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The study investigated the profitability and efficiency of plantain production in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Nigeria. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 195 plantain farming household for this study.Datacollected with the aid of structured questionnaire was analysed using descriptive statistics, net farm income, stochastic frontier production function, and allocative efficiency index.The result shows that the respondents had an average farm size of 0.82 hectares and a net farm income (NFI) of N157, 521.20/ha. The return per naira invested was N2.26 for the plantain farmers implying that for every one naira invested in plantain production is realized. The farm specific allocative efficiency was estimated to be 0.863. This indicates thatallocative inefficiency contributed 86% to the short fall in plantain production between maximumpossible (frontier) level of production and recorded output.Specifically, the result indicates that 13.7% reduction in plantain production from maximum possible (frontier) output is attributed to allocative inefficiency. Furthermore, estimation from the allocative efficiency index indicated that the planting material, fertilizer, agrochemical and farm size were underutilized as their allocative efficiency index were found to be >1 while labour was over utilized as the allocative index was found to be <1. Profitability has positive implications for investment opportunities for individuals and corporate organizations and thus, improved household incomes. Adjustments in the production inputs such as farm size, increase and efficient utilization of fertilizers and herbicides and their cost of acquisition could lead to increased production of plantain. Farming experience, membership of cooperative societies, accessibility to credit, extension visits and education were significant variables that influenced efficiency. Technical and economic efficiencies in plantain production in the study area ranged between 0.52 and 0.98 with a mean of 0.84 and 0.63 and 0.93 with a mean of 0.72 respectively.Specifically, the result indicates that 16.5% and 27.9% reduction in plantain production from maximum possible (frontier) output is attributed totechnical and economic inefficiencies respectively. Planting material, fertilizer, agrochemical and farm size were underutilized. To maximize output, the planting material, fertilizer, agrochemicals and farm size should be increased, while less labour should be used.Farmers should be encouraged to join cooperative society and extension service should be strengthened or intensified to train farmers on improved plantain production. Also, fertilizer should be supplied at subsidized rate.
1.1 Background to the Study
Agriculture is the main stay of Nigerian economy. It involves small scale farmers scattered
over wide expanse of land area, with small holding ranging from 0.5 to 3.0 hectare per farm
land. It is characterized by rudimentary farm systems, low capitalization and low yield per
hectare(Ojo, 2005). The roles of agriculture remain significant in the Nigeria economy
despite the strategic importance of the oil sector.Despite the importance of petroleum as a
major contributor to gross domestic product (GDP), the role of agriculture remains most
significant in Nigeria economy since independence. Agriculture provides employment for
most rural dwellers and accounts for more than one third of total gross domestic product
(GDP) and labour force for the majority of rural Nigerians (Akinyemiet al., 2009).
The agricultural sector contributes about 41% of the gross domestic product and employs
about 65% of the total population and about 80% of Nigerian rural populations (Adegeye.
1985). Agriculture also provides about 90% of the nation‟s total food requirements and
merits priority attention from policy makers not only because of its economic significance
but also because of its importance in the war against hunger and poverty, and its significant
role in rural development (Ega, 2010).
The annual output of 2.4million metric tonnes (MT) which comes mainly from the southern
states with humid and sub-humid climatic conditions, makes Nigeria the largest producer of
plantain in West Africa (Ogazi, 1996; FAOSTAT, 2013). The main plantain production
comes from the plants which are components of the multi-storey cropping systems in
homestead gardens, backyard farms in urban and peri-urban areas and in intercropping
with food and cash crops in the outlying (distant) farms (Okigbo 1983; Osoet al., 2014).
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