The farming system prevailing is mixed farming. Besides crop production, the average farm family raises a wide variety of livestock and local poultry. With regards to crop production, semi-permanent to shifting cultivation is practiced in the remote areas of the district where land availability is not a constraint and population density is low.
Mixed cropping dominates the cropping pattern. Mono cropping activities in the district are relatively large commercial rice and maize farms. Most of the rice farms are located in the valley basins. Most farming practices involve the traditional labor-intensive type characterized by the use of the hoe and cutlass.
However the initial ploughing of the land is highly dependent on mechanization. Approximately 80% of farmers in the Karaga zone (stretching from Karaga-Pishigu) use tractors. The rest of the farming population in this zone use manual or animal traction. To a greater extent, agriculture in the district is predominately small holder, subsistence and rain fed.
Although the annual rainfall of between 900 and 1,300mm is sufficient for annual cropping, the erratic nature of the pattern does not augur well for food yields Major traditional crops cultivated in the district include maize, sorghum, millet, soya groundnuts, cowpeas, cassava, rice and yam. In the last two years (2004 and 2005) the land area under cultivation has varied among the crops.
While land under cultivation of many crops has increased, the cultivation of rice and others has rather been stable. Reasons for the low land cultivation are not farfetched. The low prices of local rice as a result of the importation of cheap rice is killing the rice industry and local initiatives
Key Development Issues
The district no doubt has the potential for local economic development and ensuring food security, considering the performance of the local economy in the last two years. Intact if the economy is to make any meaningful impact on the eradication of extreme hunger (MDEl) and for that matter poverty reduction, the following development issues would have to be addressed.
• Lack of irrigation facilities
• Lack of credit facilities to farmers
• Declining soil fertility
• Weak livestock and poultry farming
• Low cultivation and promotion of nontraditional crops
• Poor knowledge in agric business
• High farmer extension Officers ratio
• Poor agricultural infrastructure
For production, only maize, yam and cowpea have recorded some increases with the production of the other major food crops being stable. Only sorghum recorded a considerable decline in both yield and total production.
The National Youth Employment Programme
The National Youth Employment Programme is basically an agricultural programme, initiated in 2006 to provide employment for the youth. It aims at sending back to the land the willing unemployed youth and also to increase production of agricultural produce. The district registered 32 youth groups representing 642 individual farmers across the district. A total of 781 acres of land was ploughed under the programme for the cultivation of maize and Soya beans.
Date Created : 11/18/2017 5:38:45 AM