PRODUCTION EFFICIENCY IN YAM BASED ENTERPRISES IN EKITI STATE, NIGERIA
2006, 7 (4) p. 627-636
This paper investigates the production efficiency in yam based enterprises is Ekiti State, Nigeria. Primary data were collected through the use of structured questionnaires from 150 farmers randomly selected from four Local Government Areas. Stochastic frontier production function, using maximum likelihood estimation MLE was used to analyze the economic efficiency. The productivity of resources was also examined by obtaining the Average and Marginal product values. This study found out three types of yam production systems among the farmers. These are wetland, upland and a combination of the two types of production systems. The MLE results reveal that farm size and yam set weight are the major factors influencing gross margin in wetland yam based enterprises. Gross margin increases with farm size but decreases with yam set weight. The major factors in upland yam based enterprises are farm size, hired labor, pesticides and herbicides. An increase in hired labor input and value of pesticides and herbicides leads to increase in gross margin. Gross margin from wetland/upland yam based enterprises is mainly influenced by family labor, hired labor yam set weight, and pesticides and herbicides. The efficiency models show that in all the three farming systems, as crop diversification increases there is a decline in economic efficiency of the farmers. The wetland yam based enterprises are the most economically efficient with mean economic efficiency of 0.80 followed by upland yam based enterprises with mean efficiency of 0.79. Wetland/upland yam based enterprises are the least economically efficient with mean efficiency of 0.76. However only 20 percent of the farmers are wetland farmers while as high as 50 percent are upland farmers. Productivity of resources shows that yam set is over utilized in all the three farming systems. In addition to this, family labor and fertilizers are also over utilized in wetland yam based enterprises. The major conclusion drawn from the study is that farmers should seek to grow their yams on wetland. Also, farmers should address the problem of over utilization of yam set by adopting the yam minisett technology developed by the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI).