1.1 Background of the study
All living organisms require food. Plants can make their food themselves. Animals including humans cannot make their own food. The energy from food is utilized by organisms for carrying out their various body functions, such as digestion, respiration and excretion. We get our food from plants, or animals or both.
When plants of the same kind are grown and cultivated at one place on a large scale, it is called a crop. For example, crop of wheat means that all the plants grown in a field are that of wheat. Crops are of different types like cereals, vegetables and fruits. These can be classified on the basis of the season in which they grow. The climatic conditions like temperature, humidity and rainfall vary from one region to another.
No doubt, agriculture is the most important user of environmental services including water, forest, pastures and soil nutrients. Hence, intensive land use without appropriate soil management practices leads to environmental degradation. A sustainable agriculture has been defined to be one that over a long term enhances environmental quality and resource based on which agriculture depends, provide for basic human food and fibre needs is economically viable, and enhances the quality of life of farmers and society as a whole.
Agriculture has 3 main spheres viz., Geoponic (Cultivation in earth-soil), Aeroponic (cultivation in air) and Hydroponic (cultivation in water). Agriculture is the branch of science encompassing the applied aspects of basic sciences. The applied aspects of agricultural science consists of study of field crops and their management (Arviculture) including soil management.
Crop production – It deals with the production of various crops which includes food crops, fodder crops, fibre crops, sugar, oil seeds etc. It includes agronomy, soil science, entomology, pathology, microbiology etc. The aim is to have better food production and how to control the diseases.
Horticulture – It is a branch of agriculture that deals with the production of flowers, fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants, spices, condiments (includes narcotic crops-opium etc. which has medicinal value) and beverages.
Agricultural Engineering – It is an important component for crop production and horticulture particularly to provide tools and implements. It is aiming to produce modified tools to facilitate proper animal husbandry and crop production tools, implements and machinery in animal production.
Forestry – It deals with production of large scale cultivation of perennial trees for supplying wood, timber, rubber etc. and also raw materials for industries.
Animal Husbandry – The animals being produced, maintained etc. Maintenance of various types of livestock for direct energy (work energy). Husbandry is common for both crop and animals. The arrangement of crops is done to get minimum requirement of light or air. This arrangement is called geometry, husbandry is for direct and indirect energy.
Fishery Science – It is for marine fish and inland fishes including shrimps and prawns.
Home Science – Application and utilization of agricultural produces in a better manner, when utilization is enhanced production is also enhanced. e.g. a crop once in use in south was found that it had many uses now.
Agriculture provides food, feed, fibre, fuel, furniture, raw materials and materials for and from factories, provides a free fare and fresh environment, abundant food for driving out famine, favours friendship by eliminating fights. Satisfactory agricultural production brings peace, prosperity, harmony, health and wealth to individuals of a nation by driving away distrust, discord and anarchy. It helps to elevate the community consisting of different castes and clauses, thus it leads to a better social, cultural, political and economical life. Agricultural development is multidirectional having galloping speed and rapid spread with respect to time and space. After green revolution, farmers started using improved cultural practices and agricultural inputs in intensive cropping systems with labourer intensive programmes to enhance the production potential per unit land, time and input. It provided suitable environment to all these improved genotypes to foster and manifest their yield potential in newer areas and seasons. Agriculture consists of growing plants and rearing animals in order to yield, produce and thus it helps to maintain a biological equilibrium in nature.
- Statement of the problem
The failure of crop production in Edo state has been explained by many as being the result of it’s shortcomings. A more fundamental reason for the failure is a result of inappropriate choice of equipment leading to production problem. One of the major problem militating against the growth of crop production in the state is the lack of adaptability and performance of commercially available agricultural equipment as related to the types and condition of soil and crops. If this lack is properly tackled then there will be an increase in the path of crop production in the state.
- Objectives of the study
The main objective of the study is to find out the solutions militating against crop production in Ovia North East L.G.A of Edo state. However for the successful completion of the study, the following sub objectives were put forward by the researcher:
(i)To determine the different farm varietal trials on crops for method and oriented demonstration purposes.
(ii)To expose the farmers to the practice of land evaluation and management.
(iii)To find out the solutions militating against crop production.
(iv)To expose the farmers to the basic principles of crop production, protection and breeding.
- Research question
For the successful completion of the study, the following research questions were formulated:
(i)How can the different farm varietal trials on crops for method and oriented demonstration purposes be determined?
(ii)What are the ways of exposing the farmers to the practice of land evaluation and management?
(iii)How can the solutions militating against crop production be found?
(iv)In what ways can the farmers be exposed to the basic principles of crop production, protection and breeding?
1.5 Significance of the study
At the successful completion of the study, the findings will be of much benefit to the farmers that are mainly into crop farming, it will also be of great benefit to the marketers whose primary responsibility is to make sure that the products harvested from the farm gets to the final consumers.
Finally, the study will be of great importance to the academia’s as it will add to the pool of knowledge.
1.6 Scope and limitation of the study
The scope of the study is to find out the solutions militating against crop production in Ovia North East L.G.A of Edo state. However, the study has some constrained and limitations which are:
(a) Availability of research material: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.
(b) Time: 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
It is a circumstance, fact or influence that contributes to a result.
It is a (fact or circumstance) be a powerful or conclusive factor in preventing.
Crop production is a branch of agriculture that deals with growing crops for use as food and fiber.