Agricultural Economics and Extension Project Topics

Economics of Vegetable Production

Economics of Vegetable Production

Economics of Vegetable Production

Chapter One

Objective of the Study

The broad objective of the study is to determine the profitability of vegetable production among the rural household farmers. The specific objectives are to:

  1. Describe the socio-economic characteristics of the vegetable farmers in the study area; ·
  2. Examine the level of profit generated from vegetable production in the study area; ·
  3. Analyse the determinants of income generated from vegetable production in the study area; and
  4. Describe the constraints militating against vegetable production in the study area.




Development Challenges in Nigerian Agriculture

Identification of the development constraints in the agricultural sector is a necessary step to unlock the factors inhibiting performance of the sector toward designing policy strategies that would create conducive climate for promoting accelerated commercialization and growth of the sector. In this connection, the following factors are very important.

Marketing Problem

Marketing involves getting the agricultural products from the farmers to the consumers. It helps to enlarge production by stimulating consumption, expanding the agro-industry and facilitating industrial growth. For the marketing to play an essential role in increasing agricultural production, the following five basic elements are necessary.

  1.  Transportation for moving the products from where they are produced to where they are consumed. An efficient network of road is imperative. The majority of Nigerian rural roads are in very deplorable conditions.
  2.  Safe and efficient storage system to ensure continuous supply of agricultural commodities in the market. This is very inadequate and ineffective.
  3.  Financing for the marketing to ensure prompt payment to the farmers as they deliver goods for sale.
  4.  Processing system that stimulates production by furnishing a continuous outlet for the farmers to produce over a long period of time.
  5.  The marketing system also requires a functioning and dynamic information system in which both the buyers and sellers are linked together. Regrettably, the state of development of market information in the country is still primitive. Improved storage techniques that have been developed by relevant research institute have remained unadopted and sometimes unknown to farmers. Heavy post harvest losses occur due to inadequate storage facilities, especially in tines of bumper harvests.




The Study Area

The study was carried out in Ukwuani Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria. The study area was selected for this research because a considerable quantity of vegetable production is produced and marketed in this area. Ukwuani Local Government Area shares boundaries with Ndokwa West in the East, Ethiope-East in the south and Orhionwhon Local Government area of Edo state in the North. It lies approximately between longitude 4.50 6.30 W and latitude 5.50 300 N of the equator. The climate is tropical, marked by two distinct seasons; wet and dry with an average temperature of 300 C. The inhabitants engage in farming and crops commonly grown in the area are vegetable production, melon, sweet pepper, cassava, yam and maize.

The local Government Area consists of ten communities. Out of these, four contiguous communities were purposively selected for the study. Each of these communities was visited and a list of farmers that cultivated vegetable production above subsistence level was made to form the working sample frame. Systematic sampling was applied to draw at least 35 farmers from each community. This resulted in a total sample size of 140. Primary data were collected using copies of well-structured questionnaires which were administered to respondents within a time frame of July 2013 to January 2014. Cost-benefit analysis was done to determine the cost and benefit of vegetable production in the study area, the relationship between marginal value productivity (MPV) and marginal factor cost (MFC) was used to examine the resource-use efficiency in vegetable production production while multiple regression analysis was used to determine factors affecting production of vegetable production in the study area.



Socioeconomic Characteristic of Respondents

The socioeconomic characteristic of respondents are as presented in Table  1. The results showed that majority of respondents were female and within the age group of 41 –50 About 78 percent of the farmers were married with an average household size of 5 persons. This implies that pumpkin farmers were within the ages regarded as economically productive in a population. About 53% had no education, 28% had primary education, 12% had secondary education while only 2% had tertiary education. This implies that a high percentage of pumpkin farmers are illiterate Majority (73%) of the farmers had above 5 years of farming experience and about 95% of them practiced mixed or intercropping. Crops intercropped with vegetable production were maize, yam, cassava and pepper. The years of experience and wealth of knowledge of the farmers have some impact on the management ability and influences output. Most of the farmers which accounted for 80% cultivated 1.0ha and below thus output was small and fragmented. Olayide, et al., (1980) classified small scale farmers as those having 0.1- 5.9ha farm size. Since land is a very important fixed asset, its method of acquisition is crucial. It was observed that inheritance (72%) was the common method of land ownership in the study area. Others were through rent, purchase and shared cropping.

Table.1. Socioeconomic Characteristics of Respondents




We find that most of the respondents were females, illiterate and married. Farmers operated on subsistence level, about 95% practices mixed cropping with farming experience not less than 5 years. An adjusted R2 value of 0.664 indicated that the independent variables; farm size, labour and quantity of seed in the model explained 66% of variations in the dependent variable (output). Net return per hectare was $644.90. The benefit-cost ratio was $1 to $1.23 thus it could be said that the enterprise was profitable in the study area. Resources under-utilized were quantity of seed and farm size while family and hired labour were over-utilized. Further, it was established that constraints faced by farmers were; high cost of labour, lack of adequate and quality seeds, pests and disease attack, storage and transportation cost.


From the results obtained, we make the following recommendation:

  1. provision of improved seeds and encourage fertilizer use, training of farmers on method to avoid waste in order that resources are put to optimum use.
  2. Also efforts should be made to provide credit and loan facilities to farmers to ease financial and capital constraints while improvement in infrastructural facilities will better the socioeconomic status of farmers.
  3. Government should ensure the farm inputs such as seeds and fertilizers get to the farmer on time so that they could be efficient in production.


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