ANALYSIS OF PROFITABILITY AND CUCUMBER PRODUCTIVITY AMONG SMALLHOLDER FARMERS
Godfrey C. Onuwa, Gloria Wuyep and Cosmos C. Alamanjo
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In the tropics, cucumber is a popular vegetable to grow; and as such it becomes imperative to evaluate the levels of farm productivity, given that agricultural productivity has a linear relationship with overall farm profitability. Therefore, this study analyzed profitability and cucumber productivity among smallholders in Jos-South, Plateau State, Nigeria. For this study, 115 respondents were selected using a multistage sampling method. Collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, farm budgeting and total factor productivity techniques. The estimated gross and net farm incomes were respectively ₦204,000 and ₦95,200 per hectare; indicating a venture that has the potential to improve economic prospects and is relatively profitable. Additionally, the benefit-cost ratio and profit margin were estimated to be 0.88 and 46.7%, respectively. In addition, the majority of cucumber farmers (51.3%), whose TFP indices were below the optimal scale, were producing sub-optimally; due to an inefficient mix of inputs and the high cost of factors of production. Further, the following were barriers to cucumber production in the area under study: inadequate capital (93.9%); inadequate input supply (78.2%); labour cost (75.7%); limited access to microcredit (70.6%); lack of improved technology (67.8%); limited extension contact (53.9%); fragmented farm holdings (50.4%); and pest and disease outbreaks (43.5%). Therefore, this study recommends improved access to agricultural credit and farm capital; improved cooperative activities, input supply and subsidies, policy modifications, development and adoption of agricultural production technology, improved extension service delivery and farmer sensitization.