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Seedlings and Surplus – Agricultural Business in Ekiti State

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Seedlings and Surplus – Agricultural Business in Ekiti State

  1. 1. Seedlings and Surplus – Agricultural Business in Ekiti State Abstract: Seedlings and Surplus – Agricultural Movement in Ekiti StateThe paper argues that apart from man and nature, the most critical resource inagriculture is seedlings and that investment in quality seedlings distributed freeto farmers and followed by improved farmer coverage will ensure selfsufficiency and production surplus in Ekiti State within two farming seasons.The Government must, therefore, plan to effectively funnel the surplus intocommercial and industrial production with the ultimate goal of a private sectorled agric-economy.SEEDLINGS AND SURPLUS – AGRICULTURAL BUSINESS INEKITI STATE • Man is not a figure in the landscape, He is the shaper of the landscape • Nature, that is evolution, has not fitted man to any environment. His imagination, reason, emotional subtlety and toughness make it possible for him not to accept the environment but to change it• Man must dominate his environment in the most important aspect.Jacob Bronowski, mathematician, biologist, polymath and historian of science,1908 – 1974EKITI STATE: LAND OF HONOURThe foundation of Honour is wisdom, it flows from the fountain of knowledge • Created 1st October, 1996 • Population: 2,384,212 (2006 estimate) – 75%in agriculture and agro-related vocation households • Area – 6353 sq.km or 2452.9 sq. mls • 16 Local Government Areas • Per Capita Income – $1.169 or N187,000.00 • Important Arable Crops- Rice, Cassava, Yam, Maize, cowpea, cocoyam   1  
  2. 2. • Important tree crops - cocoa, kola nut, timber, oil palm, citrus, plantain, cashew, mango • River/Reservoir– ogbese (ago aduloju), ireje, oni, egbe(little ose), ogbese, itapaji, ero, aiyede.• Minerals – clay, kaolin, columbite, lassirite, foundry sand, bauxite,clarcomite, charcoalmite , granite, feldspar, marbleIn addition to nature and man, the most important resource to agriculture isseed, be it crop, animal or fish.BASIC GENETICS OF WHEAT BREAD • A bit of genetics of bread wheat will show that importance of seed not only to Agriculture but civilization • Accident of nature at the end of the ice age • Wild wheat with 14 chromosommes + natural goat grass with 14 chromosomes = emmer with 28 chromosomes • Emmer with 28 chromosomes + natural goat grass = wheat bread with 42 chromosomes beginning of man-aided cultivation of crops • One of the chromosommes with special mutation • Jerichoearly agriculture • Underlies the importance of seed to civilisation and switch from nomad life to village/city life (Bakhtiari in Persia (Iran) are still nomads today following the annual trail of the reindeer)OPENING STATEMENTS • Seed has always been critical to man survival and prosperity. • Investment in quality seedlings, free distribution of same to farmers will substantially increase harvest leading to self sufficiency and massive surplus into farming seasons. • The Ekiti State Government must challenge itself by turning agriculture from an agendum in the eight point agenda to an agricultural movement.   2  
  3. 3. • That can be achieved by enlarged farmers coverage in free seed distribution and crop intensification to the extent that the 75% farmer household of its population become the foot soldiers and part of the agricultural movement. • Government policy focus thereafter must explore fully the linkage between agri-surplus, commercialization and industrialization and the ultimate goal of a private sector led agri-economy.CULTIVATED PRODUCTION AND YIELD OF CROPS GROWN INEKITI 2010 AREA YEILD IN PRODUCTS CULTIVATEDS/N CROPS TONS/HA (‘000MT) (000HA) 2010 2010A Cereals maize 162.86 2.17 352.53 Rice 119.11 2.27 Root and tubers –B 82.4 18.85 1552.87 yam Cassava 88.68 19.42 1722.53 Sweet potato 2.4 7.56 18.14 Cocoyam 23.84 11.44 272.66 Legumes –C 21.46 1.42 30.40 Cowpea Soyabean 4.93 1.45 7.14 Mellon 2.59 1.93 TT   3  
  4. 4. INCREASED CROP YIELD BASED ON CURRENT AGRO-PRACTICEBUT IMPROVED SEEDLING I II III IV V VI VII YIELD/ha PRODUC AREA IN TONS IMPROVED YEILD/ha (000MT PROUCTS S/N CROPS CULTIVATED (CURRENT SEEDLING IN TONS BASED O (000MT) (000HA) SEED VARIETY IMPROVE VARIETY) SEEDLIN Cereals Western Yel- A 162.86 2.17 352.53 5 814.3 maize low Farz 7 Rice 119.11 2.27 270.3797 NERICA 4 476.44 B Cassava 88.68 19.42 1772.53 TMS 0203 31 2749.08 Yam 82.4 18.85 1552.87 TDr89/02461 30 2472.00 LOCAL IMPROVEDS/N CROPS YEILD MATURITY YEILD MATUR VARIETY VARIETY 10 to 12 Amenolado 0.78 ton /ha CRIN SYN 3 3.3 tons 3 YearsA Cocoa years CRIN SYN 4 2.0 – 3.0 tons 3 Years 2000nuts/tree/ Nitida 250nuts/ tree/year 8 to 10 years Hybrid 5 years Kola YearB Nitida 2000nuts/tree/ Acuminata 250nuts/ tree/year 8 to 10 years Hybrid 5 years Year Oil TeneraC Oil Palm 1 ton 7 – 10 years 3.5 tons 3 years Palm hybrids   4  
  5. 5. Tilapia YY 1kg – Table 9 – 15 1 kg TableD Tilapia Tilapia Male 4 – 6 mo size/Indeterminate months size (masculinise) • From the above tables, it is clear that it is possible to substantially increase agricultural produce figures in one farming without changing current agro-technology • As seen above, the increase in yield in maize is 131%; Rice is 70%, Cassava is 55% and Yam is 60%. • Introduction of improved agro-technology will catalyze the process • Within two farming seasons, Ekiti State can achieve self- sufficiency and also generate considerable surplus. Actions to Drive Harvest Surplus • Government must focus on selected strategic arable crops, in the first phase of the Agricultural Movement, based on current agro- technology and farmers’ familiarity - rice, maize, cassava and yam tuber and for tree crops –cocoa and kolanut. • Heavy investment in the procurement and propagation of quality seedlings for free distribution to farmers. • Modern Agriculture is high knowledge process – linkage between the University of Ekiti, Ministries of Agric and Education, Science and Technology is imperative. • Such collaboration makes easier the development of agric- laboratory, cultivar, germ plasma, genome bank, year round farmers’ metrological support, continuous improvement and evaluation of seedlings and agro-practice.   5  
  6. 6. • To ensure availability - Seed Nurseries must be established, sustained and fully funded with at least one in each of the 16 LGAs. • Coverage of a substantial number of the farming population - 50% in the first farming season and 75% from the second season resulting in an agricultural movement. • Government must empower the Ministry of Agriculture and related Agencies to expand the current farmers support program – inputs, land clearing, market management and information systems. • Within the overall agriculture movement plan of action: • The Rivers/reservoir systems must be audited for sustainable predatory load and stocked with fingerlings. • River/Reservoir beds must be reclaimed for farming year round with simple surface intake irrigations systems. • Particular attention must also be given to the seeds in the livestock and fisheries subsector with procurement, domiciliation and propagation of fish seeds, especially, the YY Male Tilapia for free distribution for aqua-culture, farming and rivers and reservoir stocking. • Domestication and propagation of grand and parent stock for poultry – e.g. NAPRI Shika brown poultry and the NAPRI breed of cattle and other proven domestic breeds or domesticated imported breeds. SUSTAINING THE GAINS FROM SURPLUS - The simple value chain efficiency audit • Looking at each link on the value chain to improve efficiency of the gains assisting government policy makers to see various effective intervention points. • Example 1- Cassava – Products – Gari, Cassava pellets, Cassava Flakes, Cassava Flour, Cassava Industrial Starch, Ethanol/Biofuel. Farm Gate Processing- because of weight, Cassava (80% water) and yield best within 24 hours Gari, Cassava Pellets, Cassava Flakes   6  
  7. 7. Cottage/small scale plant – farmers and small scale processors Provision/or support by Government/MDA for small machines – grater, presser, pelletizer, fryer Cassava Flour, Industrial Starch, Ethanol/Biofuel Medium/ Large Scale Processors Size, technology and funding dictates PPP and Private Sector Government policy must be strong on incentive and guidance but minimal on shareholding, day to day operations and control • Example 2 – Maize - Products – Animal feed, corn flour, corn oil, ethanol/biofuel Animal Feed, Corn flour Cottage/small scale plant – farmers and small scale processors Provision/or support by Government/MDA for small machines – dehusker, grater, mil Animal Feed, Corn Flour, Corn Oil, Ethanol/biofuel Medium/ Large Scale Processors Size, technology and funding dictates PPP and Private Sector. Government policy must be strong on incentive and guidance but minimal on shareholding and day to day operations and control. GOVERNMENT POLICY OPTIONS • Long Term Perspective Plan looking beyond political tenure providing framework for agricultural activities and investment climate for private and out of state investors. • Identification and courting of private sector investors for PPP or private investment in agricultural production which becomes easier with proven government drive for abundant raw materials. • Government must have strong incentive regime for PPP and private sector investors. This might include but not limited to: (1) one-stop shop for approval to set up industry and processing plants.   7  
  8. 8. (2) mini agric-industrial estate in each of the 16 LGAs with basic infrastructures – light, internal road network, water and even warehouse/factory spaces ready for industrial machines. • Government must stabilize market prices for farmers in the short- run and work had for conversion into intermediate and final industrial products in the medium term and long term. • Government must consciously drive the inter-relationship between inventions, science, education and agricultural practice by intensive funding research and extension activities bringing together the Ministries of Agriculture and Education, Science and Technology and the Ekiti State University. • Government must de-emphasize wholly owned state enterprises and grow enterprises based on PPP where it is the minor investor, encourage also private sector investors. The ultimate goal, in the long term, should be a private sector led agro-economy.     8  

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