1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) is an annual crop with height ranging from 50 to 100 cm tall. It is one of the important oil crops and ranked 9th among the top thirteen oil seed crops, which make up to 90% of the world edible oil production (Kafiriti and Deckers, 2001). The production of high quality seed is prerequisite to successful sesame cultivation. Apart from being the principal method of reproduction, the seed is largely the material from which the edible oil is extracted. The world hectare exceeds 6 million and world output stood at 2.4 million tonnes (Phillips 1997; Dudley et al., 2000). In Africa, Nigeria is the second largest producer after Sudan. Sesame oil is of good quality. According to Dudley et al., (2000), the oil is used for cooking, baking, candy making, soaps, lubricant, hair treatment, food manufacturing, industrial uses and alternative medicine (blood pressure, stress and tension). Also, Irvine (1970) reported that the leaves are used in vegetable soup while the seeds are consumed when fried and mixed with sugar in most African countries and the stems are used in making paper, fuel wood and source of potash after burning. Sesame has the potential of producing high percent of blossoms, better pod set and pod yield with good agronomic practices (Alam et al., 2007), in which proper weeding and appropriate planting date are inclusive and indispensable. The current global climatic changes is affecting all agricultural and other human activities, flooding and drought resulting from the changes, fertilizer application in our farmlands and irrigation technique employed today are gradually deflating our soil nutrient and dangerously making it more saline thereby decreasing our soil and crop productivity of any plant, hence challenging food security.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Productivity of any plant depends on its ability to manufacture organic natural matter using available inorganic resources while enduring and adapting to the challenging of the environment. Salinity is a serious challenge affecting our food production today. While some plants can tolerate salts some cannot. To what extent salinity affects growth and yield of plants sesame needs to be investigated.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main aim of the research work is to assess salt mining and its effect on yield of benniseed or sesame in Makurdi L.G.A of Benue State. The specific objectives of the study are:
1. to determine the relationship between salt mining and yield of benniseed or sesame in Makurdi L.G.A of Benue State
2. to determine the level of salt mining in Makurdi L.G.A of Benue State
3. to compare the difference in yield of benniseed or sesame before and after salt mining in Makurdi L.G.A of Benue State
4. to investigate the factors affecting salt mining and yield benniseed or sesame in Makurdi L.G.A of Benue State
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study came up with research questions so as to ascertain the above stated objectives of the study. The following research questions guide the objectives of the study:
1. What is the relationship between salt mining and yield of benniseed or sesame in Makurdi L.G.A of Benue State?
2. What is the level of salt mining in Makurdi L.G.A of Benue State?
3. What is the difference in yield of benniseed or sesame before and after salt mining in Makurdi L.G.A of Benue State?
4. What are the factors affecting salt mining and yield benniseed or sesame in Makurdi L.G.A of Benue State?
1.5 STATEMENT OF THE HYPOTHESIS
H0: there is no significant relationship between salt mining and yield of benniseed or sesame in Makurdi L.G.A of Benue State
H1: there is significant relationship between salt mining and yield of benniseed or sesame in Makurdi L.G.A of Benue State
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study on salt mining and its effect on yield of benniseed or sesame will be of immense benefit to Makurdi L.G.A of Benue State. The study will determine the effect of salt mining on benniseed or sesame. The study will also serve as a repository of information to other researchers that desire to carry out similar research on the above topic. Finally the study will contribute to the body of the existing literature on salt mining and its effect on yield of benniseed or sesame.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study will cover on salt mining and its effect on yield of benniseed or sesame with focus on Makurdi L.G.A of Benue State
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
SALT MINE: A salt mine is a mine from which salt is extracted. The mined salt is usually in the form of halite (commonly known as rock salt), and extracted from evaporite formations.
BENNISEED: small oval seeds of the sesame plant; sesame oil – oil obtained from sesame seeds. flavorer, flavoring, flavourer, flavouring, seasoning, seasoner – something added to food primarily for the savor it imparts
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