African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6863

Article in Press

FARM MACHINERY UTILIZATION AND MAINTENANCE IN EBONYI STATE BIOCLIMATIC REGION OF SOUTH-EASTERN NIGERIA

OKECHUKWU ODUMA, S. Ike Oluka

ABSTRACT An assessment of farm machinery utilization and maintenance for increased crop production in Ebonyi State bioclimatic region of South-Eastern Nigeria was carried out. The focus of the study was on tractors and implements. The machinery inventory was taken in the three agricultural zones of the study area and the mechanical conditions/status and performances of different makes of available tractors were examined. The inventory revealed that 38.56% of the machinery was owned by Ebonyi North zone, 30.86% was owned by Ebonyi south and 30.58% was owned by Ebonyi central zone. The survey showed that a total of 155 tractors were available in Ebonyi State. 25.16% of the tractors were owned by federal government, 39.35% were owned by state government, 25.81% and 9.68% were owned by local government and private organizations respectively. The study revealed that 71% of the tractors surveyed were used for farming operations while 29% were used for haulage of farm products. It was observed from the survey that 12.9% of the tractors were Fiat, 3.9% was Ecihe, 1.3% David Brown, John Deere and International had equal value of 2.6% respectively, while Steyr, Massey Ferguson, Mahidra and New Holland were 49%, 18%, 5.8%, and 3.9% respectively. Analysis or results further indicates that 60% of the tractors were functional, 17.4% were not functional but are serviceable while 22.6% were non-functional and unserviceable. The tractor failures/breakdowns were as a result of obsolescence, careless operation, lack of genuine spare parts, over loading, poor maintenance, poor storage, engine over speed and over usage; these had corresponding percentage respondents values of 64.7%, 57.8%, 59.8%,64%,65.4%,59.1%,52.6% and 55.2% respectively. Results revealed that inadequate maintenance of the machinery were due to high cost of spare parts, lack of funds, poor maintenance workshops and lack of skilled mechanics, negligence and poor management. This study would aid in the planning of farm machinery rehabilitation program for increased agricultural operation in Ebonyi State and other states with similar agricultural crises.

Keywords: Machinery utilization, maintenance, crop production, tractor coupled implements, Ebonyi State.