Socio-economic characteristics of registered cocoa farmers in Edo State, Nigeria
This study examined the socio-economic characteristics of registered cocoa farmers in Edo State; Nigeria. Primary data was collected using a well structured questionnaire administered to 180 registered cocoa farmers selected using a multi-stage sampling technique. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and budgetary technique. Results showed that 88.9% of cocoa farmers were male with a mean range of 46 years with 75% being married and 88.8% having formal education. The budgetary technique was used to determine the profitability of cocoa production, which was found to be profitable in the study area at a gross margin of N66, 350, Net Farm Income of N59, 200, and net return on investment of N 1.11.The Benefit Cost Ratio and Expense Structure Ratio of 2.11 and 0.12 respectively indicated that cocoa production was economically profitable and viable since the BCR is greater than 1 and the Gross Ratio (GR) of cocoa production is 0.47. From these profitability ratios, it shows that cocoa production is a profitable business in the study area. Inadequate finance to operate on large scale was found to be the major constraint to the cocoa farmers in the study area. The study concludes that cocoa production is profitable and was recommended that production could be improved and sustained through provision of soft loans to the farmers.
Keywords: socio-economics, characteristics, registered cocoa farmers