keywords: Growth rate, North East, North West, production, rice
This study analyzed growth rates in rice production, area and productivity in the North East and the North West regions in Nigeria from 1999 to 2018. The period was divided into two: Period I (1999-2010) and period II (2011-2018). Period I represented the era before the implementation of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) policy, while period II represented the era during the ATA. This was to estimate and compare the growth rates before and during the ATA, and also to identify the sources of rice output growth in both regions. Data was obtained from the Agricultural Performance Survey Reports and analyzed using Compound Growth Rate, Coefficient of Variation, Instability Index and Hazell Decomposition Analysis. It was found that in period II both regions recorded a significant growth in volume of production (North East = 12.50, North West = 13.17) and in area (NE =9.39, NW =9.00), but no significant growth in productivity (NE =1.3s, NW = 5.98). During the ATA, variability in volume of production was the highest in both the NE (31.1%) and the NW (29.4%). Generally, it was a change in the mean area that accounted for total change in rice output in both regions (NE = 71.6%, NW = 61.8%). Therefore, it is concluded that rice farmers increase their production through land expansion. Hence, it is recommended that efforts should be directed toward increasing production through increase in productivity rather than through land expansion, because land supply is limited and can be exhausted in the long-run.