Benefits of zucchini crop cultivation among farmers in Oluyole Local Government Area of Oyo State
This study assessed the benefits derived from the cultivation of zucchini crop among farmers in Oluyole Local Government Area of Oyo State. Data were collected from 79 farmers on socioeconomic characteristics, access to information and knowledge of the potentials of zucchini cultivation as well as constraints to and benefits derived from zucchini cultivation. Frequency counts and percentages were used to describe the data. Majority of the farmers had minimum formal education (75.9%) and over 10 years of farming experience (86.1%). Many (46.8%) had large household size (9 – 13 members), small holdings of 3 – 5.9 hectares (63.3%) and mostly (91.1%) cultivated Middle Eastern zucchini varieties. Access to information on zucchini was mainly through zucchini merchants (x̄ =1.76), extension agents ( x̄ =0.90) and radio ( x̄=0.54). The majority (60.8%) however, had low knowledge of the potentials of zucchini cultivation. The main constraints to its cultivation were inadequate storage facilities ( x̄=1.96), low awareness of the value and potential of zucchini ( x̄ =1.95) and high cost of inputs (X=1.24). The major benefit derived from the cultivation of the crop was increased income ( x̄ =1.94). There was no significant relationship between knowledge of the potentials and benefits derived from the cultivation of zucchini. Awareness campaign on the potentials of the crop should be created while farmers’ capacity on appropriate storage technologies should be enhanced.
Keywords: Zucchini farming, Exotic vegetables in Nigeria