1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The production and consumption of rice constitute a major stable food in Nigeria.
While it is also estimated that 60% of the world’s population consume the commodity (Imolehin and Wada, 2000). In major cities in Africa rice has become a stable food for every home (WARDA, 1996). In Nigeria the consumption and production of the commodity has become a stable commodity. However, the production level is far below the demand for the commodity. According to Imolehin and Wada, 2000 the commodity ranks the third position after wheat and maize production globally. The health benefit of rice consumption is enormous as it has the potential of improving nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and sustain land mass. An estimated per capita consumption of rice globally stood at 40% between the years 1961-2002. Consequently, rice consumption has continued to increase due to increase in population (Akande, 2003). The increase in the consumption of rice has not been matched with the production levels causing a short fall. The Nigerian agricultural development policy document is aimed at self-sufficiency in basic food commodities such as rice which constitute the large portion of Nigeria’s foreign exchange expenditure. It is believed that the policy will promote the level of production and consumption of rice in the country. The study seeks to proffer an assessment of key factors influencing rice production and marketing in Ebonyi state Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The production of rice is faced with some challenges making the sector weak and inefficient. The channel of distribution of the commodity between the farmers and the market poses difficulty due to poor infrastructure. Other challenges include lack of modern and enhanced processing facilities, poor access to input, low rice productivity, expensive input, poor storage facility, poor post-harvest handling expensive and poor access to quality seed, fertilizer and crop protection products, poor market and distribution network. These challenges have affected the level of productivity and income of the farmers especially in Ebonyi state. It has also led to loss of manpower where some of this people have abandoned their farms and left for the city. The problem confronting the study is to proffer an assessment of key factors influencing rice production and marketing in Ebonyi state Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The Main Objective of the study is to proffer an assessment of key factors influencing rice production and marketing in Ebonyi state Nigeria. The specific objectives include:
i. To determine the key factors that affect Rice production in Nigeria.
ii. To understand the relationship between Rice production and Rice marketing in Nigeria.
iii. To examine the key factors in Rice marketing in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
i. What are the key factors that affect Rice production in Nigeria?
ii. What is the relationship between Rice production and Rice marketing in Nigeria?
iii. What are the key factors in Rice marketing in Nigeria?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study shall provide an evaluative assessment of the challenges facing rice production and marketing in Nigeria and in Ebonyi state; with the view of seeking possible solution to meliorate the weakness.
1.6 STATEMENT OF THE HYPOTHESIS
Ho1: There is no significant relationship between Rice production and Rice marketing in Ebonyi state Nigeria.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study proffers an assessment of key factors influencing rice production and marketing in Ebonyi state Nigeria.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study was confronted with logistics and geographical factors.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
RURAL DEVELOPMENT DEFINED
This is the development aimed at the poor in the rural areas. It involves the provision of good living standard for the people in rural areas.
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT DEFINED
The managerial activity involved with the planning and controlling of financial resources of an entity or establishment.
Budgeting involves the process of resource generation, allocation and managements.
Accountability: which aims at honesty and judicious use of public funds.
Control provides organizational structures for effective implementation. Of programs.
Joint Allocation Account Committee.
Nigerian Union of Local Government.