Nigeria agriculture is characterized by small holdings, low capitalization and low yield per unit of land. Cereal crops are the major dietary energy supplier all over the world and particularly in Nigeria. In most part of Africa, cereals supplies about 80% of the energy requirements. Major cereals produced in Nigeria include rice, sorghum, maize, sugar cane and pear millet. They are the mostly grown in the savannah agro ecological zone of the country. Factors militating their level of productivity include climatic factors (rainfall, temperature and solar radiation), edaphic factors, migration, government policies, use of local varieties, predominance of weeds, pest and diseases and the scourge of HIV/AID. Solving Nigeria cereal problems is an indirect and powerful approach to alleviate poverty and improve the standard of living for Nigeria farmers. There is the need to have a systematic collaborative research to find solution to the problems posed. The government should be consistent in its agriculture policies such as provision of credit facilities, ban on importation of cereal crops and subsidizing agricultural inputs.
Rice was one of the priority crops in the scheme and is ranked after wheat and maize in terms of worldwide production. It is among the most important cereal grain crops grown and marketed in Nigeria. According to World Bank (1991), urban household derived 33 percent of their cereal based calories from rice and rice purchases represent a major part of cash expenditure on cereal.
Market structure refers to those characteristics of the market organization that are likely to affect the behavior and performance of firms such as the number of sellers, the extent of knowledge about each other’s action, the degree of freedom of entry and the degree of product differentiation. Low yield of arable crops is a common occurrence in most production systems in the humid tropics, identified factors associated with this include incidences of pests and diseases, weed infestations, and low inherent soil fertility, Further aggravated by high rate of mineralization of organic matter due to high temperature and humidity; as well as torrential rainfall leading to high rate of erosion and leaching.
Combined efforts directed towards ameliorating the fertility problem include use of bush fallowing, inclusion of legumes in crop rotation and as a component in cropping systems, use of inorganic fertilizers, and use of animal manure. Associated with the above ameliorative efforts include shortening of the length of bush fallow below that which could have any meaningful impact on the natural recuperation of the soil nutrient because of demographic pressure Leguminous crops do not usually have immediate benefit on availability of nutrient to other component crops, and on the long run total contribution to soil nutrient is meagre due to high carbon content of the residue as well as crop removal
Nigeria is the world’s second largest sorghum producer with over 10 million metric tonnes output annually but over 15% of the crop may be lost to microbial disease infections and/or pest attack. Disease degraded grains, along with residues from pest invaded farmlands and storage facilities are not fit for either human or livestock consumption. Farmers therefore suffer serious economic losses as a direct consequence of disease and pest attack on their farm produce.
Additionally, previous studies have further investigated various fermentation techniques that included very high gravity fermentation (VHG), fermentation substrates supplementation with external nitrogen sources, and use of improved yeast strains. However, there have been few studies into the potential for bioconversion of degraded husked sorghum grains to ethanol. We investigated the potential of utilising degraded grains from different Nigerian sorghum varieties for bioethanol production, and focused on employing optimised methodologies for mashing and fermentation, and has been reported as a staple food in many places in Africa e.g. Nigeria ( Ismaila et al., 2010 ), Malawi (Ephraim & Chirwa, 2007), and Ghana (Fening et al., 2011). The overall maize production in Ghana (in terms of area harvested and volume) has however remained stable because of reliance on traditional farming methods.
These sustainable Agriculture Research methods have been negatively affected for some time now by factors such as climate, declining soil fertility and low application of external inputs and continuous mono-cropping. The agricultural sector in Nigeria is the major employer which employs nearly 70% of the country’s labour force. The sector is characterised by small scale traditional farming methods with very low levels of mechanization and modern technologies leading to low levels of productivity.
Temperature affects cereal production by controlling the rate of physio-chemical reaction and rate of evaporation of water from crops and soil surface . Studies have shown that productivity in rice and other tropical crops will decrease with increase in temperatures as a result of global warming.
Most farmers working in inland valleys in Africa are resource-poor subsistence farmers (Balasubramanian et al., 2007). Such farmers generally have limited financial means and monetary surpluses and they would need credits to purchase inputs. Indeed, for resource-poor rice farmers, the financial means or level of credits often determines the level of inputs, such as fertilizer necessary to alleviate the negative effects of biophysical production constraints.
According to  majority of maize farmers in Ogori / Magongo Local Government Area of Kogi State, Nigeria are faced with the problem of improved seeds because they use seeds from previous harvest which most of the time is not viable and result to poor yield. The outcome of the study on the Inadequate/Lack of mechanical services (such as tractor hiring) in zone B is in line with  who affirms that farm operations from land clearing to crop harvesting and processing are carried out by hand using simple tools such as hoe, cutlass, axe, sickle and other local farm implements by the majority of Nigeria farmers. Most of the food crop production processes in Nigeria is not usually mechanized, this constitute a very serious challenge for maize farmers because most agricultural operations are tedious in nature.
Among the fungal spores, the cultigen commensals included Alternaria sp., Aspergillus sp. and Curvularia sp. These are predominantly associated with cereals (pearl millet, sorghum and rice); cereals are most cultivated in the savanna region of Nigeria especially Kaduna and Plateau (Jos) which were traversed by the vehicles. As stated earlier, the most dominant palynomorph types from sample 7 were those of Poaceae, secondary forest, and herbaceous species which reflected the route and locality (Abuja) visited by the vehicle.
Such farmers generally have limited financial means and monetary surpluse and they would need credits to purchase inputs. Indeed, for resource-poor rice farmers, the financial means or level of credits often determines the level of inputs, such as fertilizer, necessary to alleviate the negative effects of biophysical production constraints.
Education is a significant factor in the adoption of innovations among farmers. Age has also been recognized as a limiting factor to farmers’ willingness to make use of technologies as well as work on farms. Also, Successive Nigerian governments have attempted to improve rural livelihood, provide employment and ensure food security through agricultural development initiatives.
Information sourced by:
OPAWOLE SUNDAY SAMUEL