Effects of socio-economic factors on small ruminant production in Ohafia Agricultural Zone of Abia State, Nigeria
The study investigated the socio-economic factors affecting small ruminant production in Ohafia Agricultural Zone of Abia state. Specifically the study examined the socioeconomic characteristic of the small ruminant farmers, management system of production, estimated the net return of the enterprises, determinants of small ruminant production and identify constraints militating against small ruminant animal production the study area. A multi stage sampling technique was used to sample for eighty (80) respondents from Bende and Ohafia local government areas, forty respondents from each respectively. Structured questionnaire was used to collect data for the study. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive such as frequency and percentages. More so gross margin and regression models were also used. Results of the study showed that the respondents had a mean age of thirty–nine (39) years. About 57.5% were males, 56.3% were married, 98.5% had one form of education or the other, a yearly income of ₦ 68,438 was estimated. The gross margin estimate showed that the enterprise was profitable. The F-ratio was statistically significant at 5%, socio-economic characteristics such as age, household size, income and rearing experience, were statistically significant at various level and were the major factor that influenced small ruminant production. Major constraints identified include; insufficient fund, disease incidence, and others. The study therefore recommends that younger people should be encouraged into small ruminant production because small ruminant animal production is laborious. The younger people are energetic to take up the task involved. The farmers should also form cooperative societies to increase their access to credit facilities.
Keywords: socio-economic, characteristics, profit, small ruminants, production