Determinants of Watermelon Production and its impact on the farmers in Ifelodun L.G.A, Kwara State, Nigeria



This paper assesses the factors that encouraged watermelon production and their impact on the growers in a rural part of Ifelodun L.G.A, Kwara State, Nigeria. It further analyzes factors affecting the production and evaluates the determinants of rural farmers for diversification into watermelon production, impacts of growing watermelon on the livelihood of the producers and the constraints involved in its production. Purposive sampling technique was used and a total of one hundred and six (106) farmers involved in producing watermelon in the study area were selected. Focus group discussions (FGDs) were used to complement the questionnaire. The study employs Likert Rating Scale, descriptive and inferential statistics to analyze collected data. The results revealed that nature of soil and amount of water/ rainfall with a coefficient of determination of 0.779 and 0.859 respectively, are the most important factors affecting the production of watermelon. It was further discovered that accessibility to fertile land (x=3.9) and income generation (x=3.7) are the most important determinants for diversification into watermelon production by farmers. It revealed that watermelon production has significantly contributed to the income, health and livelihood of the people involved in it. Hence, the practice of horticulture should be encouraged more in other rural local governments of Kwara State for sustainable rural development. Proper institutional support towards the development and growth of watermelon should be put forward by policy makers.
Keywords: Horticulture, income generation, rural areas, watermelon.

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