Influence of socio economic characteristics on profitability of yam production in Etche local government area of rivers state, Nigeria
The paper investigated the influence of socio economic characteristics on profitability of yam production in Etche local government area of Rivers State, Nigeria. Data were collected with the aid of structured questionnaire from 120 randomly selected yam farmers in the study area. Data analysis was by use of regression. Findings revealed that the mean age is 47years and mean size of the household farmer is 6 persons. Farmers are quite experienced in yam cultivation with a mean of 15years in the study area. The economic returns of yam production in the study area is very low from the mean the initial capital that was realized from yam production per annum is N65,000.00 while the annual income is N140,00.00 per annum. Findings revealed that annual income, equity, farm size are significant at 1% alpha levels while household is significant at 5% alpha level. Marginal increase in these input variables lead to increase in the profit level posted by the yam farmers surveyed. The negative coefficient of the variable representing annual income which was -0.262 means that, a relative change in the annual income of the farmers resulted in decrease profit of yam production. The positive coefficient of equity and farm size variables means an increase in the profit level of yam production. An increase in household size will increase the profit level of yam production because there will be efficient cheap labour that will enhance productivity. The R-square 0.78 recorded by the model implied that 78% of the variation in the level of Yam production could be explained by the explanatory variables while the remaining 22% was due to other factors not specified in the model. The average profit obtained by yam farmers in the study area was one hundred and seventy thousand seven hundred and fifty two Naira (N170, 752.00). An average farm in the area is about 0.8ha. The findings show that yam production is profitable in the study area.
Key words: yam production, food security, farmers, Etche