Analysis Of Profitability And Resource Use Efficiency In Cassava Farming In Benue State Of Nigeria
The study was conducted to analyze the profitability and resource use efficiency of cassava farming in Benue State. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select one hundred and eighty-six (186) cassava farmers from three local Government Areas. Primary data were collected with the aid of structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics, production function analysis, farm budgeting techniques and multiple regression analysis were employed to analyze the data. The results showed that the mean age of farmers was 46 years. About 72% of the cassava farmers were male. The average household size was 9, average years of farming experience was 15 years and average farm size was 1.28 hectares. The results of the input and output levels used showed that, farm size was about 1.28 hectares, cassava cuttings was about 144 kg/hectare, fertilizer (N.P.K 15:15:15) was about 439.27 kg/hectare, agro-chemical (glyphosate) was about 7.46 liters/hectares and labour was 232.62 Man-days/hectares. Average output was 9.15 tonnes of fresh tubers/hectare. The results of the Cobb-Douglas production function analysis showed that all the variables (cassava cuttings, labour, farm size, fertilizer and agro-chemicals) in the model were all important in explaining the variations that occurred in the output of cassava at 51% level of variation. The results of resource use efficiency showed that cassava cuttings and farm size were under-utilized while labour, agro-chemicals and fertilizer were over-utilized. The sum of elasticities coefficient (that is, returns to scale estimate) is 0.824 and this indicates a positive decreasing returns to scale. The net farm income per hectare was N59,077 with a return on investment of 0.27. The major constraints faced by cassava farmers in the study area were identified among others to be poor storage facilities, inadequate supply of improved planting materials, and inadequate capital. It was recommended among others, that agricultural policy measures should be taken towards provision of ready market with stable prices for cassava produce through marketing boards. In conclusion, farmers are encouraged to go into cassava farming as it is a profitable enterprise in the study area.