This study was carried out to determine adoption of recommended onion production practices in Goronyo Local Government Area of Sokoto State, Nigeria. A multistage sampling procedure was used in this study. Random sampling was used in selecting four villages out of eleven villages from the study area. These villages were Shinaka, Kwakwazo, Kojio and Goronyo. The sample size was 120 onion farmers from the sampling frame of those villages. Descriptive statistics, multiple regression and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were used to analyse the data. The result showed that, about 35.00% with mean age of 45.69 of the respondents were between ages of 41-50. Also 56.70 percent of the respondents had only Koranic education. About 27.50 percent had 6-10 numbers of people in their household. Majority of the respondents 51.67 percent had been in onion production for above 15years. Also 68.30% of the respondents had contact with extension agents but not frequently (greater than 6 times in 2012). The result also shows that the mean credit received was N 38,708.33, and majority of the respondents obtained yield of 20,0001-50,000kg/ha. The result also showed that the average mean yield of the respondents was 32.175 tonnes/ha. The results of multiple regression revealed that farming experience, age, complexity, household size, were negatively significant at different levels of probabilities while credit and compatibility were positively significant at different probability levels with an R2 value of 0.75. Result from the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), shows that there was no significant relationship between adoption of the recommended onion production practices and onion output, and level of living. Therefore, the null hypotheses were accepted and alternative hypotheses were rejected for output and level of living from onion production. For the income null hypothesis was rejected while the alternative hypothesis was accepted. It was discovered that inadequate storage facilities, inadequate capital and high cost of labour were the major constraints faced by onion farmers. It is recommended that adult education and pre-season training should be organized for onion farmers; farmers should form cooperatives groups for, farm inputs, credit, labour and marketing of onion in order to enhance the adoption of recommended onion production practices (ROPPs) and improve onion productivity in the study area. However, it is desirable and therefore suggested that the following areas be probed for further research. Comparative studies should be conducted to find out the difference in yields between the recommended onion production practices and traditional practices in the study area. It is recommended that future study should consider income of the respondents before and after adoption of recommended onion production practices in the study area.
1.1 Background to the Study
Agriculture is derived from two Latin words ―ager‖ and ―cultura‖. ―Ager‖ means land, while ―cultura means to till or to cultivate. Therefore, we can define agriculture as the tilling of the land (Kasim, 2001). In Nigeria, agriculture is still the nations‘ main economic bedrock employing 70-80% of the total population, mostly on a subsistence level. Despite its pivotal role to the nation‘s economy, agriculture contributes only 25-30% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The sector suffered neglect during the oil boom years (late 70‘s and early 80‘s). However, significant improvements in food production have been recorded between 1986 and 1990 with an average annual growth rate of 3.6% and a rise in the level of domestic self-sufficiency (Adeagbo, 2011). Atala (1988) observed that the role of extension is particularly important primarily because of the low productivity of farmers arising mainly from the use of traditional technologies, as such the introduction of improved inputs and agricultural practices are prerequisite for increase production in particular and agricultural development in general. Mijindadi (1985) reported that the sharp decline in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the
1970‘s led to the initiation of a number of Federal and State Government‘s strategies for agricultural and rural development.
Onion (Allium cepa L.) is believed to have originated in the near east in an area which includes Iran, Afghanistan and West Pakistan. It has been grown in the West African savanna for a very long time for both food and cash (Kassam, 2011).