Main Article Content

Farm Level Assessment in Use of Labour-Saving Technologies on Cocoa Farms in Nigeria

J. O. Lawal
B. S. Famuyiwa
O. Taiwo


The drudgery of farm operations on cocoa production is the bane of poor productivity and a major cause of the non-involvement of youths in the cocoa business in the country. Labour Saving Technologies (LSTs) are the devices that reduce labour input thereby reducing the energy expended and overall cost of production on cocoa among farmers along the value chain and at the same time improving production. Data were collected from the three high cocoa-producing states in Nigeria using a well-structured questionnaire; two cocoa producing Local Government Areas (LGAs) were selected per state, 120 farmers were interviewed thus making a total of 360 respondents. The major objectives of the study were to identify the existing labour-saving devices among farmers and to find the determinants of the use of LSTs among cocoa farmers. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results of the analysis revealed that 77.5 percent of the cocoa farm household heads were male, the mean age of the household head was 44.97 ±14.84 years, household size was 8 ±3 persons, Farm size is 5.33 ± 3.94 hectares, mean age of cocoa trees was 18.71 ±11.56 years, year of experience at 28.15 ±14.41years. Mainly 78.4 percent of the farming households use hired labour on their farms, 14.7 percent use family labour and only 56.9 percent of the farming households claim to use labour saving technologies on their farms. The majority of farmers use pump sprayers (86.5 %), motorcycles are owned by only a few 38%, and Wheelbarrows is owned by 42.3%. The regression result shows that the use of labour saving technologies is determined by access to credit, years of cocoa farming experience(p < 0.01), access to extension services and age size of cocoa farms (p < 0.05)among cocoa farming households. Most of the cocoa farmers see land clearing and weeding as the most laborious and costly of all labour activities on the cocoa plantation. Labour usage on cocoa farms showed that hired labour between ages 18-30 years is mostly used on cocoa farms in Nigeria and dissociates Nigeria from the widespread understanding of child labour issues on cocoa farms. The findings call on governments to create an enabling environment to promote appropriate mechanization for small-scale farmers and suggest motorized hand grass cutters/land slather for land clearing; also suggested the fabrication of an auto bus-like dryer for drying operations which has been a problem to farmers to reduce the drudgery of cocoa production.