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Cassava Production Systems Across Some Agro-ecological Zones in South West-North West Axis of Nigeria

Keywords: Cassava , ecozones , land preparation methods , road access , gender , varieties

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Abstract:

An extensive survey was conducted in 59 villages under Ecologically Sustainable Cassava Plant Protection Project (ESCaPP) across mangrove forest, rainforest, transition forest, wet savannah and dry savannah agro-ecological zones in 1994 dry season and 1995 early planting season. The objective was to study the demographic factors such as number of adult cassava farmers, gender, literacy level, access road, nearness to market, reason for growing cassava and general production practices of the farmers in south west-northwest axis of Nigeria. It was discovered that 41.6 and 42.5% of men and women were involved in cassava production. In all the villages, cassava production is on the increase replacing fallow land. The land preparation method adopted in most of the villages was determined primarily by vegetation and the nature of the soil. In wet savannah, 89, 79 and 32% of the farmers adopted slashing/hoe, bush burning and use of tractor methods of land preparation, respectively. In all the zones, 50% of the farmers embraced the use of improved varieties of cassava; although a significant 41.6% still make use of the local varieties. The result suggested that Federal and State governments of Nigeria should improve their extension activities for more awareness of improved cassava varieties and other improved production practices.

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