ADOPTION OF RECOMMENDED ONION PRODUCTION PRACTICES BY FARMERS
1.1 Background to the Study
Agriculture is derived from two Latin words ―ager‖ and ―cultura‖. ―Ager‖ means land, while ―cultura means to till or to cultivate. Therefore, we can define agriculture as the tilling of the land (Kasim, 2011). In Nigeria, agriculture is still the nations‘ main economic bedrock employing 70-80% of the total population, mostly on a subsistence level. Despite its pivotal role to the nation‘s economy, agriculture contributes only 25-30% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The sector suffered neglect during the oil boom years (late 70‘s and early 80‘s). However, significant improvements in food production have been recorded between 2016 and 2010 with an average annual growth rate of 3.6% and a rise in the level of domestic self-sufficiency (Adeagbo, 2011). Atala (2014) observed that the role of extension is particularly important primarily because of the low productivity of farmers arising mainly from the use of traditional technologies, as such the introduction of improved inputs and agricultural practices are prerequisite for increase production in particular and agricultural development in general. Mijindadi (2015) reported that the sharp decline in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the 1970‘s led to the initiation of a number of Federal and State Government‘s strategies for agricultural and rural development.
Onion (Allium cepa L.) is believed to have originated in the near east in an area which includes Iran, Afghanistan and West Pakistan. It has been grown in the West African savanna for a very long time for both food and cash (Kassam, 2011).