Returns, productivity and constraints analyses of cassava/maize/melon mixed cropping enterprise in Isi-Uzo Local Government Area, Enugu State, Nigeria
The study was conducted in Isi-Uzo LGA of Enugu State, and evaluated the productivity and profitability of cassava/maize/melon mixed cropping with the aim to determine the degree and direction of influence of the production factors and identification of constraints militating against the enterprise. Multistage and purposive random sampling procedures were used to select 75 farmers who engaged in the enterprise during the 2016/2017 cropping and harvesting seasons. Data were collected from primary source made up of the respondents through the administration of structured questionnaire. Data collected were analysed for costs and returns, productivity index and ordinary least squares regression. The findings of the study showed that the enterprise was generally profitable. The partial productivity indices of planting materials, labour, and land were 2.38, 5.88, and 13.37, respectively, while the total factor productivity index was 2.15. The regression analysis result showed that planting materials, farm size, labour, and education positively and significantly influenced productivity at 1% and years of farming experience at 10% levels, while age inversely influenced productivity at 1%. The major limiting factors of the enterprise were high costs of fertilizer, labour, planting materials and poor access to credit. Efforts should therefore be geared towards supporting the farmers by making credit, planting materials and other inputs available and affordable at the right time in order to increase their productivity. Similarly, the farmers would need to be educated through extension agents on the modern farming practices to further enhance their performance.
Keywords: Productivity, Cassava, Maize, Melon and Enterprise