to the Study
Agriculture is the mainstay of many economies. All over the
world, the development of an enduring economy goes hand in hand with
agricultural development. Agriculture is considered a catalyst for the overall
development of any nation. It is thus a critical sector that drives the
economic development and industrialization of the developing nation like
Nigeria, and also holds the ace for reducing unemployment. Thus, its’
development is critically important for ensuring food and nutritional security,
income and employment generation, and for stimulating industrialization and
overall economic development of the country (Aliyu 2015).
Agriculture involves the science, practice, and occupation
of cultivating land and raising crops. It also involves the feeding, breeding
and raising of livestock. The main purpose of agriculture is to provide food
and raw materials for human use. It provides food for about 182million teeming
population, and contributes about 24.18 percent of the total Gross Domestic
Product (National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), 2016). However, despite the
importance of agriculture in terms of employment generation and its potential
for contributing to economic growth, it is still far from being fully exploited
(Josephine, 2016). For example in 1960, 1970 and 1980, its contribution was
only55.20%, 40.70% and 18% to GDP respectively, while its contribution to the
GDP in 1996, 1997 and 1999 only stood at 39%, 39.4 %, and 40% respectively and
as at first quarter of 2012 stood at 34.47% National Bureau of Statistics (NBS,
Agriculture is the main occupation of Kaduna State and major
source of livelihood, the sector remains the largest employer of labour, which
is key contributor to wealth, income and poverty alleviation. It is estimated
that about 60% of Kaduna State citizens are self-employed, and 27% are employed
by private enterprises while the remaining 13% are engaged in the public
sector. Agriculture and related activities provide employment for 50% of the
citizens, while 15% of them are engaged in retail trades, and the manufacturing
sector employs just 5% of the population. Another 5% are employed in hotels and
restaurants, education or social and personal services. The State Development
Plan (SDP) vision for the sector is to be a leading sector in Kaduna State,
spearheading sustainable agricultural development and the overall goal of the
state is to improve quality of life for Kaduna State citizen ( Bodams, 2015).
Small scale irrigation is one of the most useful irrigation
systems designed to increase production and productivity and reduces risk
related with rainfall variability and increasing employment opportunity of
rural farm households indeed (Surojit, 2016).
Small scale irrigation tomato contributes to the overall
livelihood improvement through increased income, food security, employment
opportunity, social needs fulfillment and poverty reduction. It Increases
agricultural production through diversification and intensification of crops
grown, increased household income because of on/off/non-farm employment, source
of animal feed, improving human health due to balanced diet and easy access and
utilization for medication, soil and ecology degradation prevention and asset
ownership are contributions of irrigation farming (Asayehegn, 2012)
Unemployment always increase whenever an economy experienced
a recession, and in the case of Nigeria where the unemployment rate was already
high and rising even when the economy was growing strongly, it implies a
recession would lead to an even sharper rise in unemployment than would
normally have been expected,(National Bureau of
Statistics (NBS 2017).
Although, the unemployment rate in Nigeria went by 18.8% in
Q3 2017 from 13.9% recorded in Q3 of 2016, marking the highest jobless rate
since 2009 (Frank2017).On yearly basis, the unemployment rate increased by 4.9
percentage points while quarter-on-quarter it increased by 2.6 percentage
points, as unemployment rate was 16.2% in Q2 2017. Therefore, this project
would look at the contributions of small-scale irrigation of tomato farming in
reducing unemployment, poverty and improving farmers’ livelihood in Ikara local
government Area of Kaduna State.
Kaduna state is the highest tomato producer in Nigeria. The
Growth and Employment in the States (GEMS, 2015) stated that Kaduna state
produced 1,095,513 tonnes of tomato. Ikara Local Government Area alone produced
105,113tonnes in dry season. This vindicates clearly that there is need to
conduct a research on small scale tomato production in the study area.
The joint partnership between Springfield Agro and Kaduna
State government is expected to reduce the country’s tomato imports and create
about 1000 direct jobs for the rural community with a spin-off that will create
other indirect numerous jobs to the residents within the community.
With the ban on tomato paste importation, there is the need
to look inward. The Ikara tomato processing plant has been in existence there
for over twenty years but only operated for two years before it was abandoned.
The factory is situated at the tomato belt area of the state. With this,
Springfield Agro would be able to address the issue of wastage in the tomato
value chain, (Victor 2016).
The people of Ikara Local Government Area of Kaduna State
are mainly small-scale farmers. They engage in agricultural production both in
the raining and dry seasons. Tomato production is one of the major dry season
farming activities in the area. Tomato is a versatile and widely grown
vegetable throughout the world in nearly every home garden; both in wet and dry
seasons cropping system contribute immensely to the national development.
Therefore, the bulk production of tomato is in the dry season cropping system
when farmers depend totally on irrigation. Nigeria is ranked the second largest
producer of tomato in Africa and fifteenth largest producer in the World (Food
and Agriculture Organization, 2014). It is in this regard that this study
investigates the economic effect of small scale irrigation tomato farming on
employment generation in Ikara local Government area of Kaduna state.
1.2 Statement of
Nigeria ranks as the second highest producer of tomatoes in
Africa, the country is 15th in the world, (FAOSD, 2016), but Nigeria is not on
the list of official exporting countries of tomato or tomato products, rather
Nigeria import both fresh and processed tomatoes. A whooping N11.7 billion is
spent annually to import processed tomato paste into the country. The
productivity and economic value of this vegetable crop in Nigeria is hindered
by an array of factors that make its cultivation difficult and cumbersome.
Pests and diseases are major factors in the low tomato production; Storage
technologies for the fruit need to be modernized to avoid post- harvest losses.
Farmers usually practice rain fed agriculture and at the peak of the season
there is a market glut that results in very high loss (Jauro 2011).
Nigeria consumes over 2.3 million tons of tomatoes annually
while it currently produces about 1.8 million tones locally (Walumbe,
2016).Only 50% (0.9 million tons) of the produce makes it from farm to fork,
thereby, creating an immediate gap of 1.4 million tones to filled. The gap is
essentially filled via importation, a scenario which put more pressure on the
demand for the already scarce US dollars.
Kaduna State is of strategic importance in the overall national
output of tomato, contributing over 817,300 metric tons of tomatoes from 79,200
hectares of land (KADP, 2007). Tomatoes are observed to be massively produced
in the state around November to May, to meet the demand in the northern and
southern parts of the country. In spite of the potentials of dry-season tomato
production, people have been crying for unemployment in the study area. For many decades, farmers engaged in the
rain- fed tomato farming. Therefore, in the dry season farmers remained idle.
The poverty situation in the dry season necessitated some people to engage in
irrigation tomato farming in the study area.