Rice has increasingly become a major staple food for generality of Nigeriansurban and rural alike. Arising from the supply-demand gap in the Nigeria rice food subsector, local rice production is increasingly being promoted in the country to reduce the dependence on imports, ensure stable and sustainable low-prices, improve rice self-sufficiency and create employment. This paper therefore examines the different rice production systems across five different agroecological zones in Nigeria with a view to evolving most economical strategies to improving rice productivity in Nigeria. Data were collected from a representative sample of 149 rice farmers across five different agroecological zones in Nigeria. Representative farms operating within five production systems (upland; lowland; irrigated; upland and lowland; upland, lowland and irrigated) were employed for the analysis. Data were analysed using crop budget analysis (cost structures, net returns) and a double log production function model. The results of the analysis revealed that irrigation system and a combination of rainfed upland, lowland and irrigated system offered the best net returns in rice production. Rice yield in Nigeria was positively influenced by the quantities of fertilizer (β=0.329), agrochemical (β=0.416) and being a female rice farmer (β=0.532) but negatively influenced by the years of education (β=0.388), the quantities of seed (β=1.49) and labour use (β=0.918). It was recommended that policy efforts to boost rice yield must aim at reducing associated cost of fertilizer procurement and reducing cost of labour by encouraging mechanization of rice production in Nigeria.
Osawe OW, Akinyosoye VO, Omonona BT, Okoruwa VO and Salman KK