C.K.، Biam نويسنده University of Agriculture, Makurdi , , Ater، P.I. نويسنده University of Agriculture, Makurdi ,
The study assessed changes in root and tuber crops, quality of life of respondents due to
intervention of Root and Tuber Expansion (RTEP) in Benue State. Based on proportion to
size of root and tuber crops farming population per Zone, 70 respondents each from Zones A
and B, and 64 from Zone C were purposively sampled, giving a total of 234 respondents.
Data were collected using well-structured questionnaire. Simple descriptive statistics and
regression analysis were used to analyse the data that was collected. Results showed that
most respondents (40.9%) belonged to the age group of 41-60 years, majority (53.6%) were
males, majority (81.4%) were educated at various levels, mean household size was 11
members, and majority (92%) were married with 93.14 per cent farming as their major
occupation. The mean farm size was found to be 5 hectares with a mean size of 2 hectares
cropped with roots and tubers. Most respondents were in the income bracket of N50,000-
N75,000, higher than earlier income bracket (N31,000-N40,000) established in the baseline
survey conducted in 2001.Findings also showed that RTEP intervention resulted in
increased per hectare yield of 2.48MT/ha, 1.4MT/ha and 2.19MT/ha for cassava in Zones A,
B and C, respectively. The quality of life of root and tuber producers also improved with
majority (83%) eating three meals daily compared to 48 per cent at the baseline survey. The
lean food period for most respondents also decreased from 4 - 2 months, meat intake
frequency per week for majority (59%) also increased from once a week to 5 times weekly.
Results of regression analysis gave an R2 value of 0.876 indicating positive impact on
income and hence quality of life of RTEP beneficiaries. It was recommended that youths be
encouraged into root and tuber industry in the State to avoid obvious devastation associated
with declining productivity and diminishing managerial competence associated with old age.