ASSESSING RESOURCE USE EFFICIENCY AND INVESTMENT IN SMALL-SCALE OKRA PRODUCTION IN OSUN STATE, NIGERIA
Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L. Moench) yield is characterized by low productivity but may be increased through the adoption of new technology or the efficient allocation of existing resources. In addition, improving the level of resource allocation is important for improving productivity. This study investigated resource use efficiency in small-scale okra production. A multi-stage sampling procedure was used to select 100 respondents. The primary data generated through the survey of 100 okra farmers were analyzed using descriptive statistics, the ordinary least squares regression model, and marginal value analysis. The average age of the respondents was 45 years, with 7 members in the household, and 2.8ha being farmed. The ordinary least squares regression estimate indicated age, labor, farm size, and herbicide and insecticide use that influenced okra production. Returns to scale was 2.09; resource use efficiency indicated the following values: farm size 0.343, herbicide application 0.857, insecticide application 0.75, and labor 4.80. The high cost of inputs (1.93), low numbers of extension contact with farmers (1.82), high incidence of pests and disease (1.49), non-access to credit (1.39), difficulty in obtaining labor (1.23), drought (1.15), and marketing problems (1.09) are constraints negatively affecting okra production. Although the positive and statistically significant effect of pesticides, farm size, and labor indicate these inputs can effectively improve okra production, small-scale okra production is inefficient because farmers use too many pesticides and farmland and less labor than is needed. The marginal product of inputs is not enough to offset the corresponding marginal cost. Therefore, small-scale farmers should operate on smaller farms than they currently do, apply pesticides at recommended rates, and spend more on labor. So, training should be organized through extension workers and agricultural research stations to improve scientific knowledge of farmers for efficient use of productive resources.
resource use; efficiency; okra; production; Osun State
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