Strategy of Minimizing the Cost of Cultivation vis-à-vis Boosting Farm Income of Small-Holder Maize Farmers in Niger State of Nigeria Using Efficiency Measurement System (EMS)
M.S. Sadiq*, I.P. Singh, M.A. Isah, I.J.Grema and S.M. Umar
This research empirical devise a mechanism of reducing the cost of cultivation vis-à-vis boosting farm income of small-holder maize producers in Niger state of Nigeria using a non parametric model called data envelopment analysis (DEA). The study made use of farm survey data obtained from 60 active maize producers viz. a multi-stage sampling design. Production information vis-à-vis prices of inputs and output were elicited from the farmers’ on fortnight basis during the year 2016 cropping season using structured questionnaire coupled with interview schedule. In DEA models the farmers that produce their level of output with the least cost combination incurred on input serve as bench marks against which the input cost inefficiency of all other farmers can be measured. The mean values of technical, pure technical and scale efficiencies of farmers were found to be 0.836, 0.887 and 0.943, respectively. It was observed that the cost of cultivation incurred was N24159.09, and can be reduced by about 32.81per cent if the farmers follow the input costs packages recommended by the DEA. Furthermore, by adopting these recommendations the economic indices of the inefficient farmers’ viz. gross margin, net farm income, benefit-cost ratio, ROI, RORCI, TFPwould improve by 12.26, 14.18, 48.49, 64.48, 67.53, and 48.94 per cent, respectively. Based on these findings, the study recommends that efficient financial resource management and production management practices should be adopted by the inefficient farmers’ in the study area in order to achieve optimum economic efficiency in maize farming.