ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY OF RESOURCE USE AMONG URBAN WATERLEAF FARMERS IN AKWA IBOM STATE, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

The study estimated the efficiency of resource use among urban waterleaf farmers in Akwa Ibom State using a sample of 60 respondents that were randomly selected (20) from three urban centers in the state. Interview schedules and structured questionnaires were administered to elicit information from the respondents. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, multiple regression and gross margin. The results showed that, most (85%) farmers were within the economically active age bracket (21-50yrs). All the farmers were female with a mean house hold size of eight. Majority (90%) of the farmers were literate with a mean farming experience of 8.5 years. The average farm size was 0.065ha, and waterleaf was planted as a sole crop to obtain high output. The multiple regression analysis showed that educational level, household size, farming experience, quantity of manure, labour and farm size positively and significantly influenced the output of waterleaf in the study area. The efficiency ratios of farm size (28.68), manure (42.11) and labour (0.91), showed that waterleaf farmers were inefficient in the use of these resources. Land resource and manure were underutilized, while labour was over- utilized. Gross margin analysis showed that farmers made profit (Gross margin = N 287,252.52 per hectare). Lack of access to credit facilities was the farmer’s major constraints. It is therefore recommended that credit facilities should be provided to the urban farmers, and extension agent should take advantage of the literate farmers to disseminate research information.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1      Background information
Urbanization is one of the major issues facing mankind today and is in its extent unique in world history (RUAF, 2007). In Nigeria, agriculture is the dominant economic activity (CBN, 2003). In recent years, urbanization has led to an increasing loss of agricultural land. Urbanization presents both challenges and opportunities for the developing countries as a whole. There is an indication that the challenges of urbanization out-weigh its opportunities in these regions. This may be because urbanization has not yet been matched with infrastructural and economic development. This in turn leads to urban poverty and food insecurity (Drescher, 2001).


Enete and Achike (2008), opined that sub-Saharan Africa is the only region of the world where agricultural output has been trailing population growth for most of the last three decades. They further noted that agricultural production has not only been unstable in the region but has once again resumed a steady decline since 1998 (1998-2002). This may be due to rural-urban migration and low productivity in agriculture.
It is expected that by 2020, 85% of the poor in Latin America and about 40-45% of the poor in Africa will be concentrated in towns and cities (RUAF, 2007). Consequently, many city dwellers will be faced with the reality of unemployment, inadequate food and shelter, and they are powerless to influence the decisions affecting their lives. These are all dimensions of poverty of which hunger is the most fundamental (World Bank, 2000).

Urban Agriculture which is the growing of crops and raising of animals within and around cities (Drescher,2003), has emerged as a strategic imperative for developing countries (Drakakris-Smith,1997). Urban agriculture (UA) is not a new or recent invention. Agricultural activities within city limits have existed since the first urban populations were established thousands of years ago (Drescher, 2002). It is only recently that UA has become a systematic focus of research and development attention, as its scale and importance in an urbanizing world become increasingly recognized (Van Vechuizen, Prain and Dezeeuw, 2001). This is essentially due to its potential for poverty reduction, economic empowerment, and household food security.

According to UNDP (1996), Urban Agriculture refers to an activity that produces, processes, and markets food and other products, on land and water in urban and peri-urban areas, applying intensive production methods, and using natural resources and urban wastes, to yield a diversity of crops and livestock. Its important sectors include horticulture, livestock, fodder milk production, aquaculture and forestry (FAO, 2002),

It is estimated that 800 million people are engaged in urban agriculture world wide of which 200 million are considered to be market producers, employing 150 million people fulltime (UNDP 1996). These Urban farmers produce substantial amount of food for urban consumers. Armar-Klemesu (2000) noted that, as at 1993, 15-20% of the World’s food was produced in the urban areas. Other research information from African cities are, Dakar; produces 60% of the national vegetable consumption whilst urban poultry production...

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 52 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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