EMPIRICAL ANALYSES OF PRODUCTION BEHAVIOUR AMONG SMALL-SCALE SWEETPOTATO FARMERS IN EBONYI STATE NIGERIA
The study investigated some determinants of sweet potato production among small-scale farmers in Ebonyi state.
Primary data were collected from 400 small-scale sweet potato farmers in Ebonyi State using a multi-stage
sampling technique. The instruments used for data collection were interview schedule and focus group
discussion (FGD). Data collected through these methods were analysed using descriptive statistics, while
ordinary least square regression was used to determine factors associated with sweet potato production. FGD was
analysed by transcribing responses of the discussants. Findings revealed that, 46.07% of the respondents were
males while 53.93% were female farmers. The average age of the respondents was 43 years while 75% had
formal education. The average farm size was about 2.8ha. Many (64%) of the respondents had more than 10 more
in the market because they were more receptive to new ideas and are less risk averse than their aged counterparts.
However, there should be a threshold in terms of age beyond which the agility to participate in the market may
decline. Similarly, the coefficient of marital status (5%) also had an indirect relationship with market
participation. This implies that processors who are married tend to not participate in the market than their
counterparts who are not. This implies that more of the cassava products produced will be used in feeding the
family, thus reducing the quantity taken to the market. The result agrees with that of Egbetokun et al., (2017) who
obtained similar result in his study in Osun State, Nigeria. Result of the regression analysis showed that
respondent's age, gender, household size, educational level, Farming experience, and membership to farmers
association were positive and significantly influenced sweet potato production. The results therefore call for
policies aimed at provision of affordable education and encouraging experienced farmers to form
groups/associations to enhance access to innovations that will enhance production.