Economics of small-scale maize production in Toto local government area, Nasarawa state, Nigeria
The study examined the economics of small-scale maize production in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, Nigeria. A two-stage sampling technique was adopted for the data collection. Descriptive statistics, regression and gross margin analyses were used to analyse the data collected. The study revealed that majority of the respondents were within the active working age and most of them (83%) were male. The majority of the respondents were married and had a household size of five persons and farm size of 1-2ha. Results of the regression analysis revealed that the output of small-scale maize farmers was influenced by farm size, marital status and annual income at 1% and 5% respectively. A gross margin of N170,594.50 was earned from one hectare of maize farm with a return per naira invested of 2.40. The cost of labour constituted a greater proportion of the costs of production, accounting for about 58.38% and 39.52% of the total variable cost and the total cost respectively, the total cost. The problems militating against maize production in the study area were high cost of labour, pests and diseases, inadequate storage facilities, inadequate capital, marketing problems, transportation, poor access to credit facilities and high cost of inputs. The study, therefore, recommends that farmers should be properly educated by the extension agents on pest and disease control measures. Moreover, inputs should be made available to farmers at subsidized rates by relevant stakeholders.
Keywords: Maize, costs, returns, problems, small-scale, production