Indigenous Practices Militating against the Olericultural Production: Methods of Improving its Productivity in the Uruan LGA of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
The study assessed the challenges militating against olericultural production in Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.it further stresses some of the basic indigenous knowledge practices and methods of improving its production. A sample size of 121 despondence was selected through a multi-stage sampling procedure from selected agricultural zones in Uruan LGA. Data collected were analyze using descriptive statistics. Results of the study revealed that perishability/bulkiness of vegetables, rural-urban migration and restiveness/conflicts in farming communities ranked 1st ( X˒=3.62), 2nd (X̄ =3.55) and 3rd, (X̄ =3.31) respectively and were, hence, considered in this work as some of the major challenges affecting olericultural production in Uruan LGA of Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria. The results revealed that availability of storage and processing facilities, availability of social infrastructural amenities and land tenure review ranked 1st (X̄ =3.71), 2nd (X̄ =3.49) and 3rd ( X̄=3.35) respectively and were, therefore, considered to be of high necessity for the olericultural production while provision of agro-chemicals for pest/disease control, access to agro-inputs/credit facilities and adequate extension service ranked 6th (X̄ =3.15), 5th (X̄ =3.20) and 4th ( X̄=3.21) respectively. In identifying the basic indigenous knowledge practices for olericultural production, the use of scare crows to avoid birds, clustered planting of waterleaf and staking practice of pumpkin, cucumber and watermelon ranked 1st ( X̄=3.88), 2nd (X̄=3.55) and 3rd (X̄=3.53) respectively and were, in the current study, regarded as being of high utilization. The study concluded that perishability/bulkiness of vegetables, rural-urban migration and poor land tenure policies, are among the major challenges militating against olericultural production in Uruan LGA of Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria. The study therefore recommended that storage/processing facilities and social infrastructural amenities should be made available to farmers, and that land tenure system and government policies should be reviewed to provide full ownership of land to farmers.
Key words: Challenges, Olericultural production, indigenous knowledge practices and productivity in Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria.