Technical Efficiency On Cocoa Production In Esan West Local Government Area Of Edo State, Nigeria
The objective of this study is to ascertain the technical efficiency of cocoa (Theobroma cacao) production in Esan West Local Government area of Edo state, Nigeria. A total of 134 respondents were selected from the population figure out of which the sample size was determined. The primary source of data collected was mainly the use of a structured questionnaire which was designed to elicit information on technical efficiency on cocoa production. Data collected will be analyzed using frequency table, percentage and mean score analysis while the nonparametric statistical test (Chi-square) was used to test the formulated hypothesis using SPSS (statistical package for social sciences). Results obtained from the profit function indicated that costs of seeds, transportation, storage and labour were factors that increased profit on groundnut product ion in the area. There is need for the farmer to be given proper orientation and/or basic trainings in major farm management techniques, this will help increase their productivity, hence be more efficient.
1.1 Background of the Study
Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) is one of the most import economic produce in Nigeria. This can be drawn out in terms of annual contribution to foreign exchange earnings, income earning, employment, internal revenue generation and as source of raw material for industry. Nigeria is potentially one of the most economically endowed nation of the world, having abundant of resources e.g. coffee, rubber, oil palm, cocoa and other non crop product, such as petroleum.
In Nigeria, cocoa is a very important part of the cash crop family in the agricultural sector. Analysis shows that, in the 1980’s cocoa production in Nigeria was at its peak, Overtime, the output has fallen by over 50%. from 2010to 2012due to technical inefficiency of the agricultural sector. Tian and Guary (2010) in China has shown that there is room for increasing agricultural productivity in developing countries by improving technical efficiency of agricultural production. That every factors of production should be efficiently and effectively mobilized in cocoa production to reduce the gap between actual and potential output.
The major objective of stakeholders of cocoa produce in the state is to increase production on a sustainable basis at the farm level. Cocoa productivity levels can be enhance either by improving technical efficiency and or by improving technological application (Nkamleu et al, 2010). This aspect shows that proper farm maintenance through weeding and increased use of input like pesticides and fertilizer is considered to be the more effective way to increase production. This is because a greater part of cocoa produce is lost due to diseases, pests, and weeds (Binam et al , 2008; Dzene, 2010). Cocoa yields depends on how farmers combine their resources optimally to maximize output for cocoa produce and also optimize resource use in the industry, for cocoa to continue to play its key role in the economy.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There has been a continuous problem in the production of cocoa over the years. As a result of the lack of application technical knowhow and other economic tools. As we know, at a point in the country economic history, agricultural production was of a major priority in Nigerian. But as time went by, there has been a gradual and small fall in the output overtime. Nigeria produces a little more than half of what she used to produce in the 1970’s (CBN 2014). In order to increase and maintain a quality and quantity production of cocoa, there is a need to improve on technical efficiency and application aspect of economic principles to production, cut down over-regulation of the sector, provide effective marketing system and invest more on the sector. This works intends to answer the following questions: What are the challenges faced by cocoa farmers; and what method to adopt to improve on cocoa production.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The general objective of this study is to ascertain the technical efficiency of cocoa (Theobroma cacao) production in Esan West Local Government area of Edo state.
- Examine the socio-economic characteristics of cocoa producers.
- Estimate the levels of technical efficiency in cocoa production.
- Examine the factors that influence the level of efficiency in cocoa production.
1.4 Justification for the Study
An interest in this study stems from the fact that cocoa production in Nigeria is reducing and Nigeria is experiencing difficulties meeting local demand for cocoa product. This however, creates an opportunity for increased production. It therefore becomes necessary to offer information on this sub-sector of the agricultural sector in order to show the potentials of cocoa production and also to highlight the potential for boosting the Nigerian economy by concentrating on the cocoa production sector. The study will provide the information needed for a successful cocoa enterprise which also would boost the confidence of the cocoa farmer and also could serve as guide for investors in the enterprise.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Farmers were not fully efficient, thus, education, extension contact, family size and family labour were the variables that increase technical efficiency of the respondents. However, farming experience, family size and education were significant factors influencing allocative efficiency of cocoa farmers. Also on the overall, the farmers in the study area were not economically efficient. Pests and disease infestation, lack of storage facilities, extension services, inadequate credit facilities, low price, inaccessibility, land tenure system were the major constraints of cocoa farmers
- Based on the results of socio-economic characteristics of farmers in the area which found extension contact to be relevant, thus, there is a need of government support in term of revitalization and prioritizing funding of extension delivery system of the state owned agricultural development programme. Also literacy level of the farmers was found to be on important factor that increases groundnut out in the area, there is need for the farmer to be given proper orientation and/or basic trainings in major farm management technjques, this will help increase their productivity, hence be more efficient.
- From the results obtained on the technical, allocative and economic efficiencies which showed that the groundnut farmers are not efficient, could be as a result of lack of input and other production facilities. Therefore, efforts geared towards ensuring incentives such as loans and other credit facilities should be made available so as to improve their efficiency.
- Since production of cocoa is profitable in the area, it means if government and non-governmental agencies will encourage farmers, it will go a long way to help them produce more and generate more incomes for their wellbeing.
- Results obtained from the profit function indicated that costs of seeds, transportation, storage and labour were factors that increased profit on groundnut product ion in the area. This implied that improvement on these inputs if made by the government and non-government agencies will make the groundnut farmers to stay on the business. Also constraints such as pests and diseases, inadequate research and extension services, lack of storage facilities should be taken care of by government and nongovernmental agencies so as to improve cocoa production.
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