Profitability and Technical Efficiency of Sweet Potato Production in Nigeria
This study examined the economics of sweet potato production in Kwara State of Nigeria. The study was conducted within the framework of the rural farming households who constitute the backbone of the Nigerian agricultural sector, producing about 80 per cent of the total national agricultural output with the cutlass-hoe technology and under rain fed conditions. Using cross-sectional data collected from 152 randomly selected sweet potato farmers from Oyun and Offa Local Government Areas of Kwara State, the study measured the profitability of and the technical efficiency of sweet potato production in the area. Primary data were collected from the sampled farming households using a structured interview schedule. Descriptive and inferential statistics was used to analyze the data. A Cobb Douglas production function was further employed to analyze the data using the maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) procedure to derive the stochastic frontier production function. The study revealed that the typical sweet potato farmer in the area is a male of about 52 years, with up to 23 years experience in farming and without formal education. The farmers have an average farm size of 1.05ha. The study revealed a positive gross margin of N15,29315 ha-1. Farm size, planting material and labour inputs were significant variables having positive impact on sweet potato output. Fertilizer was found to have negative effect on output. The study further revealed a mean technical efficiency of 0.473. For better efficiency, the land area cultivated, the educational status of the farmers, accessibility to credit facility, and development of the rural areas as well as farmersâ€™ contact with the extension agents are some of the key issues to address.
Volume (Year): 31 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (November)
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