ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF THE USE OF AGRO- CHEMICALS FOR RICE CULTIVATION

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ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF THE USE OF AGRO- CHEMICALS FOR RICE CULTIVATION

 

Introductions

Rice (Oryzea spp) is one of the major staple food of the world, ranking third after wheat and maize on global production level and second in terms of area under cultivation (Adeoye, 2003).

It is a major source of food for about half of the world’s population supplying basic energy needs of the people. In Nigeria, rice cultivation is an age long enterprise providing employment opportunity and source of food to vast and diverse population of the country. It is ranked the fourth major cereal crop in Nigeria after Sorghum, millet and maize in terms of cultivated area and output (Babafada, 2003). The importance of rice in the Nigeria diet can succinctly be explained by its demand and consumption pattern over the years.

Starting from the 1960s when paltry 360 metric tonnes of locally produced rice was unable to meet local demand, to the 1.45 million tonnes produced in the 1990s which also fell far short of demand (National Cereals Research Institute [NCRI] 2004). The nation’s current annual production level of about 3 million tonnes is again a far cry from its consumption level of 5-6 million tonnes (Ugwu, 2013). The short fall, according to Ugwu (2013), is usually filled through importation with figures oscillating between 1.7 to 3.2 million tonnes.

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