Agricultural productivity and access to market among farmers in Ekiti State, Nigeria
Agricultural productivity and the performance of smallholder agriculture in developing countries have been noted to be affected by access to markets. This study examined the access of smallholder farmers to input and output markets and the factors that affect agricultural productivity. A total of 336 smallholder farmers were selected in Ekiti State through multi-stage sampling technique. Data were obtained through the administration of structured questionnaire while descriptive statistics and Ordinary Least Square regression were used to analyze the data. The smallholder farms in the study area were characterized by non-uniform fragmented plots.
Average age of the farmers was 48.12 years with mean farming experience of 24.97 years. Using proxies which include distance to physical markets and good roads, results of analysis showed that poor market access had significant (p = 5%) negative influence on agricultural productivity (t = –2.0). Access to infrastructure particularly good rural roads also had significant effect on agricultural productivity. Other factors such as farmers’ formal education (t = 4.50), farming experience (t = 3.39) and commercialization level (t = 1.86) also significantly affect farmers’ agricultural productivity. For the enhancement of access to markets and agricultural productivity, it was recommended that rural infrastructure such as good roads be put in place by appropriate agencies.