In spite of the use of available production technologies by swamp rice farmers, much of the world’s intensive food production is still on small land holdings. Although swamp rice contributes significantly to the food requirements of the population, its production is far below the national requirements. Hence this study was designed to assess availability and use of swamp rice production technologies among farmers in Enugu State, Nigeria. Primary data were obtained from 96 swamp rice farmers through the use of a structured interview schedule. Descriptive statistics, multiple regression and logit regression equation were used to analyze the data. Findings indicated that (13.3%) of the respondents had no formal education, with a mean household size of 6 persons. Majority of the respondents (43.2%) borrowed their farmland and cultivated an average of 3.8 hectares of land yearly. The percentage of the respondents that belonged to at least one organization was (78.6%), while about 21.4% were not members of any organization. Majority of the respondents (60.6%) had no access to credit facilities, and 52.4% had no contact with extension agents while the average contact made by the farmers was 9.5 contacts in the past one year. Findings of the swamp rice production technologies available to the farmers included: Rice varieties such as Nerica and Faro (95.7%), recommended seed/seedling rate (95.7%), planting with 20x20 cm or 25cm x 25cm spacing (92.0%) control weed using herbicides such as propanyl-plus (90.4%). Also, the number of respondents that were categorized as high users was 14.2% while 21% were medium users, 11.5% were categorized as low users and 3.3% did not use any production technologies. The respondents perceived the following as factors promoting level of use of swamp rice production technologies; ability to enhance income of farmers (M = 2.52), adaptable to culture of users (M = 2.35) and access to available technologies (M = 2.28) among others. The respondent’s perceived constraints to the use of available swamp rice production technologies include pest, diseases and weeds, (M = 2.64), drought issues such as rainfall, solar radiation, (M= 2.49) and land tenure issues M = 2.46 among others. The regression results show that there was a significant relationship (f = 2.341., p< 0.05) between the socio-economic characteristics of the SR farmers and the use of available SR production technologies. Furthermore, results of the hypothesis revealed that years of farming experience (t = 0.032: P = 0.021), membership of social organization (t = 2.179: p= 0.001) number of contacts with extension workers (t = 0.965; P = 0.000) had positive significant relationship on farmers use of available swamp rice technologies. The overall finding of the study shows that the identified constraints to the use of available swamp rice production technologies should be tackled by government and non government organizations in order to enhance farmers ability to use available technologies effectively.

1.1     Background information
The two major species of rice commonly cultivated are Oryza glaberrima and Oryza sativa, with Nigeria and Madagacar accounting for 60% of the rice land in sub Saharan Africa (SSA) (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), 2006). Nigeria is currently the highest rice producer in West Africa, producing an average of 3.2 million tons of paddy (2 million tons of milled rice) (Damola, 2010). Rice indeed is no longer a luxury food in Nigeria, and it has become a major source of calories for the urban poor. The report further adds that the poorest of urban households obtain 33 percent of their cereal-based calories from rice and therefore rice purchases represent a major component of cash expenditure on cereals.

Swamp rice (SR) is a major food crop of the world by virtue of the extent and variety of uses and its adaptability to a broad range of climatic, edaphic and cultural conditions. It is grown under shallow flood or wet paddy conditions. Swamp production is concentrated in areas where management is convenient on flat low lands, river basins and delta areas. The crop flourishes well in humid regions of the sub tropic and temperate climates. About 90% of the world’s swamp rice is produced in tropical, semitropical areas and consumed where it is grown by small-scale farmers in low-

income developing countries (Food and Agriculture Organization, (FAO) 2008).Swamp rice is cultivated in virtually all the agro-ecological zones in Nigeria (Akande,2001). According to Damola (2010), swamp rice is relatively easy to produce and is grown for sale and for home consumption. In some areas there is a long tradition of SR growing, but for many, swamp rice has been considered a luxury food for special occasions only. With the increased availability of rice, swamp rice has become part of the everyday diet of many in Nigeria.

National Cereal Research Institute (NCRI) (2008) identifies three (3) prevalent types of swamp rice production systems in Nigeria viz rainfed lowland SR, rainfed SR and irrigated swamp rice production systems. Rainfed lowland SR production system (RLSPS): accounts for about 48% of Nigerian’s rice area. It is very common in the South Eastern part of Nigeria such as Enugu, Ebonyi etc. The rice yield is generally high and ranges from 2-8 tons/ha and it is also estimated to contribute about 53% to national rice production source (Atala, 2009) Rainfed SR production system (RSRPS): accounts for 30% of the total rice production area with more than 1.30mm of annual rainfall. It is predominant in the southern part of Nigeria and mostly found in the flooded river valleys, which accounts for about half of total rice areas and has an average yield of 2.2 tonnes (Akpokodji, Lancon and Erenstein, 2009). Irrigated swam price production system (ISPS) which is the most recently developed rice environment in Nigeria is common in the Northern and Southern part of Nigeria. Irrigation is supplied from rivers, wells, bore holes among others to supplement the rain for full rice crop growth. It contributes about 16% of cultivated rice land and yields range from 2-8 ton/ha thus accounting for 27% of national rice supply. (Saka, 2010)

Other less common rice production systems include the deep water (floating rice) (Deep water swamp rice production system) which constitutes about 5% of the national rice production area. The yields are very low due to the predominant use of unimproved.....

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