PERCEPTION OF FARMERS ON THE CONTRIBUTION OF VEGETABLES TO LIVELIHOODS IN YAKURR LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, CROSS RIVER STATE, NIGERIA
This study assessed the perception of farmers on the contribution of vegetables to livelihoods in Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River State, Nigeria. The study identified the socio-economic characteristics of farmers in the study area, perception of the contribution of vegetables to livelihoods and identified the factors affecting vegetable farming in the study area. Multi-stage sampling techniques were adopted in selecting 126 respondents for the study. Data were collected with the aid of a questionnaire and analyzed using descriptive statistics such as percentage, frequency, mean and ranks. The result of the study showed that majority (75.4%) of the respondents were females. Most of the farmers (41.3%) were aged between 36 and 45 years. Some (44.4%) were involved in the cultivation of only vegetables and had farm holdings of 1-2 hectares. Majority had monthly income of N71,000.00 to N90,000.00. The result of the type of vegetables grown by the respondents revealed that fluted pumpkin ranked 1st (x=2.68) while Utazi ranked 9th (x=1.93). Also the result of the perception of farmers on the contribution of vegetables to livelihoods of farmers showed that vegetables contributed to the income of respondents for training as fashion designers in the study area and were generally excellent. Factors affecting contribution of vegetables to livelihoods were inadequate land, inadequate finance, pests and diseases among others. Vegetables, therefore played a very important role in the livelihoods of farmers in the study area. The study concluded that vegetables are necessary for the improvement of livelihoods of farmers in Yakurr Local Government Area, Cross River State, Nigeria.
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