Small-scale rice farmers are not equally considered with their large scale counterparts in resources inputs allocation and distribution with the presumption that their returns on investment is not as high as those of the large scale farmers. However, this presumption of lower returns on investment has no empirical backing for rice production in Nigeria. This study was designed to analyze the costs and returns of rice farming by farm size in Ebonyi state of Nigeria. Data were collected through the cost-route approach with pre-tested structured questionnaire from 40 randomly selected small scale and 40 purposively selected large-scale rice farmers, Data were analyzed by Net Farm Income analytical technique, Z - statistics and percentages. Rice production was found to be profitable enterprise but there was no significant difference in the net farm income levels of large scale and small-scale rice farmers. Labour cost is a major component of the total variable costs in rice farming and is higher in large-scale rice farms. There would be increased rice outputs and farm income if resource inputs are equally distributed among large scale and small scale farmers by the agencies charged with farm inputs distribution.
(Journal of Agriculture and Social Research: 2003 3(1): 29-39)