Contribution of vegetable production to food security in Uruan Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
The study assessed the contribution of vegetable production to food security in Uruan Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Specifically, the objectives of the study were to identify the socio-economic characteristics of respondents and to identify the major vegetable crops grown by farmers for livelihood diversification in the study area. Sample sizes of 121 respondents were selected through multi-stage sampling procedure from selected agricultural zones in Uruan LGA. Data collected were analyze using descriptive statistics. Results of the study revealed that female farmers (88.3%) participated in vegetable production, while (11.7%) of the participants were males. Majority of the farmers aged 51-60 years (63.3%) were involved in vegetable production while a small proportion aged 20-30 years (2.5%) were also involved; 55% of the farmers had no formal education implying that their educational level were relatively low. In identifying vegetable crops grown by farmers for livelihood diversifications, waterleaf ranked 1st (x̄ = 3.61) followed by fluted pumpkin (x̄ = 3.59) while cucumber ranked 9th (x̄ = 2.44). Results of the hypothesis revealed that sex, marital status, farm size and system of land ownership were 11.519, 9.664, 44.072 and 44.817 respectively and were significant at 1%, 5% and 10% respectively. The study concluded that socio-economic characteristics of farmers are significantly related to vegetable production. The study therefore recommended that land tenure policy should be reviewed to enhance land ownership, human capital development should be prioritized, agricultural co-operatives should be formed, also, extension services should be provided to farmers.
Keywords: Vegetable, food security, contribution, Uruan