1.1 Background of the study
Farm management is the science of farm organization which makes use of a number of closely related disciplines like Economics, Sociology, Commerce, Psychology, Mathematics, Political Science, Agriculture, statistics. Therefore, an ideal farm manager should be versatile with his skills and demands for the Jobs. (Akubido, 2009). Medium scale farm result from the slow and steady growth that results from a successful small farmers. Medium scale farming is surrounded by several constraints which ranges from land constraints, financial constraints like loans, capital for procurement of Agricultural inputs, attitudinal influence of farmers towards adopting agricultural innovations for example adopting of recent agricultural crops varieties, and adopting of new and approved method of fertilizer application (Akpan, 2009).
Land constraints have a serious and significant influence on medium-scale crops is Nigeria especially in Uyo Local Government Area where land ownership system is primarily and mostly by inheritance from ancestors, in that case have such privilege difficult to posses land and use them for agricultural activities (Smart, 2011). Land availability is concerned as one of the major constraint militating against farmers productivity and crop rotation. The influence of financial constraints on medium scale crop farmers in Uyo Local Government Area can not be overemphasized. Farmers need loans, greats and capital of all forms to manage farms, procure agricultural inputs like fertilizer improved seedlings and procurement of relevant agricultural tools which are needed for cultivation and nursing of crops, but disappointedly, these resources are either partly available, even in extreme cases they are totally unavailable for farmers usage. These constraints are serious impediment for medium-scale farmers, and if it must be overcome Government and other NGOS and Agricultural bodies should intervene and rescue farmers from this derogatory and catastrophic status quo. (Uboh, 2003).
Sometimes, farmers perception and attitudes towards Agricultural innovations and changes constitute a serious problem to medium scale farmers. Crop farmers may find it difficult to adopt a recent agricultural idea due to the fact that they do not have adequate orientation on the subject matter. Farmers need proper and advanced orientation before introduction of any agricultural idea or innovations. Extensive services are mostly required and needed here for farmers to be properly guided (Okon, 2008). The essence of extension programmes is to provide orientation to farmers and also educate farmers on latest agricultural innovations. This problem should be properly addressed in order to ameliorate farmers. Farmers need to be guided and lectured on how to use or apply inorganic fertilizers like NPK 15:15:15, NPK 12:12:17 P:2, NPK 20:20:20 and others too numerous to mention. Some local farmers can not use fertilizers in their farms because they lack the technical skills surrounding the practice (Okonkwo, 2009).
The influence of farm machinery on medium scale crop farmers in Uyo Local Government Area is greatly felt; because farmers hardly have access to Agricultural machineries like bulldozers, planters, tractors, ploughs, Harrows, and mechanical readers which could be cooperated in Agriculture to ease farmers and as well as increasing farming operations but disappointedly medium-scale farmers who are the major pivots of Agriculture are denied access to machineries. According to Stephen and Christopher (2004) that farmers agricultural productivity could be improved and even raised to greater height if they are incorporating farm machineries is their farming operations. The absence of these machineries result in low agricultural productivity and output. Medium scale farmers normally use Abrahamic and primitive tools for cultivation of crops, in this case the output appears to be minute and poor compared to farmers who used modern and sophisticated inputs like bulldozers and others for cultivation. The influence of machinery on medium scale farmers can not be understaed (Ebenezar, 2006). It is of immense interest to state that farm management constraints affecting medium scale crop farmers are also bottleneck policies faced by this group of farmers since they are mostly subsistence in nature, they also lack managerial skills with practically small holdings.
Again, for any meaningful farm management to progress and succeed in any set-up, be it subsistent or commercial farms and to reduce the lowest constraints involved that managers of such farms should be current in recent technology findings, update their psychoproductive skills and make use of research findings and improved inputs. (Abe, 2006).
In farming as a profession, farm managers generally face the following problems;
- What to produce.
- What type of crop to produce.
- How much to produce? This is determine by several factors especially farmers.
- The farm manager would face the problem of what type of equipment to use.
- The amount of resources to use.
- What farm practices should be employed or adopted.
Crop growing is a process or activity that is governed by several variables which according to Okigbo (2003) may be grouped into five broad headings as follows:
(a) Non-human physical input factor
(b) Labour (c) Econofic factors
(d) Organisational constraints
(e) Technical factors.
The medium-scale farmer is an artist as well as a scientist who tries to harmonise these complex and continually interacting variables that influence crop yield to ensure maximum and efficient production output. Thus, as an art, crop rearing requires certain skills and constant practice. As science, it calls for technical know-how. (Ndubuizu, 1996).
1.2 Statement of the problem
In the area under study, Uyo is Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. People depend on Agricultural productivity for sustainability and survival and to feed various industries. But disappointedly so many constraints militate against this process. The constraints are multidimensional in nature; and they include;
- Land Constraints
- Financial Constraints
- Attitudinal constraints of farmers
- Financial constraints like money.
These stated constraint in the work hamper the productivity and overall output of medium-scale farmers in Uyo Local Government Area.
Therefore, this situation necessitated the researchers to investigate more on the numerous constraints and as well as finding the way out of the pandemonium.
1.3 Purpose of the study
The purpose of the study is to determine the influence of farm management constraints on medium-scale crop production in Uyo Local Government Area.
Specifically, the study sought to ascertains;
- Influence of land constraints on crop production among medium-scale crop farmers in Uyo Local Government Area,
- Influence of financial constraints on crop production among medium-scale crop farmers in Uyo Local Government Area.
- Influence of attitudinal constraints on crop production among medium-scale crop farmers in Uyo Local Government Area.
- Influence of farm machinery constraints on crop production among medium scale farmers in Uyo Local Government Area.
1.4 Research Question
The study was guided by the following research questions;
- How does land constraints influence medium-scale crop farmers in Uyo Local Government Area.
2. How does financial constraints influence crop
FARM MANAGEMENT CONSTRAINTS AND MEDIUM-SCALE CROP PRODUCTION