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TECHNICAL EFFICIENCY IN FOOD CROP PRODUCTION
This project is based on the technical efficiency in food crops production in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State. Data were collected from fifty food crops production farmers to ascertain the effectiveness and enhancement of technical efficiency in food crops production. The result showed that family labour, hired labour and material input were the prime factors responsible for the change in output of food crops production. A range of technical efficiency was observed across the sampled farms. The best farm has technical efficiency of 40%while the worse farm has a technical efficiency of 10%. This was attributed to the improper usefulness of available resources. At this juncture, the researcher recommended that government should implement policies and programmes that are favourable to farmers or enhanced technical efficiency of food crops production.
BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Food consumption accounts for a larger percentage of household expenditure in Nigeria. It was estimated that about 50% of the total expenditure of house hold in Nigeria in 1994 was on food consumption but this figure increased to about 72% in 1995.
An increased in population figure especially in the urban centres exert more pressure on demand for food consumption by the populace. In other words, an increase in population will eventually lead to an increased in demand for food consumption.
In view of this assertion, farmers will need to improve more or exploit more of their potentials in food production so that output could be maximized to meet the ever growing demand for food by the increasing population in Nigeria. The federal ministry of agriculture (200) estimated that the annual food supply would have to increase at an average annual rate of 59 percent to meet food demand and reduce food importation.
Studies conducted have shown that aggregate food production has been growing at about 2.5% per annum in recent years in Nigeria, but the annual rate of population has been on the high side up to the tune of 2.9%(Olayemi, 2002). The implication is that Nigeria as a country has not been able to be independent relation to food production despite the increasing resource being shifted into food production annually.
It is anticipated that demand for food will continue to grow in developing countries (e.g Nigeria). Because global demand for food per person is below the expected and has lead to food shortage or food insufficient in these countries (Fergie et al 2008).
Nigeria farmers have tried to increase food production to meet the ever growing population in two ways:
1. The area under cultivation is increased
2. Production on existing farm land
These two ways or methods are mutually exclusive and both have been employed to increased the food production and reduce food shortages in Nigeria. Although it have been noted that productivity on existing on existing farmland have been preferable in area where land is scarce to unavailability of it. It avoids green house emission associated with bringing new land into production and large scale of disruption of existing ecosystems. But the method have failed to yield the maximum results due to inabilities of the farmers to technically efficient.
In this study, efforts is being put at informing the public on the technical efficiently (i.e combination agricultural sector) of the production in their bid to increase food supply in response to population.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The militating factors to the growth of food production have been attributed mainly to low yield of crop resources management. An upward movement in the efficiency of farmers in food crops production could definitely lead to improvement in the standard of living and drastic production in the poverty level of farmers and food insecurity.
The problem therefore is why has farmers technical efficiency not enough not enough factor in solving the problem of food security in the country? It is therefore in line with this question that this project investigate the technical efficiency in food crops production in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State to find out the factor that is negating the technical efficiency of farmer in food crop production in the study area.
(Adeyemi 2001) observed in his past studies that decline in food crops production can never be attributed to lack of finance on the part on government but to knowledge gap that exist among the factors in the country.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The objective of the study is to basically assess the farmer in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State in the following areas:
1.To assess the effectiveness of the efficiency used by farmer in food crops production in Uhunmwode Local Government Area so as to maximize output to meet the ever growing for food.
2. To determine the extent to which efficient food crops production can lead to an improvement in the standard of living of the farmers.
3. To ascertain the level of steady increased in food crops production such as beans, rice, yam, etc.
4. To generate information on ways to achieve a steady but regular increment in food crops among the farmers.
5. To determine strategy to be employed in reducing the poverty level of the farmers and also a reduction in food insecurity in Uhunmwode Local Government Area.
6. To identify some of the challenge and problems faced by the farmers in food crops production in Uhunmwonde Local Government Area
1.4 RESEACH QUESTIONS
The study tends to engage the farmers with the following questions. How effective has your efficiency been in food crops production? Can an increase in the efficiency used lead to an improvement in your standard of living? What is your level of steady increament in food crops? If the level of increament in food crops is irregular increament in food crops is irregular, how can we achieve a steady but regular increament? What is the strategy to employed in reducing the poverty level of farmers and food insecurity? What is the problem and/or challenge faced in food crops production?
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is expected to cover Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria. It cover some randomly selected farmer in the study area. These farmers are fifty in the sample size.
1.6 SIGNICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will have beneficially effect on the Government, farmers and the people (individual) of Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State in particular and Nigeria at large. Government will be able to implement policies and programmes that will alleviate the problems of food crops farmers which tend to increase the efficiency of these farmers, with that food production will increase making food to be surplus and affordable by the people and this will bring about increase in the standard of living of food crop farmers. Government will also be able to generate revenue and earn foreign exchange through export of the excess.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Technical efficiency is define as the ration of product output to the factor input.
Food crop production is growing, raising, cultivation, picking, harvesting, collection of crop that are edible to man.
Therefore technical efficiency in food crops production is the radio of product output to the factor input in the growing, raising, cultivating, picking, harvesting, and collection of crop that are edible to man.
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