Profit efficiency of sweet potato production in Kwara State, Nigeria
The study described the socio-economic characteristics of sweet potato farmers and farms; determined level of profit efficiency; factors affecting profit efficiency of sweet potato production; and identified and ranked the constraints to sweet potato production in the study area with a view to enhancing the efficiency of sweet potato in Kwara State, Nigeria. A multistage sampling technique was employed for selection of 180 sweet potato farmers in the study area. The first stage was purposive selection of one agricultural zone. At the second stage, purposive selection of three Local Government Areas. The third stage was random selection of five villages in each of the Local Government Areas. The final stage was random selection of twelve sweet potato framers from each of the villages. Primary data were collected from each farmer with the use of pre-tested and structured questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, budgeting analysis, stochastic frontier production function and importance ranking indices. Results revealed that male (87%), married (93.9%) and formal education (83.3%). Mean age, mean farming experience and household size were 42.73 ± 9.28, 13.63 ± 8.67 years and 8.72 ± 3.25 respectively. Budgeting technique showed that the estimated Total Variable Cost of ₦86,472.86 was incurred while Total Fixed Cost was ₦5,998.61. Total Revenue generated was ₦129,997.20 while Net Income and Gross Margin of the farmers were ₦37,525.73 and ₦43,524.34, respectively. The farmers’ levels of profit efficiency ranged from 0.11 to 0.98 with a mean of 0.87. The mean level of profit efficiency was 87% which indicates that 13% loss in profit was due to combination of technical efficiency and allocative efficiency. Among the factors affecting the profit efficiency of the famers were labour, agrochemicals and planting materials which were positively related and statistically significant at 1%. Constraints of sweet potato production in the study area were ranked in descending order of importance is; inadequate personal funds, non-availability of market and poor storage facilities. The study concluded that sweet potato farmers were over 40 years of age and most of them were married. This study revealed that sweet potato farming in Kwara State was profitable and profit efficiency was affected positively by labour, agrochemicals and planting materials.