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Analysis of the reasons for limited planting of traditional and improved breadfruit (Treculia africana) trees in Southeast Nigeria

Enibe, D. O. (2017) Analysis of the reasons for limited planting of traditional and improved breadfruit (Treculia africana) trees in Southeast Nigeria. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Breadfruit (Treculia africana) is a member of the taxonomic family Moraceae, genus Treculia and a multipurpose tree crop of Southeast Nigeria.The desire to study breadfruit was instigated by a paradoxical situation observed in Nigeria. First, there is high and increasing demand for the crop. Second, it is a well-known and appreciated traditional component of Souteastem Nigerian farming systems. Third, however, high demand for the crop does not seem to be leading to an increase in cultivation and production of any of the varieties. Finally, instead of increasing supply, it is listed as an endangered species. The need for increased planting of the crop has been emphasized by many authors, but there appears to be no increase in breadfruit cultivation. The research therefore investigates this apparent paradox with the aim of understanding the reasons for limited planting of both traditional and improved breadfruit varieties in Southeast Nigeria. Data were collected via a survey questionnaire, 38 key informant interviews, 16 focus group discussions and 21 in-depth interviews. A total of 260 farmers were randomly selected from 13 communities in two states of Southeast Nigeria for the study. Data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics, Z statistics and logistic regression analysis. The study found that breadfruit planting appears to be at subsistence level with an increased number of the trees in the last 10 years relative to the number in the previous 20 years and that this is due to an increase in the number of farmers growing the crop and that adoption of improved varieties is poor. The study revealed that breadfruit plays important roles in the livelihoods of the farmers including its use for household food security, income generation, snacks, a source of firewood, fodder and traditional medicine, and in sociocultural activities. It was also found that the major reasons for limited planting of breadfruit were lack of access to new breadfruit (NBF) planting material, high cost of NBF and lack of awareness of the existence of NBF varieties, fear of increased risk of bush fires, drudgery relating to breadfruit depulping and cultural norms that allow the free collection of breadfruit in farm fields. The study indicates that the farmers' characteristics associated with NBF adoption at 5% level of significance were their breadfruit consumption frequency (monthly intake), extension contact and educational level while sourcing of fodder and medicinal importance were associated with planting more of their traditional trees

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Dorward, P., Ainslie, A. and Garforth, C.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
ID Code:76774
Date on Title Page:2016

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