Optimum Plans For Oilpalm And Food Crop Combinations In Edo And Delta States Of Nigeria: Application Of Recursive Linear Programming
AbstractIntercropping food crops in oil palm plantations is a popular practice among oil palm farmers in Nigeria. However, farmers are not guided by economic rationale for the choice of food crops and oil palm. The study there for generated optimal farm plans in the dynamic decision environment of the farmers using a recursive linear programming model for oil palm/food crops enterprise combinations in Edo and Delta States of Nigeria. The model integrates technical and economic constraints with farmers’ objectives. The seven crop combinations identified were Oil palm/plantain (OP),Oilpalm/cocoyam(OC),Oilpalm/cassava/maize(OCAM),Oilpalm/cassava/cocoyam(OCAC),Oilpalm/p lantain/cocoyam(OPC),Oilpalm/maize/cocoyam(OMC)andOilpalm/plantain/cocoyam /maize (OPCM). Four situations: Resource Endowment of the Farmers (REFs), No Capital Borrowing and No Labour Hiring (NCLH), Labour Hiring (LH), Capital Borrowing and Labour Hiring (CBLH) were the variations in the plans. With the present REFs, optimal farm plan gave a farm income of N89,590 from 1.06 hectares OC with the use of Average Annual Quarterly Labour (AAQL) of 39 mandays and Average Annual Capital
Requirement (AACR) of N67,880. The NCLH gave a total farm income of N77,885.3 from 1.15 hectares in the first year made up of 0.500ha of OC and 0.654ha of OMC using AAQL of 79 mandays and AACR of N150,561.The farm income increased by an average of 69.8% yearly in 5 years. The LH only, gave a total farm income of N423,255.7 from 1.4 hectares made up of 0.43ha of OC and 0.93ha of OMC using AAQL of 75 mandays and AACR of N150,561.The total farm income increased by an average of 69% yearly in 5 years .The CBLH from the first year gave a farm income of N101,335 from 4.06 hectares made up of 1.55 ha of OC and 2.51 ha of OMC using AAQL of 30.73 mandays and AACR of N569,508.The total farm income increased by an average of 112% yearly in 5 years. Oilpalm/cocoyam entered as a basic activity within the 5 years developed plans. Capital borrowing and labour hiring are essential prerequisites for faster acreage development. Consequently, the alternative farm plans developed will incorporate intercropping as an improved substitute to the existing mixed cropping practices. Intercropping of food crops in oil palm is profitable with potentials for growth if land is increased and capital is reinvested.