Economics of cucumber production in Rivers State, Nigeria
Cucumbers are very easy to grow and make for a delicious treat. They are naturally low in calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium. The study aimed to determine the profitability of cucumber production in two local government areas of Rivers State. The specific objectives of the study included examining the socio-economic characteristics of cucumber producers, ascertaining the profit level and determinants of cucumber production in Rivers State as well as identifying the major constraints to cucumber production in the area. Purposive sampling technique was used as the farmers were sampled from selected communities that are known for cucumber production. Primary data was collected from randomly sampled farmers. The study employed descriptive statistics in examining the socio-economic characteristics of the cucumber farmers; gross profit margin analysis in examining profitability and the Garrett ranking technique in establishing the challenges faced by the farmers. From the study analysis, it was observed that the gross profit level of cucumber production was high ( ₦1,909,292) and likewise the gross margin at 0.90. The study also revealed five major constraints affecting cucumber production in the study area and they included pest and disease attacks, poor funding and unfavourable climatic conditions. It is suggested that it is necessary for extension workers to create awareness among cucumber farmers on the best farming practices to deal with pest and diseases as well as cope with unfavourable climatic conditions.
Keywords: Economics, cucumber, farmers, profitability, gross margin