Socioeconomic analysis of smallholder land management practices in rice-based production systems in Nigeria.
Optimizing and sustaining agricultural productivity requires the appropriate management of the land resource base. This paper examines the influence of farmers' socioeconomic characteristics and land management practices on the profitability of rice-based production systems in Osun State of Nigeria. A two stage sampling technique was employed to collect data from two hundred and fifty farmers using a structured questionnaire with the assistance of village extension agents. Primary data on demographic, socioeconomic characteristics, as well as constraints to rice production were collected while secondary data were obtained from the publications of CBN, FOS, Ministry of Agriculture and the Local Government Area secretariats. Data were analysed with descriptive statistics, budgetary and multiple regression techniques. Results showed that rice farming is on a small scale with a mean of 1.39 hectares in the study area. Land management practices such as inorganic fertilizer, bush fallow, shifting cultivation, crop rotation and crop rotation/inorganic fertilizer mix were identified. Inorganic fertilizer was most predominant as claimed by 73% of the respondents. Crop rotation/inorganic fertilizer recorded the highest net returns of N61,272.86 per hectare over variable costs while labour constituted a major cost component on rice farms. Age, level of education, labour and farm size significantly influenced the net returns to rice farmers. Rice-based production systems will contribute to food security and poverty reduction if more effective extension services are employed to train farmers on appropriate use of land management and other information from research findings.
Keywords: Smallholder, land use, rice, gross margin, Nigeria
Eastern Africa Journal of Rural Development Vol. 21 (1) 2005: pp. 84-95