Revenue maximising combination of rice monocrop and cassava-based farm enterprises in the Central Niger Delta: A linear programming solution
The study focuses on empirical analysis of the optimum combination of rice monocrop and cassavabased cropping systems consistent with revenue maximisation, and the identification of limiting resources in the target cropping systems in the Central Niger Delta of Nigeria. It was based on a cost-route study of 100 small-holder crop farmers throughout an entire farming season spanning 15 months. A linear programming model, with five crop production activities and 10 resources constraints, was employed in analysing the data obtained from the field survey. Results indicate that, of the five crop production activities, only the mixed cropping enterprise, cassava/maize, entered the feasible plan at an hectarage of 2 with a programme value of N124,000.00. Crop production activities not included in the feasible plan are cassava, yam, swamp rice, and cocoyam. The shadow price of land indicates that it is the only limiting resource to surveyed crop farmers in the area. It has been argued that rice cassava-based farmers in the area should cultivate about 2 ha of cassava/maize in order to maximise farm revenue. To ensure that cassava-based farmers are encouraged to adopt the optimal farm plan, it has been suggested that government evolves appropriate farm credit policy to enable them have easier access to finance with which to acquire more farm land for cultivation. Land consolidation and reform policies and programmes on the part of government have also been advocated, as well as the evolution of an effective marketing arrangement to forestall anticipated price risks associated with increased production and supply of cassava and maize. Also advocated is the boosting by government of its rural development activities so as to encourage non-farm activities to which the quarterly excess family labour of cassava-based farmers in the area could be profitably re-deployed.