Main Article Content
This study was carried out to compare the efficiency of production among small, medium and large farm categories in Kwara State of Nigeria by using the normalized profit-function approach. A sample of 180 respondents consisting of 60 from each of the three farm classes were selected using the multi-stage stratified random sampling method. The data collected from each class of farm were subjected to gross margin and profit-function analyses.
The result shows that the average age of the respondents was forty-three years and the average household size was eight. About 19% of the respondents have no formal education, while 44.5% have one form of education or the other. The average farm size was 1.63ha and each respondent on the average has three farm plots in different locations. Gross margin analysis shows that large farms earn #29,500/ha, medium farms #18,524/ha and small farms #14,092/ha during the 2000/2001 cropping season.
In the three farm categories, farm size and fertililizer input have positive and significant relationship with farm productivity and profitability. Labour input positively affect output on large farms while it negatively affects productivity in small and medium farms. The use of agrochemicals and seeds contributed positively to output in the three classes of farm. Returns to scale and technical efficiency were highest in the large farm category and lowest in the small farm category. The indirect estimates of input elasticity show that large farms are technically more efficient than medium and small farms. It is recommended that apart from providing adequate supply of fertilizer and other input to farmers, policies supporting large farms should be put in place and farmers should be enlightened on the benefits of using agrochemicals and improved seeds on their farms.
JARD Vol. 3 2004: pp. 47-60