Determinants of Aggregate Agricultural Productivity among High External Input Technology Farms in a Harsh Macroeconomic Environment of Imo State, Nigeria
The main purpose of this study was to isolate and discuss the determinants of aggregate agricultural productivity in an environment where policy on subsidy of fertilizer is inconsistent. The study examined determinants of aggregate agricultural productivity among HEIT farmers in Imo State, in order to provide information on those variables that play significant roles in determining the aggregate agricultural productivity in an environment where HEIT inputs such as inorganic fertilizer are not subsidized. Cross - sectional data generated from 80 smallholder farmers who practiced HEIT, randomly selected from 2 out of the 3 agricultural zones in Imo State were used. Multiple regressions was used in analyzing the data. Results showed that farm sizes, capital input, number of crops planted in a mixture in the farm, labour input, expenditure on planting materials, non farm income, distance to the nearest market, level of education and farming experience are the statistically significant determinants of aggregate agricultural productivity among HEIT users in a harsh macroeconomic environment of Imo State, Nigeria. The negative sign on man days of labour and expenditure on planting materials may suggest that a reduction in the current level of use of these inputs may increase aggregate agricultural productivity in Imo state. The negative sign associated with non farm income may imply that if more time is allotted to non farm activities less time would be available for allocation to farming activities which may reduce aggregate agricultural productivity. It is, therefore, recommended that appropriate policies be put in place by the government to increase the farm sizes through re-examination of the existing land laws. Credit liberalization in favour of HEIT farmers is expected to increase their labour and capital inputs while mass literacy and increase in extension contacts will increase their level of education. Credit facilities for the smallholder farmers should be skewed in favour of farmers with more years of farming experience and levels of education. Furthermore, improved planting materials should be made available to the HEIT smallholder farmers in the country, if aggregate agricultural productivity is to be increased under the prevailing macroeconomic environment.
Key words: Determinants, Aggregate, Productivity, External, Macroeconomic