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Background: In order to meet the soaring demand for food, there is need for increased food production in Nigeria. Integrated Rice-fish farming is a significant approach to increase food production that will provide social, economic and environmental benefits.
Aim: To describe the socio-economic characteristics of integrated rice-fish farmers and to ascertain the availability of rice-fish farming technologies in the study area.
Study Design: This was a cross-sectional study. 243 farmers were assessed for their socio-economic characteristics and the availability of rice-fish farming technologies in the study area.
Methodology: Primary data were obtained from the field using structured questionnaire. The questionnaire contained questions that address the objectives of the study. Farmers were asked to indicate the rice-fish farming technologies available in the area. Descriptive and inferential statistical tools were used in achieving the objectives of the study in the form of Frequency score, Mean and Percentages.
Results: The result indicated that the majority (68.0%) of the farmers were male while 32.0% were female. The mean age of the farmers was 47 years. The result also showed that 79.8% of the farmers were, 9.5% of the farmers were single, while 10.7% were widowed. The result indicated that majority of the farmers 53.5% attained secondary school certificate, 21.8% had primary education. The result revealed that stocking of carp fish (78.60%), use of pests and disease resistant varieties (74.07%), use of organic fertilizer (61.73%), followed by transplanting of rice seedlings (69.96%) and skills in harvesting of rice before fish(53.50%) were the technologies perceived by the farmers as being the most available in the area.
Conclusion: The majority (68.0%) of the farmers were male while 32.0% were female and the technology that was most available to the farmers was stocking of carp fish.
Recommendations: There is need to encourage more females to engage in farming because female participation will have a positive multiplier effect not only on the family but on the entire community. Federal, State governments and Extension organizations must ensure that farmers are assisted in the use of available technology. The Extension agents should mount more aggressive awareness campaign in the area to enable more farmers embrace the practice of rice- fish farming.
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