OPTIMUM COMBINATION OF MULTPLE FARM ENTERPRIESES AMONG SMALLHOLDER FARMERS IN NIGER STATE, NIGERIA
Keywords:Combination, Enterprise, Farm, Optimum and Smallholder
The study was conducted to determine the Optimum Combination of Multiple Farm Enterprises among Smallholder Farmers in Niger State, Nigeria. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select respondents across the farm enterprises from the three agricultural zones of Niger State. Data were collected through interview schedule and structured questionnaire administered to 198 sampled farmers through a cost route approach, and analyzed using the linear programming model. The model was applied to each enterprise combination. The study revealed that all enterprise combinations had increase in the returns of the optimum plan over that of the existing plan. To maximize gross margin, the model recommended cultivation of 0.41 ha of yam, 2.6 ha of melon/sorghum and 0.38 ha of melon and sorghum for the crop enterprise, while the crop/livestock/fishery enterprise had yam/cowpea (1.96ha) along with the production of 5.83 heads of livestock recommended. The crop/fishery farmers are to cultivate 0.33 ha of maize/cowpea, 1.17 ha of maize/melon and to produce 0.22 of 100 fishes to maximize gross margin. The result further indicated labour and capital borrowed as the major factors of production limiting the attainment of profit maximization across the State. The study therefore recommended that, farmers should adopt the prescribed optimum farm plan developed according to the respective enterprise combinations to enable them effectively use their available resources to increase productivity and income.
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