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An Assessment of the Irrigation Scheme on Registered Rice Farmers of the Upper Benue Rice Basin Development Authority in Dadin Kowa, Gombe State, Nigeria

Abdullahi Hassan 1 , Matthew O. Adewumi 2 , Abraham Falola 2 , Matthew Durojaiye Ayeni 2

The Upper Benue River Basin Development Authority (UBRBDA) of Nigeria Federal Government is in charge of Dadin Kowa Dam that supplies irrigation water to registered rice farmers in Dadin Kowa, Gombe State. Irrigation methods were more profitable than the rainfed, yet some farmers remained unregistered in the scheme. The study aimed to assess the irrigation scheme intending to compare registered and non-registered rice farmers. A two-stage sampling technique drew a total of 157 respondents from the two groups of farmers who were interviewed using the structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics examined the socioeconomic characteristics of the respondents, supports received from UBRBDA and the factors that discourage their participation. The budgetary analysis compared the costs and returns of the farmers. Results showed that the majority of the farmers were men, married with children, in active labor age with a non-formal education and adequate farming experience who worked for small sized farmlands. Some were full-time while others had other off-farm work. The study also revealed N 107,262.20/ha and N 97,513.04/ha gross revenue and N 53,320.87/ha and N 47,547.52/ha gross margin for registered and non-registered farmers, respectively. Water supply ranked first while fertilizer supply was last as to farmers? satisfaction with UBRBDA supports. Long distance to the irrigation site was ranked first among the factors that hindered participation. The higher gross revenue and gross margin of registered farmers than their counterpart could be the result of the impact of UBRBDA's irrigation scheme. The study provides recommendations to improve the system and encourage farmers' participation.

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