Effective Tractor Utilization For Agricultural Mechanization In Central Cross River State, Nigeria
Agricultural Mechanization is not only important for accelerating agricultural development but also for improving farmers\' efficiency. Over the years, there has been an increasing demand for tractor use due to general awareness of agricultural mechanization in Nigeria. The use of farm machineries including tractors in farming has great potentials in alleviating rural poverty. This study was prompted by a desire to find out the extent to which farmers in Central Cross River State are efficiently using tractors for agricultural mechanization. A sample of 120 farm families was randomly selected from Central Cross River State using stratified random sampling technique. Interview of the 120 farm families was done using structured and semi-structured questionnaires. Data obtained from respondents were analyzed using simple percentages and bar chart. This shows that 9 tractors were available in the study area of which 89% of them are owned by the Local Government Council and 7% are owned by individual farmers. 73% of the respondents have general awareness of Agricultural Mechanization. Whereas only 21% of them revealed that tractors are used in Local Government Farms. While 40% of the respondents stated that tractors are hired to farmers. On the otherhand, 63% of the respondents emphasized that tractors are not used in their during cultivation. In general, a total of 20% of the respondents stated that the available tractors are not functional. The research suggests among others more tractors should be purchased by government, cooperate groups and individuals. Moreover, tractors should be hired to farmers at very low cost and as well as improve maintenance and provision of spare parts with the training of more operators and technicians. Finally, agricultural mechanization in Central Cross River State would be enhanced if more awareness is created couple with the provision of soft loans directly to farmers.
Keywords: Tractor, Effective Utilization, Agricultural Mechanization.
Global Journal of Engineering Research Vol. 7 (1) 2008: pp. 37-42