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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF SWAMP RICE PRODUCTION
Rice is the most important cereal in the world after wheat and more than half of the human race needs rice as a source of calories (wakatsuki et al, 2004). It is the leading cereal crop of the south East Asia which constitutes a thick population region of the world (Mani et al, 2007). Africa accounts for only about 2% of worlds output of rice. Rice is produced in the middle belt, south East and some far Northern states (Audi, 2008). The importance of rice in Nigeria is no longer the question but rather, how can we meet the growing demand, reduce import and be self sufficient. The green revolution in the 1960‘s laid the foundation for rapidly growing economies of Asia today. (Hirose and Wakatsuki 2000). Unfortunately, African is yet to attain its green revolution. Rice production in Nigeria between 2001 and 2003 was estimated at 2.03 million mega grams, while consumption was 3.96 million mega grams. The balance of 1.90 million mega grams was obtained by importation (FAO, 2004). Total consumption stands at 29kg and has contributed to income and growth in Nigeria rice sector (USAD, 2008). Nigeria is the largest producer of rice in West Africa producing over 40% of the regions total production (Singhet al, 1997 and FAOSTAT, 2007). In the last 30 years, production has increased 6 folds with Nigeria producing 3.3 and 3.6 million tons of paddy rice in 2000 and 2005 respectively (FAOSTAT, 2004 and 2007). Nigeria is equally the largest importer of rice and its importation figure stood at 11.61 million metric tons since 2000, which is one third of the sub regions total. It has a land area potential for rice estimated at 5 million hectares of which 65% are low lands. In 1999 area harvested from rice was 2.2 million ha consumption per capita jumped from 2.9kg in the period 1970-74 to 24.1kg between 1995-1999 (Hirose and Wakatsuki, 2002). Rice has emerged as one of the fastest growing agricultural sub-sector and has moved from ceremonial to a staple food in many Nigerian homes within the last two decades (Ume et al, 2007).
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