Analysis of cost efficiency in food crop production among small-scale farmers in Adamawa state, Nigeria
Efficient allocation of resources has been a problem in small holder farm economy in Nigeria. The study analyzes cost efficiency in food crop production among small-scale farmers in Adamawa State, Nigeria. Specifically, the socioeconomic characteristics of food crop farmers in the study area were described, their various cropping systems identified and the cost efficiency indices of the farmers determined. Data were collected from 360 randomly selected food crop farmers in eight local government areas spread across the four ADP zones of the State using structured questionnaires. The analytical tools were descriptive statistics involving the use of frequency tables and inferential statistics involving the use of stochastic frontier cost function. The result revealed that married female farmers constituted majority (57.22%) of the respondents. Their literacy level was high, as 84% of them had some form of formal education. The respondents cultivated an average of about two hectares of farm land using personal savings. Eleven cropping systems were identified with mixed cropping accounting for about 53% of the cropping systems and about 54% of the total hectarage allocations. The maximum likelihood estimates of the stochastic cost function revealed that the explanatory variables; extension contact, crop diversification and credit availability were significantly and positively related to cost efficiency in the study area. The cost efficiency index ranged from 0.18-0.98, with a mean of 0.84 implying that an average farm in the study area has the scope for increasing cost efficiency by 16% given the existing technology. The study recommended farmers education on fundamental farm management skills to enable farmers plan, evaluate and appraise their farm business activities among others.
KEYWORDS: Cost efficiency, Cropping systems, Small-scale food crop farmers, Adamawa State, Nigeria