 metric tons of tomatoes from 79,200 hectares of land (KADP, 2007). Tomatoes are observed to be massively produced in the state around November to May, to meet the demand in the northern and southern parts of the country. In spite of the potentials of dry-season tomato production, people have been crying for unemployment in the study area.  For many decades, farmers engaged in the rain- fed tomato farming. Therefore, in the dry season farmers remained idle. The poverty situation in the dry season necessitated some people to engage in irrigation tomato farming in the study area.

The problem inherited in tomato farming in Ikara local Government Area of Kaduna State is basically seasonal farming (rain fed). The heavy reliance on rain fed agriculture which caused a widespread unemployment and poverty among the people in the dry season. In respond to these challenges of unemployment and poverty among farming communities in Ikara Local Government area, some small-scale farmers engaged in irrigation tomato farming system in the study area. Therefore, people engage in tomato irrigation farming in order to increase tomato output, income and serve as an impetus to employment generation. Sani (2016) stated that the idleness and poverty situation more especially in the dry season forced most people to look inward for the lasting solution to their problems. One of the solutions to their problem is irrigation farming which would serve as an additional sources of income and create job opportunity. Hence, farmers need to engage in tomato farming all year round.

In the same vein, Kaduna State is blessed with abundant natural resources and having arable land, but using traditional farming. According to Kaduna State Governor (Elrufai, 2016), agriculture must promote agriculture in bit to diversify the economy of the state. In determination to generate jobs and reduce our reliance on the Federal Government for revenues, the state initiated investor friendly policies in agriculture, with emphasis on tomato production.

The agricultural policies are aimed at agrarian reform through the introduction of modern farming techniques referred to as protective farming system, which could make tomato production attractive, create employment opportunities for the youths, and to prove that agriculture could serve as the nation‘s dependable and sustainable alternative source of income /revenue generation (El-Rufai, 2016). In pursuance of this objective, a comprehensive Farm Centers were established and operated in each of the three Senatorial Zones of the State. Some of the activities carried out by the center or agency includes; provision of agricultural inputs, effective and efficient training of farmers on tomato production, Government in its response and commitment to stimulate development, has tried to encourage more local production of imported, processed tomato pure and develop policies and programs aimed at increasing supply of tomato product, such programs include the provision of necessary farm inputs (such as fertilizers, insecticides, and improved seeds) at heavily subsidized rates to farmers, the provision of credit facilities as well as the development of agro-industrial projects designed to enable the farmers to participate in agricultural production (APDN,2009).

Through its recent policy, the federal government has banned the importation of tomato paste, powder, or concentrate for retail sales, as well as of preserved tomatoes. It also increased tariff for tomato concentrate, presumably for commercial use from 5 to 50 per cent in order to revive the tomato sector in addition to 1,500 per metric tonne (Ndubuisi, 2017). The main government’s objective is to boost tomato production, improving the value chain and attracting investment, adding that is expected to create at least 60,000 additional jobs in fresh fruit production and processing.

 National Fadama Projects has pledged to support women and youth groups engaged in tomato production in Kaduna State. The coordinator expressed satisfaction with the level of participation of youths and women in Ikara and Soba Local Government Areas in tomato production and pledged more support to them. “The good thing is that the two local government areas have imbibed the culture of using improved seedlings based on their experience in 2016 training they received as well as the technical assistance (Adewumi, 2017).

Therefore, it is imperative to conduct a research on small scale irrigation tomato farming in the study area. For instance, the study on economic analysis of tomato production under small scale irrigation by Jauro (2011), revealed that irrigated tomato production is profitable and inputs were inefficiently utilized and hence there is need for resources adjustment. In related work by Ahmed (2011), who wrote on Comparative analysis of tomato production among farmers using informal and formal credit sources in Kano state. The study revealed that most of the input resources used by the two groups of farmers were not enough from both side, this affect tomato production adversely.

The empirical literature investigated by the study shows that there is need to carry out a research on an economic effect of small scale irrigation tomato farming on employment generation in Ikara local Government area. Jauro (2011) admitted that further research along this line is required in order to establish more comprehensive nature of irrigation tomato farming.

In view of the above contestation, and in the absence of compelling and prevailing empirical evidence on tomato farming under small scale irrigation in Ikara Local Government area of Kaduna State. This study became imperative to answer these questions

1.3       Research Questions

This study therefore attempts to provide answers to the following questions.

i.        Does small scale irrigation tomato farming affect employment opportunity in Ikara Local Government Area?

ii.      How profitable is small scale irrigation tomato farming in Ikara Local Government        Area?

iii.    How does small scale irrigation tomato farming affect the farmers’ livelihood in Ikara Local Government Area?

1.4       Objective of the Study

The broad objective of this study is to determine the economic effect of small-scale irrigation tomato farming on employment generation in Ikara Local Government area of Kaduna State. The specific objectives are to:

i.        Determine the effect of small scale irrigated tomato farming on employment in Ikara Local Government area;

ii.      Ascertain the profitability of small scale irrigation tomato farming in Ikara Local                    Government area;

iii.    Examine the effect of  small scale irrigation tomato farming on famers’ livelihood  in Ikara Local Government area; 

1.5       Hypotheses

In line with the objectives of the study, the study seeks to test the following null hypotheses.

Ho1: The small scale dry-season tomato farming has no significant effect on employment generation in Ikara Local Government area.

Ho 2: The small-scale irrigation tomato farming is not profitable in Ikara Local Government area.

Ho 3: The small-scale irrigation tomato farming has not improved the farmers’ livelihood in the study area.

1.6       Significance of the study

This study is an attempt to analyze the economic effect of small scale irrigation tomato farming on employment generation in Ikara Local Government Area of Kaduna state, with a view to contribute to the existing knowledge in tomato farming. There are various studies on tomato production, but not much appear to have been done to x-ray the economic effect of small scale irrigation tomato farming on employment opportunity as well as the impact of small scale irrigated tomato farming on the farmers' livelihood in Ikara Local Government Area. This study also seeks to know how this project is locally adaptable, provides solutions to unemployment, stress and shocks in the tomato farming.

The government and its agencies will find this study in formulating policies and directives for the development of the small-scale irrigation tomato farming in Ikara Local Government Area and Nigeria in general.

The study will educate small scale irrigation tomato farmers on how to use inputs effectively and efficiently in the study area. Lastly the study will be significant to academia and policy makers in the country.

1.7   Scope of the Study

This study is limited to a period of 2016/2017 small scale irrigation tomato farming in Ikara local Government Area of Kaduna state.  Two wards in the Local Government Area were selected as the sample size in this study based on the probability sampling (multi-stage sampling techniques). This is because of the availability of Fadamas, earth dam and irrigation facilities. The two wards are Ikara and Jamfalan wards in Ikara Local Government Area.

 For this research, a primary source of data collection through administration of questionnaire was used. The period spans from October 2016 to May 2017 which is a dry season period for irrigation tomato farming in the study area. The data were analyzed using regression, gross margin and descriptive statistics in order to achieve the objectives of this study. The farmers livelihood was measured based on the asset, purchased made by farmers from the income they realized from the tomato farming and how the cater for their family needs in the study area.   

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