Developing the agricultural sector remains a critical factor towards the achievement of sustainable food production and, indeed, global food security. While indigenous agricultural knowledge is of immense value in improving food production, its documentation and dissemination remain a big challenge confronting librarians and other information professionals, particularly in Africa where cultural practices are prevalent. This study is aimed at analyzing rice farmers use of indigenous agricultural practice towards rice production in Lagos state . It is also aimed at determining the agricultural indigenous practices that have been documented as well as the obstacles to the documentation of agricultural indigenous knowledge.
- Background of the study
Rice production started in Nigeria in 1500 B. C. with the low yielding indigenous red grain specie, Oryza glaberrima, which was widely grown in the Niger Delta area The high-yielding white grain, Oryza sativa, was introduced in about 1890 and by 1960 had accounted for more than sixty percent of the rice grown in the country. Today, rice is cultivated in virtually all the agro ecological zones of Nigeria. Adewale (2002) observes that the emphasis on rice consumption has shifted from its ceremonial status to a staple food in the country In spite of the widespread cultivation and consumption of rice in Nigeria, the local production has been found to be always short of the demand for the commodity (Wudiri and Fatoba, 1992). In order to improve the output of domestic rice production, programs embodying imported technologies have been introduced and executed. Such programs include Special Rice Scheme, National Accelerated Food Production Program (NAFPP), and River Basin Development Program. In spite of these programs, rice production level remains unsatisfactory. Adewale (2002) suggests this might be due to the neglect of the development of appropriate technology for local rice farmers based on their indigenous knowledge and practices. Adekunle and Okunlola (1997) observe that despite the fact that Nigerian rural communities (which produce the greatest amount of food for the country and excess for export) have produced their own food, made their own farm implements, and conducted their own farming activities, the role of indigenous knowledge (IK) used has not been appreciated. Kolawole (2002) claims that rural people to which all research development efforts are directed have their own body of knowledge that enables them arrive at decisions which would better their lots. Brokensha et al (1980) had warned “to ignore rural people’s knowledge, otherwise known as indigenous knowledge, which respects the expertise of indigenous people has come to be regarded as a major contribution to development thinking” (Osunade, 1996). Researchers have observed that indigenous agricultural practices are cost-effective and pose less production risks and environmental degradation (Hansen and Erbaugh, 1987; Vanek, 1989; and Alcorn, 1991). Considering the ever growing importance of rice in the diet of Nigerians and the desire for sustainable local production, this study focused on the use of indigenous rice production knowledge system among rice farmers in Lagos State of Nigeria. The personal characteristics of the rice farmers were examined, various indigenous knowledge practices identified and the factors associated with the use of such systems investigated.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Agricultural indigenous knowledge (AIK) offers great opportunities for improved agricultural production and sustainable food security. Many authors have recognized it as an important source of developmental information (Anyira, 2010) and have recommended its proper documentation and dissemination for sustainable agricultural development. In Nigeria, much of AIK has been lost because of lack of documentation. It is, therefore, imperative to create awareness and bring critical issues relating to the documentation and dissemination of AIK to the front burner so that its potentials can be harnessed to engender sustainable food production to combat imminent food crisis.
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is on analysis of rice farmers use of indigenous agricultural practice in Lagos state. However, for the successful completion of the study, the researcher set the following sub-objectives
- To ascertain the importance of indigenous knowledge in rice production
- :To evaluate the role of indigenous knowledge in ensuring food security
- To ascertain the relationship between indigenous knowledge of rice production and scientific approach
- To ascertain the efficiency of indigenous knowledge in rice production in Lagos state.
- RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of the study, the following hypotheses were formulated:
H0: Indigenous agricultural practice has no significant importance in rice production.
H1: Indigenous agricultural practice has significant importance in rice production.
H0: There is no significant relationship between indigenous approach of rice farming and scientific approach to rice farming.
H1: There is a significant relationship between indigenous approach of rice farming and the scientific approach to rice farming.
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great benefit to the ministry of agriculture in organizing seminars and workshops for rice farmers in the state. The study will also be of importance to the farmers of rice to enable them improved on their indigenous approach of production to enhance higher quantity. The study will also be of benefit to researchers to enable them document some of these indigenous knowledge so that it benefit is not loss with time and it will also serve reference purposes, finally the study will also be of benefit to academia’s as it will add to the body of knowledge.
- SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers analysis of rice farmers use of indigenous agricultural practice in Lagos state. However the researcher encounter some limitations in the cause of the study, some of these constrain are:
(a) Availability of research materials: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
(b)Time factor: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
(c)Finance: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Agriculture is the cultivation and breeding of animals, plants and fungi for food, fiber, biofuel, medicinal plants and other products used to sustain and enhance human life. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the development of civilization. The study of agriculture is known as agricultural science. The history of agriculture dates back thousands of years, and its development has been driven and defined by greatly different climates, cultures, and technologies. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture farming has become the dominant agricultural methodology.
A farmer (also called an agriculturer) is a person engaged in agriculture, raising living organisms for food or raw materials. The term usually applies to people who do some combination of raising field crops, orchards, vineyards, poultry, or other livestock. A farmer might own the farmed land or might work as a labourer on land owned by others, but in advanced economies, a farmer is usually a farm owner, while employees of the farm are known as farm workers, or farmhands. However, in the not so distant past a farmer was a person who promotes or improves the growth of (a plant, crop, etc.) by labor and attention, land or crops or raises animals (as livestock or fish )
Rice is the seed of the grass species Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza glaberrima (African rice). As a cereal grain, it is the most widely consumed staple food for a large part of the world’s human population, especially in Asia. It is the agricultural commodity with the third-highest worldwide production, after sugarcane and maize, according to 2012 faostat data
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.