COSTS AND RETURNS ANALYSIS OF POTATO PRODUCTION UNDER PLATEAU STATE POTATO VALUE CHAIN SUPPORT PROJECT (PS-PVCSP)
Keywords:Irish potato, Livelihoods, Production, Support and Value-chain
The study analyzed costs and return of Irish potato production under Plateau State Potato Value Chain Support Project (PS-PVCSP). Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 180 farmers across 17 local government areas. Descriptive statistics and gross margin were used for data analysis. The results show that male and female accounted for 57.78% and 42.22% of Irish potato production, respectively. The result indicated that 47.22% of Irish potato farmers were within age bracket of 36-45 years. The result revealed that majority (62.22%) of the farmers were married with a mean household size of 7 persons. The result also shows that 37.78% of Irish potato farmers had no formal education. The costs of production show that cost of seed accounted for 51.39% of the total variable costs. This was followed by labour, estimated at 26.09%. Meanwhile, the cost of pesticides appears to be the least, representing less than 0.53% of the total variable cost. Farm gate sales accounted for the largest share of revenue, put at 78.57%. In all, total returns stand at N 699,018.7, while gross margin stood at N 382,842.7. Producers were faced with the incidence of blight, particularly in the wet season, as reported by 22.78%, followed by inadequate capital (15%) and high cost of inputs (11.67%). However, access to micro-credit could have prospect in improving the productivity of farmers and contributing to uplifting the livelihoods of disadvantaged rural farming communities. It can be concluded that Irish potato production in Plateau State is a profitable venture. It was recommended that project should enhance productivities and incomes of Irish potato farmers through provision of inputs as well as infrastructure and institutional development that will enhance capacity building of project beneficiaries and linkages to services such as credit, insurance and market.
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