1.1       Background of the Study
            In spite of the dominance of petroleum as the major revenue earner in Nigeria, agriculture still constitutes a very significant sector of nation’s economy. Almost 70% of the Nigeria populace obtains their means of livelihood from agriculture which also provides raw materials for the manufacturing sector and the generation of foreign exchange (Odoemenem and Inakwu, 2011).

            Rice (Oryza Sativa) has been cultivated in parts of the Northern parts of Nigeria since the sixteenth century but its importance in the food economy of the nation dates back to the early 20th century (Agboola, 1979). Today, rice cultivated in virtually all the agro-ecological zones in Nigeria, but on a relatively small scale.
            Rice (Oryzae sativa) is the major stable food for half of the human race (Imolehin and Wada, 2000) it is the staple food of more than 60 percent of the world’s population (Richardson and stubbs, 1978). According to WARDA (1993), rice has become a staple food of considerable strategic importance in many rapidly growing African cities where its consumption among urban poor households has increased substantially. In Nigeria rice has become a major staple food in most homes today and unfortunately domestic production of this grain has not met the demand leading to food shortages. Globally, it is an important food crop which is increasingly preferred over many traditional foods such as sorghum, millet and most roots and tuber crops such as yam, cassava etc. Rice ranks third after wheat and maize in terms of worldwide production (Imolehin and Wada, 2000). Rice has the potential to improve nutrition, boost food security foster rural development and sustain land mass.
            World rice consumption rate has been increasing due to increase in population strength and importance attached to its as a stable food. Between the year 1961-2002, per capital consumption of rice in the world increased by 40%. It is perhaps the world’s most important food crop being the staple food of over 50 percent of the world’s population, particularly of Indian, china, and a number of other countries in Africa and Asia.
            Thus, rice is the most important cereals in the world after wheat and more than half of the human race needs it as source of calaries (Wakatsuki et al, 2004). It is the leading ccereal crop (Marri et al 2007). African account for about 2% of world’s Output of rice. In Nigeria rice is produced in the middle Belt, south East and some four Northern States (Audu, 2008). The importance of rice in Nigeria is no longer the question but rather, how we can meet the growing demand, reduce import and be self sufficient in its production.
            According to Atande, (2003) the demand for rice (Oryza sativa) has been increasing at much foster rate in Nigeria than in other West African countries since the mid 1970s. For example, Nigeria’s per-capital rice consumption level has grow significantly at 7.3% per annum, rising form 18kg in the 1980s to 22kg in 1990s.
            Although rice production in Nigeria has boomed over the years, there has been in a considerable lag between production and demand level with imports making up the shortfull (Atande, 2003). As peer the Nigerian agricultural policy document (Nigeria,1989), specific objective of agricultural sector policies is the attainment of self-sufficiency in basic food commodities with particular reference to those food commodities which consume considerable shares of Nigeria’s foreign exchange and which can be produced locally within the country. In this regard therefore, Nigeria will aim to be more than self-sufficient in the production of all cereals expect wheat, most roots and tubers, most grain legumes, most oil seeds and nuts, most vegetables and fruits and most vegetable oils (Atande, 2003). Going by this policy scenario therefore production of rice in Nigeria is bound to expand for several reasons; rice import consumes considerable share of Nigeria’s foreign exchange, the proportion of rice in the food basket of Nigerians has continued to raise and Nigeria has the capacity for the expansion of rice production.
            Rice (Oryza sativa) is a unique crop grown virtually all the country, because it requires a wide range of temperature between 20 and 380C during growth and a long period of sunshine (FAO, 2001). It can be grown over a wide range of ecological conditions. The prevalent types of rice production systems in Nigeria are the rainfed upland, rain fed lowland and irrigate lowland (Singh et al, 1997).
            The genus Oryza belongs to the tribe oryzeae in the sub-family pooideae of the great family Gramminae. There are 25 species of Oryza of these, only two are cultivated Oryza Sativa L. and Oryza glaberrima steud. O. Sativa is the common rice grown throughout the warncer regions of the world, whereas O. glaberrima is grown to a limited extent in the flood plain of West Africa. India and japonica are the main sub species of the genus sativa. O. glaberrima probably originated around the swampy headwaters of the Nigeria River in West Africa. Its characteristics are smooth, hairless glumes, red grains, and short legumes with roundish tops, high seed dormancy and stiff upright panicles with few or no secondary branches. It is importance in Africa is decreasing as it is being replaced by modern cultivars of Oryza sativa. O. Sativa has been cultivated in south and East Asia, since ancient times. Zhkorsky (1962) considered that O. Sativa was domesticated well over 5,000 years ago. The presence of wild rice species, the cultivar diversity, including primitive coarse grain forms and the presence of many dominant genes lend support to this view.
            In the worlds of Atande (2003) opined that the rice cropping system and the post harvest services in Nigeria encompass a wide range of agricultural activities raging from land clearing, seed bed preparation, broad casting, fertilizer application, weeding and bird scaring. Others includes harvesting, threshing, parboiling, drying, winnowing, bagging and marketing and distribution. These activities are largely executed manually and women and children the very vulnerable segments of the society are largely involved. Rice production expansion in Nigeria is therefore bound to reduce drastically the foreign exchange spending on rice importation and more importantly it could lead to the transfer to money into hands of the very vulnerable group of the Nigeria economy.
            According to Singh et al. (1997) disease and pests are important natural factors limiting the production of rice and in servere cases account for about 100% crop losses. Production of rice in Nigeria is mainly in the hands of small scale farmers who are using unimproved farming techniques. Actual yields of rice differ significantly form potential yields and this has been attribute to low productivity (FMA, 2001). Large losses occur during storage, chiefly as a result of insect and rodent damage. Fungi and bacteria may reduce the quality, if the relative humidity of the air in the storage space remains too high (above70%) or if rainwater enters the storage building. Fortunately, those losses can individually eliminated. The storage should also be fumigated to control insect damage (Onwueme, 1991). Rice has contributed to the socio-economic well-being of Nigeria both as a major element in the nation’s food security calculations and as a commodity for internal commercial transactions (FAO, 2000).
1.2             PROBLEM  STATEMENT
Despite the efforts by several government agencies in Nigeria, a wide gap continues to exist between domestic rice supply and demand in the country. The insufficiency in rice production in Nigeria has been attributed to low yield. Specifically, rice yield in dropped form about 1.5 tons per hectare in 1997 to 1.01 tons per hactare in 2010 (FAO, 2004). As a result of divergence in supply and demand gap, imported rice has continued to be source to supplement domestic production. The rice import bill for Nigeria, which was N123.61 million in 1980 (Okoriji and Onwuka, 1994), was projected to rise to N9.72 billion in year 2000 (FOS, 1998). This did not only drain the nation’s foreign exchange reserves but almost virtually cripped the domestic rice industry. In Nigeria, the diverse rice production condition cover three major ecologies of rain-fed upland, rain-fed low land and irrigated lowland (Odomenem and Inakwu, 2011).
Massive importation of Food especially rice which have hither to been a recurring policy initiative in recent years in an indication of poor state of the nation’s agricultural and technological development, occasioned by poor productive propensity of the farmers. Increase in agricultural import is a disincentive to local farmers to produce and may cause a reduction in farming population which can subsequently lead to a reduction in agricultural output.
Presently, Nigerian rice sub-sector is dominated by weak and inefficient producer-market linkages due to poor infrastructure including lack of improved processing facilities, low rice productivity, poor post- harvest handling and storage, expensive and poor access to inputs (High quality seed, fertilizing and crop protection products), inadequate market  information, lack of transparency among players, low capacity to meet quality standards, and limited efficiency distribution networks. This has declined the rice productivity and low income for the rice farmers in Nigeria, especially in Ebonyi State. In Ebonyi State, it has resulted massive loss of man power through the abandonment of the farmers and the migration of rural youths to cities in search of white collar jobs.
However, there seems to exist a gap in knowledge on the economics of rice production in Ebonyi State which has been also declining the income level of the farmers. Both Okoruwa and Ogundele (2008) and Nwaturu (2008) have noted that rice farmers in Ebonyi State are not getting maximum returns from the resources committed into their enterprises; leading to a decline in per capital food production. This situation manifests in low output per area which no doubt lead to low profitability.
This study therefore aims at examining the economic analysis of rice production in Ebonyi State. To achieve this, the following research question need to be answered.
-           What are the socio-economic characteristics of rice farmers in Ebonyi state?
-           Does rice production profitable in the study area?
-           What are the inputs used in rice production in the study area?
-           What are the related sources of  information to rice farmers in Ebonyi state?
-           What is the cost and return in rice production in the study area?
-           Does the socioeconomic characteristics of rice farmers have any effect on their output?
-           What are the major constraints to rice production in Ebonyi State?
-           What are their systems of rice production in the study area?

1.3       Objectives of the Study
            The broad objective of this study is to analyze the economic analysis of rice production in Ebonyi state. Specifically, the specific objectives are, to;
-           Describe the socio-economic characteristics of rice farmers in Ebonyi State.
-           Identify source of production-related information to the rice farmers?
-           Analyse cost and returns in rice production in the study area.
-           analyze the effect of socio-economic characteristics of rice farmers on their output in the study area.
-           Identify constraints to rice production in the study area.
1.4       Hypothesis
            Null hypothesis shall be tested in this study:
Ho: There is no relationship between the socio-economic characteristics of rice farmers and their output in the study area.

1.5       Justification for the study
            The expectation of this research work is to help the rural and urban rice farmers to know the cost and returns of rice production. This research work will also give gap for the rural and urban file producers in the study areas to have the knowledge on the economics analysis of rice production that will lead to improved managerial decisions that will improved production of rice in the study area, that is the need to have more dynamic approach to implement available knowledge while exposing ways to ameliorate the performance of the firm.
            The research work will also direct and help government and non-governmental organizations (NGOS) to form related targeted policies in the aspect of rice production. The research work would provide significant efforts towards improving the management of rice production systems and also supporting the development of agriculture in Ebonyi State.
            The students and post graduate research students in the field of agriculture especially those who are particularly interested to research on rice will find the outcome of this study  invaluable in filling existing research gap and as well in supporting their future research through available literature and result of this study.
            Furthermore, the study which shall ensure comprehensive documentation of information on rice production shall be a useful document to the general public who from time to time might consult the document for any purpose.
            Finally, the research institutes whose efforts are geared towards self-sufficiency in food productions shall re-package their programmes to suit rice farmers in Ebonyi State when they understand through these research peculiar constraints faced by Ebonyi State rice farmers. Thus, this study shall be of immense benefit to all and sundry.

            Rice production in Nigeria between 2001 and 2003 was estimated at 2.03 million mega grams. The balance of 1.90 million mega grams was obtained by importation (FAO, 2004). Total consumption stands at 29kg and has contributed to income and growth  in Nigeria rice sector (USAID, 2008). But, Nigeria is the largest producer of rice in West Africa producing over 40% of the regions total production (Singh et al, 1997 and FAOSTAT, 2007). In the last 30years production has increased 6 folds with Nigeria producing 3.3 and 3.6 million tones of paddy rice in 2000 and 2005 respectively. Nigeria is equally the largest importer of rice and its importation figure stood at 11.61 million metric tons since 2000, which is one third of the sub regions total. It has a land area potential for rice estimated at 5million hectares of which 65% are low lands. In 1999 area harvested from rice was 2.2 million hactare (FAO, 2004).
            Rice has emerged as one of the foster growing agricultural sub-sector and has moved from ceremonial to a staple food in many Nigeria homes within the last two decades (Ume et al, 2001). Majority of rice producers in Nigeria are small holders with average size than two hectares  and can be found growing in mixtures on farms.
            Rice production involves the use of resource inputs in the production of outputs. Land, labour, capital, seeds, fertilizers and management are the inputs used in rice production. The productivity of these inputs depends on the farm inputs used in conjunction with them. The rice cropping system and the post harvest services in Nigeria encompass a wide range of agricultural activities ranging from land clearing, seed bed preparation, broadcasting, fertilizer application, weeding and bird scanning. Others including harvesting, threshing, parboiling, drying, winnowing, bagging, marketing and distribution. These activities are largely executed manually and women and children from the very vulnerable segments of the society who are largely involved.
            Ecosystems for rice production are determined by the interplay of such variable as geology, climate, soil types and hydrology, vegetation and a range of socio-economic factors (Barker and herdt, 1999; WARD, 1994). Water conditions or balances and soil fertility are two major physical factors which determines productivity of rice based cropping systems (IITA, 1988, Anyaegbu, and Iloka, 1982). Rice is the only crop adapted to flooded conditions; water is the most critical limiting factor of all physical requirements.
            The general approaches to increasing rice production are boosting the yield per hectare and expansion in area under cultivation. But increasing agricultural production comes with economic, environmental and social costs that may ultimately limit growth (Bender and smith, 1997).
            Brown (1994) observed that many of the techniques used increasing yield over the past decades such as increased fertilizer use crop breeding and irrigation has been known for a century or more and may not bring much additional growth. This argument is fundamentally flowed to the extent that it does not recognize the strategies role of research and development in improving and upgrading these techniques. According 11TA(1998), constraints to rice production include shortage of farm labour, absence of  efficient farm tools, and farm machinery lack of fertilizer and credit facilities. The constraint of farm labour tends to be more of its relative cost than being in short supply.

2.2       Rice Research In Nigeria      
            Rice (Oryza globerimma Stend) is indigenous to Nigerian and has been in cultivation for the past 3500 years (Hard castle, 1959). The earliest cultivation of improved rice varieties (Oryza Sativa L.) started in about 1870 with the introduction of upland varieties to the high forest zone in western Nigeria. By 1960, O. Sativa had taken the pride of place over O. glaberimma which is now limited to some deep flood plains of Sokoto rime river Basin and other isolated pockets of deep swamps all over the country.
            Active and systematic rice research started in Nigeria in 1953 with the establishment of the Federal rice station at Badeggi, Niger state, now the headquarters of the National cereals Research institute. However, improved technologies to meet rice production needs of Nigeria weigh heavily on the side of varieties improvement, germplasm collection and conservation, to the exclusion of technologies that will releases women and children from scaring birds in the farms.  This has found expression in the continued use of women and children in rice field as bird scarers (Augustine .O. and Victor B. N.O., 2012).

2.3       Impact of rice Production on Nigerian Economy
            Rice has become a strategic Food security Crop in Nigeria today the country being the largest producer and consumer in West Africa, producing an average of 3.4 Million metric ton (MT) of paddy rice, equivalent to 1.8 million metric tons of milled rice (Daramola, 2005; UNE 2005). Before independence, rice is been treated with benign neglect as the country was self sufficient in rice production, hence, the commodity failed to attract attention in the various schemes, programmes and policies designed to initiate rapid transformation of the economy (Akpokodje, Lancon and Olaf, 2001; Akande, 2002). However, this situation has since changed a status of rice in the average diet has been transformed from being a luxury food items that it was at independence to that of a staple, taking the place of cassava, yam among others, as both the rich and  the urban poor now rely on it as a major source of calories (WARDA, 2003; 2004; Daramola, 2005). Rice consumption has been tremendously since 1970 (10.3 per cent per annum), a result of the accelerating population growth rate (2.8 percent per annum) and increasing per capita consumption (7.3 percent per annum) leading to an increase in domestic demand over domestic supply. In response to meeting the shortfall in the supply-demand gap, Nigeria government has to resort to importation of milled rice. This situation has made Nigeria to become the largest importer of rice in Africa (Daramola 2005). The consequence of this excessive importation is the huge drains on the country’s foreign exchange earning over time. The shift from a self-sufficient nation to an importing nation made rice to become a strategic commodity in Nigeria economy (Nkang et al, 2006). The desired by successive regimes to reverse this trend led to implementation of various policies and programmes. Frequently, the measures used include trade protection or enhancement, and price supports designed to increase farm income. Some of the agricultural programmes such as Agricultural Development project (ADP), Abakaliki rice project (ARP), and presidential initiative on rice (PI) etc were directed towards increased the output of rice. In spite of government intervention aimed at achieving self-sufficiency, the supply-demand gap continues to widen (National Rice Development Strategy 2009).
            In spite of the fact that rice is cultivated in virtually all the agro ecological zones in Nigeria, area cultivated to rice is still small (1.8 million hectares out of 5 million hectares). An estimate of locally produced milled rice for year 2008 was 1.8 million MT against demand of 5 million MT (NRDS, 2009). Beyond the farm gate, there are other issues of concern particularly in the down stream activities which are also constraining local supply of the commodity. These include issues like the absence of standard measures in marketing of rice, transportation and poor linkage to rice processing. All these combine with on-farm constraints to undermine the competitiveness rice production in Nigeria (Daramola, 2005; NPC, 2006).

2.4       Nigerian Rice Supply
            The output of local rice was estimated to be three million tons while the demand amounted to five million tons (Falusi, 1990). The Federal government, in an attempt to boost rice production allocated N1.5 billion for certified seeds multiplication and distribution to rice farmers (Tribune, 2004) self-sufficiency in rice production is now an important political-economic goal of the Nigeria government (Bello, 2004). As a development, it is a necessary precursor to the ultimate goal of self-reliance standards which is a desirable goal of society. Such as economic policy has major implication for the dynamics of the socio-economic and institutional environments within which farmers operate.
            Rice can be cultivated in all the ecological zones of Nigeria, although with varying prospects form one location to the other. According to Daramola, (2005), paddy rice production has been growing at a very slow rate relative to consumption in Nigeria within the last five years. The low growth rate of paddy production can be attributed to combination of factors namely unimproved seed varieties, poor agronomic and post-harvest handling practices, the demand- supply gap has often been filled with imported rice form Asia. Instability of government policies has also made some rice farmers to switch other crops with similar ecological requirement, especially the decision to import foreign rice into Nigeria, which depresses domestic price. Nigeria is currently the highest rice producer in West Africa. It is also the highest consuming nation because of the large population of Nigeria. Majority of the rice producers are small holders with an average farm size of less 2ha and can be found grown in mixture on farmers farms. These factors coupled with the use of low external inputs have been responsible for the low yields and productivity (Bello, 2004).
            According to Daramola, (2005) as the population increases, farmer must produce even more food than before in order to stem the arising rice import bills and become less dependent on rice importation. With the population increases today, people are being pushed to new lands and many into marginal lands. One of the enormous challenges in the drive to increase food to feed the growing population will be to raise productivity and efficiency in the agricultural sector.
            In the research of Daramola, He further observed that the biggest constraint to feeding the Nigerian people now and in the future will depend entirely on agricultural productivity and this is related to food security. Food security, at the household level, is defined in its most basic form as access by all people at all times to the food needed for a healthy life. Therefore, there is need to increase agriculture growth for such growth is the most efficient means of alleviating poverty, protecting the environment, and generating broad based economic growth, Achieving food security therefore, requires that resources be used efficiently, with more attention paid to eliminating waste. With the rising income and population and consequent rising food demand, only efficient use of production resources will ensure food security.
            According to NRDS, (2005) Achieving sustainable economic development in Africa with confront three central challenges; alleviating wide spread poverty, meeting current and future food needs, and efficiently using the natural resource base to ensure sustainability. There are only two main ways to increase natural food availability – increase the land area planted; and increase the yield per unit of production resource (land, labour, and capital). If food production is doubled by doubling the number of hectares of land under cultivation, or other production resources, this would create massive environmental damage such as large scale destruction of forests, and with them, with life habitat and bio diversity.
            Efficiency of resource use, which can be defined as the ability to derive maximum output per unit of resource is the key to effectively addressing the challenges of achieving food security. Raising productivity in agriculture will certainly lead to availability of food and reduce the real price of food. Increased food production will have to come from increased yield.
2.5             Reason for lack of competitiveness in Nigeria Rice.
The Nigeria rice industry is currently not competitive because it faces the following constraints: The macro economic condition under which Nigerian rice is produced is partly responsible for the sector’s lack of competitiveness. Some of the issues include high input cost like cost of credit, and imported equipments, agrochemicals due to taxes (legal and illegal), tariffs and duties. (Daramola, 2005). There is also the problem of policy instability (ban unban, tariffs ) that makes decision making and planning highly uncertain and put investments at great risk. All these factors combine with discriminatory policies against agriculture to make the environment for agricultural production and agribusiness unfavorable and uncompetitive. Other unattractive conditions include low technology base (Mechanization), delaying infrastructure, high interest rates, weak institution (such as poorly- funded research institutes, public extension system, and seeds certification) and corruption ridden fertilizer distribution system and low public sector investment in agriculture (Daramola, 2005).
One of the key problems facing the farmers in addition to lack of improved varieties is that of scarcity and high input costs. This has led to farmers not using inputs such as fertilizers and other agrochemicals and those who use them use sub-optimal proportions of the inputs resulting in low and poor quality yields. RIFAN (Rice farmers Association of Nigeria) has the objective of supporting their members on production, processing and marketing of rice as well as the possibility of supplying inputs at low prices. However, the ability of the association to under take such activities is hazy (Bello, 2004).
Over the past two decades, inconsistency, shifting between open and protectionist trade policy have characterized Nigeria rice policy. Such changes hinder the ability of stakeholders to develop long- term strategies. While trade policy has been viewed as the only option for developing the rice sector, there has been a lack of policy to take advantage of the protection and enhance the domestic sector’s efficiency. In addition, the import ban itself is difficult to enforce, which reduce its efficiency. Key issues for the domestic sector are the availability of inputs and credit, and processing, marketing and quality management. Farmer remain committed in producing rice, despite the lack of input as it is the best crop for the flood- prone low lands (`Fadama areas). In summary, the local rice has a very poor image in the market place compared to the imported rice (Daramola, 2005).
Beside the external factor (Macro economic) to the agricultural sector, there are other factors that are both sector wide and rice specific factors that also impede competitiveness. Such factors include genetically- inferior (unimproved) varieties of seeds that exhibit low productivity, high cost of land preparation scarcity of labor due to alternative (and more remunerative) off- farm employment opportunities (eg construction sites and motor- bicycle riding). There are other like land tenure, non-availability of fertilizers, absence of extension advance, high transportation costs, and expensive credit, when available there are also marketing problems that result in middleman not paying prices that are attractive enough to keep the farmers producing importation of cheaper and better- processed rice from more competitive countries like their land  and other Asian countries (eg India) has to a large extent contributed to depress domestic rice cultivation.
Beyond the farm gate, there are issues like the absence of standard measures in the marketing of farm produce including rice. Transportation is another serious constraints for the conveyance of paddy to the mills or markets. All these combine with on-farm constraints to make rice production in Nigeria uncompetitive. Another factor responsible for uncompetitive of Nigerian rice is the protection offered by the very high tariff of 110% slammed on imported rice. The twin effects of production behind high tariff walls are inefficiency and lack of competitiveness. This has resulted in very high cost of production for the Nigerian rice (Daramola, 2005).
However, the farmers supply response for Nigerian rice has been extremely low because of the largely uncompetitive economic environment within which rice is being produced in Nigeria. Obsolete and inefficient processing technology (especially parboiling) lead to smelling and unappealing products presence of stones, uneven grain etc. There is also limited knowledge of consumers’ preference and taste, especially the urban population for well processed rice. The is no uniformity in the variety of rice cultivated and processed hence the frequency of broken and uneven gains.

2.6       Technology in rice Production
            Most rice in West Africa is produced small-scale farmers who use little or no external resources and have varying balance between subsistence and commercial objectives (WARDA, 1994). These farmers largely operate under traditional rain-fed rice production technologies and move from extensive to more intensive cultivation without adapting their traditional practices to the new objectives.
            According to Swanson, (1996) technology is the application of knowledge for practical purpose aimed at improving the condition of human and national environment and also carryout some other socio-economic activities. It is a means of increasing and exploiting our understanding of nature for our own benefit (Ikeme and Uvere, 1995). Establishing a symbolic relationship between science and technology, Williams (1985) referred to science as a systematic search for truth which provides the basis for technology. It should be pointed out that art, conceived as practical and human skill and their application, additionally forms the bedrock for technology. With respect to technology, Williams (1985) referred to is a the application of techniques which leads to increase in production.
            In terms of production, agricultural technology adds greatly to farm productivity (Salvatore and Dowling, 1987). The Modern miracle of technology that has increased agricultural potential throughout the world is referred to as the Green Revolution. According to Ruttan and Binswanger (1978), Green revolution ordinarily refers to the development and diffusion of high-yielding cereals varieties, particularly wheat and rice, in the developing countries of the tropics and semi-tropics, beginning in the mid-1960s.
            According to Mafimisebi (2010), two categories of technologies exists material technology and knowledge based technology.
            Also known as ‘hardware” components an example of material technology is improved rice varieties. An example of knowledge based technology also known as “software” component is planting date.
            The development of technology be it material or knowledge based is driven not only by the imperatives of engineering but also by the cultural and ideological values of the society concerned (Ikeme and Uvere, 1995). According to miller (1976) modern large-scale technology is basically a result of the cultural demand or values of western society. This concept of culturally-driven technologies has given impetus to the exploitation and adaptation of imported technologies to suit local environmental, social and economic needs.
            Going by the argument of cultural and ideological values imprinting on the development of technology, the need arises to investigate why bird scaring technologies in rice production is still dominated by the manual use of women and children in the rice farms. Since the 1920’s when research began in Ibadan (NAERLS, 2005), the popularity of rice as a food has been growing in Nigeria. However, the same cannot be said of releasing women and children form bird scaring operation in rice farms in Nigeria.

2.7       Strategies for improving Rice Innovation system in Nigeria.
Rice production and innovation in many developing countries has largely focused on attaining food security and alleviating, by enhancing crop yield for farmers and improving food availability for consumers with limited market access or purchasing power. Investment in science and technology have featured prominently and consistently in most strategies to promote sustainable agricultural development at the national levels, irrespective of the rapidly changing agricultural context. It is now widely recognized that the value of traditional pattern of agricultural science and technology investments such as research and extension, though necessary is not sufficient to enable agricultural innovation. No doubt, investment in science and technology may increase knowledge, but they are not enough to stimulate high innovative stride/culture in the whole process. Also changes in agricultural development context which calls for the need for innovation in the agricultural sector are apparent (Bharghonti et al, 2004).
The concept of innovation as a social process which occurs in a social system referred to as innovation system; involving not only scientific research and research organization, but also other bodies and non-research tasks. By definition it is a system of all major social actors, affecting the revealing, acknowledgement, generation and diffusion of technical and institutional knowledge over time (Clark, et al, 2003; Hall et al 2001). Walts et al,(2003) further opined that innovation system also include the interaction learning that occurs when organization engage in generation, diffusion, adaptation and use of new knowledge; and institution (Norms, rules) that govern how this interaction and processes occurs. In other words, production of rice takes place along the entire community chain and according to Erenstein et al (2003) different actors are involved in each step of production. However, the innovative strength of the whole process is a function of interaction, Linkages, alliance and knowledge flow. Janssen and Braunschewig (2003) rightly pointed out the technical change and innovation have become much more interactive processes, which can be led by many different types of actors.
Innovations are therefore not solely the product of organized research and development activities  undertaken within universities, research and development institutes; and it should not be assumed that the results of formal research or increased investments in research and development in science and technology infrastructure will automatically spur innovation or be put into economic use. It is the enabling environment that encourages continuous learning, creativity and knowledge flows which facilities innovation for socio-economic development (Myteika, 2000). Therefore rice innovation system embraces the totality of the component actors, and their interaction and the policy environment. It tends to go beyond the creation of knowledge to encompass the factors affecting demand for and use of knowledge in useful ways. Innovative performance depends not only on how the individual actors perform in isolation, but also on how they interact with each other as element of a collective system of knowledge creation and use.
In essence innovation in rice commodity chain required for enhanced production demands that institution including the policy and legislative framework and nature of human capital, physical infrastructure, finance, and investment climate and system of facilitating information and knowledge flow among the actors and institution be sufficiently addressed. The widely agreed potential for rice production Nigeria is highly concentrated in the south eastern geo-political zone. The states provides diverse ecological conditions for rice production. According to USDA/FAS (2003) rice production is wide spread in the country, extending from the northern to southern zones with most rice growth in the eastern and middle belt of the country.
Moreover, the technological capability in terms of the number of research institutes, education, infrastructure (rice mills and markets) are relatively concentrated in the zone.
2.8       Major issues on Rice Production over the World
a.         Low temperature
            Low temperature is the greatest concern of rice growers in the temperature regions. Although farmers have tried to deplay varieties with tolerance to low temperature and recommended cultural practices, such as planting date and water depth during panicle development, rice crops still suffer from poor establishment and high grain sterility, due to variable climate every year. It is well known that japonica rice is, to some extent, tolerant to cold. However it is less productive if it grows under very low temperature. The critical temperature of rice is around 150C depending on the varieties. Recent breeding work has focused on cold tolerance, improving seedling vigour, and reducing floret sterility of rice. Date of planting, early maturing cultivar, and maintaining high water depth during the panicle development could help the rice corps escape from cold (FAO, 1995).

b.         Water Problems
            Water is a critical and the most important factor in rice production. It is the primary factors determining the success of the rice crop. Wetlands have been widely exploited for rice production in many parts of the world. Many problems relating to this matter are well known: water efficiency, water availability and water quality.  About 55 percent of the areas cultivated for rice are under irrigation. It is known that in irrigated systems, more than 4-5,000 litres of water are used to produce 1kg of rice in many areas (CGIAR, 1996a). The cost of developing new areas under irrigation and rehabilitation of large-scale irrigation schemes are high. It is fore important to improve water use efficiency in rice production systems through the use of appropriate water control and crops management techniques, with emphasis on irrigation technologies combined with genetic improvement. At present, the improvement of water use efficiency has drawn little attention from rice breeders.
            Poor drainage is the major factor connected to water problems including water logging, salinity, toxicity and water pollution. This poor drainage situation is mainly due to inappropriate development of irrigation schemes and passive reaction of farmers to the schemes’ operating organization and their economic conditions. Salinity is caused by saline water intrusion form the sea in the coastal regions and by the upward movement of salt-water through capillary action in soils, and slat accumulation on the soil surface due to fast evaporation (Postel, 1989).
c.         Land Constraints
            The rapid expansion of modern rice varieties has exhausted favourable lands. Fast urbanization, industrialization and the demographic pressure have encouraged farmers to exploit. Marginal land for increased rice productive to meet their family’s demands. Therefore, acid soils, tidal lands, forest lands, etc., have been reclaimed and brought under cultivation, thereby limiting crop yield potential. In intensive irrigated rice farming systems, the major soil problems include change in soil characteristics, soil mining affects and soil pollution.
            The hard pan, which has a bulk soil density with less medium and large pores, reduces the soil permeability, and the root ability to exact nutrients from subsoil’s, and increases the formation of soil toxicities due to long water logging condition, thereby hindering the growth of dry land crops after rice. The widespread of modern rice also encourages the increased utilization of machinery in rice farming, particularly in rice-producing developing countries, which in turn induces soil compaction.
            Permanent water logging and rice monoculture have commonly caused micro element deficiencies, especially zinc and sulphur, and toxicities, notably iron. Zinc deficiency is the most widespread micro element disorder of wetland rice. Zinc deficiency can be observed under one or more of the following soil characteristics: high pH, high organic matter content, high available p or si, high mg/Ca ratio, and low available zn (Ponam Peruma and Deturck, 1993).
            Modern rice varieties exhaust soil fertility more rapidly than traditional varieties. Farmers usually compensate these nutritional losses, especially macro-elements, with chemical fertilizers while neglecting some essential micro-elements. In the long run, the micro-elements become deficient and cause an imbalance in soil nutrition, increase demand for phosphorous and potassium and cause nitrogen inefficiency, affecting the ultimate grain yield. Therefore, the soil nutritional status requires periodic monitoring, particularly for intensive cropping systems, (Tran and Ton That, 1994).
(d)       High costs of rice production
            High labour cost, mechanization, the use of chemical inputs and the slow increase in grain yield contributed to the high cost of rice production in irrigated rice, especially in developed countries. Subsidy has become the national policy in many countries. It is known that an increase in rice yield can substantially compensate for the high cost of production, but it increases slowly and cannot catch up with latter. In addition, the yield potential has reached the plateau and the price of rice is not sufficiently high to provide farmers with an incentive for increased production.
(e)       Improvement of rice yield.
Productivity of rice does not only vary between one country and another, but also within the same country based on the different agro-ecological zones and production systems used. The gap between the farmers yields and those obtained by research stations is still large, even though some reduction has been reported recently. This indicates the various limiting factors affecting rice productivity and production, ranging from land development, production and marketing.
2.9       Constraints to Rice Production
            There are many constraints within the rice sub-sector. They are factors in immediate business environment but having implications for the performance and out comes of the players. The highlights of these constraints are;
1.         The cost of inputs are high: This has made it difficult for the farmers to afford them. These inputs such as improved seeds, fertilizer and agro chemicals enhance productivity. The high cost exert limiting effects on the extent farmers can expand their farms. The lot therefore full on processors to programmatically support services the rice farmers if it is expecting to source rice paddy from them.
2.         The lack of infrastructures: the state of Nigeria’s infrastructure is parlous especially roads and power electricity. The farm are not serviced by good roads nor electricity.
3.         There are challenges with importation of machinery into Nigeria as evidenced by some prospective processors. The customs tariffs/duty on paper being different from what is being implemented or demanded at the ports.
4.         There is the problem of sourcing labour to work on the farms. The youth who are key labour providers have gone to the cities in search of while collar jobs or into popular motorcycle transport business where they can make quick money.
5.         At the production level, constraints include the methods of production, scarcity of labour scarcity and high costs of input. These are the major constraints that face the small-scale rice farmers.
6.         Inconsistent government policies on rice import, rent-seeking altitude of government officials and their agent in the distribution/sale of fertilizer and other input (including improved seed).
7.         There is a huge market for local rice therefore is a potentially high demand for quality seeds. At present there is serious supply-demand gap.
8.         The alternative to manual labour which is mechanization is expensive and farmers cannot afford it on their farms. With scarcity of labour, it becomes difficult to push the production of large hectares of rice.

3.0                                                   METHODOLOGY
3.1       Study Area
            The Study will be conducted in Ebonyi State of Nigeria. Ebonyi State is divided into three(3) agro-political zones, Namely: Ebonyi South, Consisting of Five (5) Local government Areas while Ebonyi Central and North zones each has four Local Government Areas.
            Ebonyi State have a land mass of approximately 5,932 square kilometers lying between latitude 70 30E, and 80 30E, and Longitude 5040N and 6O 40N and 60 45N, with population of about 2.1 Million (NPC, 2007) people of which 85 percent reside in rural areas, (Ebonyi State blue print 1997).
            The state is located with the tropical rainforest zone of Eastern Nigeria with favourable climate and sufficient moisture that is ideal for agricultural production. The mainstay of her economy is agriculture, although it is endowed with abundant mineral resources such as limestone, salt, zinc etc. Crops cultivated include rice, yam, cassava, cocoyam etc, and most farm household keeps livestock’s such as native cow, sheep, goat poultry birds etc. on a small scale.

3.1       Sampling Technique
            A combination of multi-stage and purposive sampling techniques will be used to select the respondents for the study. A multi-stage random sampling technique will be used to sample the Local Government Areas and the antonymous communities at the first level while purposive sampling techniques will be used to sample the respondents.
            These were conducted in the following manner.
Stage 1: The first stage of the level will be randomly sampling of one (1) local government areas from each of the agricultural zone of Ebonyi State. This gave a total of three (3) Local Government Area Sampled.
Stage II: At the second stage of the same level, two autonomous communities were randomly sampled form each of the three (3) local Government Areas. This gave a total of six (6).
            Finally, 10 rice farmers will be administered the questionnaires for the study. That is a total of 120 respondents will be sample.
3.3       Data Collection
            Both primary and secondary data will be collected for the study. Primary data will be collected using questionnaire that will administered on the 120 rice farmers while secondary data will be collected from the existing records of the rice farmers.
3.4       Data analysis
            Data collected for the study will be analyze using descriptive statistics such as frequency distribution, percentage, tables etc inferential statistics such as multiple regression analysis and factor analysis, Gross margin analysis.
            Descriptive statistics such as frequency distribution, percentage and tables will be used to analyze objective (i) & (ii) Gross margin analysis will be used to analyze objective (iii) while the multiple regression analysis will be used to analyze objective (iv) means while, objective (v) will be analyze using factor analysis.
3.5       Model specification
3.5.1   Gross margin analysis.
            Gross margin is stated as
GM     =          TR       -           TVC
Gm      =          Gross margin (N)
TVC    =          Total variable cost
TR       =          Total Revenue
Profit will be given by
p          =          GM     -           TFC
p          =          Profit
GM     =          Gross margin
TFC     =          Total Fixed cost

3.5.2   Multiple Regression analysis
Y         =          F(X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6, X7,X8, X9 )implicit form
Y         =          a0 + a1x1+ a2x2+a3+a4x4+ a5x5+ a6x6+ a7x7+ a8 + x8 + et
                        Explicit form.
Y         =          Out put of rice production (N)
X1        =          Age(yrs)
X2        =          gender
X3        =          Marital  status          
X4        =          Household size
X5          =          Educational qualification (yrs)
X6          =          Farming experience (yrs)
X7          =          Occupation
X8        =          Farm size (ha)
X9        =          Annual income (N)
ao         =          Constant.
a1-a9    =          Multiple coefficient
et         =          Stochastic Error term.


Department of Agric,
Economics Management
and Extension,
Ebonyi State University,
P.M. B 053,

23rd July, 2013

Dear respondents,
            I am a student of the above named University carrying out a research work on Economic analysis of rice production in Ebonyi State. Please assist me with some relevant information by providing answer to these questionnaires. Information supplied will be used only for academic purpose and shall be handed with strict confidence; your co-operation will be highly appreciated.

Yours faithfully,
INSTRUCTION: Please tick( ) where appropriate
Socio-economic characteristics of respondents.
Your name:……………………………………
1.         Age
            (a)       <20
            (b)       21-30
            (c)       31-40
            (d)       41-50
            (c)       51 and above
2.         Gender (a) Male                   (b) Female
3.         Marital status (a) single      (b) Married                (c) widow       
(d) Separated                        (e) Widowers
4.         Household size (a) 1-5        (b) 6-10            (c) 11-15     
(d) 16 & above
5.         Educational qualification (a) No formal educational
(b) primary school   (c) secondary school               (d)tertiary institution 
6.         Farming Experience (a)1-5yrs       (b) 6-10yrs        (c) 11-15yrs         
            (d)       16 and above yrs
7.         Primary occupation (a) farming                 (b) civil services,   
(c) trading                  (d) Artians
8.         Farm size (a) 0.5-1.00ha                 (b) 1.5-2ha         (c)2.5-3ha
(d)3.5-4ha                 (e) 4.5 & above
9.         Annual income (a)< 20,000(a)N21000- N30,000(c)31,000-40000
            (d) 41,000-50000 (e) 51000 & above
10.       Do you belong to any social organisation? (a) yes (b) No
11.       If yes, please indicate ----------------------
Sources of information to the rice farmers
12.       What are your sources of information in production of rice your are?
            (a)       ADP
            (b)       Ministry of Agriculture
            (c)       FADAMA
            (d)       Local government
            (e)       Extension agent
            (f)        Co-operative society
            (g)       Neighbour
            (h)       Radio
            (i)        TV
            (j)        Other specify
13.       What are your sources of labour
            (a)       Hired labour (b) Family labour (c) Relative labour
14.       What is your source of income (a) personal (b) Bank
(c) Cooperative society (d) relative/groups.
15.       What are source of input (a) market, (b) Neighbour (c) Local government (d) cooperative society
16.       What is the input used in production of rice? (a) Fertilizer (b) improved seed (c) labour (d) land
Cost and returns in rice production
17.       Please write the amount spent on following items in table below.
Materials used
Amount (N)
Rice seed cost

Fertilizer cost

Pesticides cost

Cost of land



Land clearing

Harvest cost

Transportation cost

Constraints Associated with the rice production in the study Area.
18.       What are the constraints associates with production of rice in your area.
(a)       Inadequate capital
(b)       Problems of pest and diseases
(c)       High cost of transportation
(d)       High cost of labour
(e)       Poor marketing outlet
(f)        Inadequate supply of farm inputs
(g)       High cost of Agro-chemicals
(h)       Land tenure system
(i)        High cost of fertilizer
(j)        Poor storage facilities
(h)       Government policies
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