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Determinants of Yield Gap in Upland Rice Production in Southwestern Nigeria
Nigeria has comparative resource advantage in terms of favourable climatic, edaphic, and ecological conditions in the production of rice, yet local production has not been able to meet the growing demand which is expanding across all socio-economic classes. The inability of the Nigerian rice economy to satisfy the domestic demand and the consequent growth of rice import quantity and value remains a cause of concern. The magnitude and determinants of upland rice yield gap were examined and analyzed in this study. Employing a multi-stage sampling technique, data were obtained through the use of structured questionnaire administered to a sample of rice farmers in Ekiti state, Nigeria. Respondents cultivated three improved rice varieties – ITA 150, WAB 189 and FARO 55 with average yield gaps of 1.52, 1.38 and 0.91 tons per hectare, respectively. This makes these rice varieties under-exploited as farmers operate at levels where they obtain an average of 49% of the potential yield. Factors which would contribute significantly to the narrowing of rice yield gap in the study area include increased fertilizer (nutrientenhancing substances) use, increased agrochemical use and increased amount of available farm credits for direct farm investments.