COMPARATIVE PROFIT AND DETERMINANTS OF NET FARM INCOME AMONG SMALL HOLDER COCOYAM FARMERS IN SOUTH-SOUTH, NIGERIA
This study compared the profitability and determinants of Colocasia esculenta and Xanthosoma sagittifolia production in South-South Nigeria. The study specifically described the socioeconomic characteristics of the cocoyam farmers, estimated the cost and returns in Colocasia and Xanthosoma spp.production, established the difference in net farm incomes realized by farmers of the two varieties, established the determinants of net farm income realized by the Colocasia and Xanthosoma spp. farmers,
... soma spp. farmers, estimated the effects of prices of individual resource inputs and output, as well as the effects of socioeconomic factors on per unit profit and identified problems militating against cocoyam production. Multistage, purposive and random sampling techniques were used to select 200 cocoyam (100-Colocasia and 100-Xanthosoma spp.) farmers for the study. Primary data were collected using structured questionnaire administered by personal interview. Descriptive statistics, enterprise budgeting, multiple and profit function regressions were used for data analyses. Results indicated that Colocasia esculenta returned more profit than Xanthosoma saggitifolium having yielded a gross margin of ₦5,044,182, net farm income of ₦4,804,782.4, mean net farm income of ₦48,047.82 and net return on investment values of 2.64 as against Xanthosoma sagittifolium with a gross margin of ₦4,675,740, net farm income of ₦4,411,905.5, mean net farm income of ₦44,119.05 and net return on investment of 2.30. Cost of inputs, education and farm size had positive and statistically significant influence on net farm income realized by farmers of the two varieties. Profit was significantly influenced by per unit price of output (positively), farmer's age (positively) and per unit price of corms (negatively). The major constraints to cocoyam production in the area were scarcity of improved high yielding corms, lack of capital, high cost of labour, high cost of transportation, lack of storage facilities, diseases and pests. Policy measures such as the prioritization of research into high yielding corms, injection of funds into cocoyam farming through the Bank of Agriculture for farmers to have access to loans (especially the women) at reduced interest rate, provision of modern storage facilities will help to achieve better profit. Also, there is need to encourage younger farmers training through extension programmes for sustained production.