ESTIMATION OF MAIZE SEED REPLACEMENT RATE AMONG SMALLHOLDER FARMERS IN NORTH WEST, NIGERIA
Keywords:Farmers, Maize, Replacement, Seed, Smallholder.
The study estimated the seed replacement rate among smallholder maize producers in North-Western Nigeria. A survey of smallholder maize production for 3 seasons was conducted in Kaduna, Kano and Katsina. Multi-stage sampling was used to select 374 smallholder maize farmers who replaced seed and those not. Cross-sectional data were collected using structured questionnaires and the data collected was analyzed using SPSS version 20 and Excel worksheets for the following: descriptive statistics; logit regression model and seed replacement rate. The mean age of the farmers was 46 years; 48.7% had 10 – 19 years of experience and 74.1% had formal education with a mean household size of 12 people. From the findings, the majority of the farmers 55.1% belong to farmers' associations with a minimum household income from maize production of N 60,000 per annum. The result revealed farming experience and cooperative membership as the positive and significant socio-economic variables that influence smallholder producer seed replacement. From the findings also 98.9% of the respondents were aware of seed replacement and 85.3% practiced it during the study period. The majority of the respondents 57.1% had 49 – 92% seed replacement rate. Inadequate seed management information was ranked 1st constraint to the seed-replaced farmers while non-seed replace farmers ranked low fodder yield as their 1st constraint to seed replacement. The study concluded that significant number of smallholder maize farmers are aware and practice seed replacement but not at 100% replacement rate. The study recommended encouraging other farmers to join cooperatives societies; seed system monitoring by the NASC be strengthened; and seminars/campaigns to build the capacity of the downstream seed marketers and farmers by the government, researchers and NGOs.
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