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There is a growing demand for the resuscitation of the cocoa industry in Nigeria largely due to the dwindling of the foreign exchange earnings from the oil sector. It is believed in principle that the economy can be diversified in favour of cocoa production in other to boost socio-economic standards in our rural communities. This study therefore focused the effect of changes in cocoa production on farmers‟ livelihood in Emure Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Nigeria. Two hundred and forty eight 248 samples were proportionally selected according to population size among the four wards namely, Odo-Emure I, Odo-emure II, Oke-Emure III and Oke-Emure IV. Multi-stage sampling procedure was adopted using purposive and random sampling techniques in selecting cocoa farmers in the study area. Structured questionnaire was used as a major research instrument. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics to summarize the data into frequency counts, percentages and charts. Also, multiple regression and t-test statistics were employed to test whether there is no significant relationship between socio-economic characteristics of farmers and productivity. Malmquist productivity index was used to analyze the total factor productivity (TFP) of cocoa producers from 2005- 2014. The results show that nearly all the cocoa farmers are males (97.6%) and are married (92%). Moreover, about 53.0% are aged, while less than half (48.0%) are have had more than 20 years farming experience. At literacy level, 60.8% were educated. Majority (91.3%) of the farmers producing between 1-10 tons of cocoa are in 2005-2010, and they produced a total of 6.0 metric tons of cocoa compared to an increase number of farmers in 2011-2014, numbering a total of 96.8% farmers producing 6.5 metric tons of cocoa. Majority of the respondent 46% earned maximum of N250, 000 yearly. Considering the Malmquist productivity index, the result of the analysis shows a progress in the total factor productivity growth of cocoa farmers. The positive growth was due to both technical efficiency change and technical change. The result of the analysis indicates that change in production had a significant impact on the farmers‟ livelihood. Challenges facing cocoa production ranged from finance to non-availability of chemicals. Cocoa diseases accounted for 81.9%. The coping strategies include planting of hybrid seedlings 90.3% to replace the moribund ones. The factors that were found related to the productivity of cocoa include, age, marital status and years of the farmers‟ experience in cocoa production were found to be significant at 1% percent level of probability. On the basis of the findings, the study recommends that as cocoa farmers are ageing the youths should be encouraged by making farming attractive and lucrative. Also, government should give priority to cocoa production not only to solidify country‟s economic base but also raise living standards of the cocoa producers.
1.1 Background to the Study
Nigeria is one of the countries in Africa that has highly diversified agro-ecological
conditions, which makes the production of a wide range of agricultural products possible.
Agriculture is a potentially viable sector of the country‟s economy, particularly in terms of
its employment generation as well as its contribution to Nation's Gross Domestic Product
(GDP) through export. The contribution of agriculture to the overall economic growth has
declined from 70 per cent at independence to about 25 per cent in the mi
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