Economics of fertilizer use in vegetable production in Nigeria. (253)
Keywords:Economics, Fertilizer, Vegetables, Production, Nigeria
AbstractThis study estimated the economic contribution of fertilizer use in vegetable production in Imo State, Nigeria. Data were collected with a structured questionnaire from 256 fertilizer users and 170 non-fertilizer users, and analyzed using production functions and net farm income models. Results showed that the technical change introduced by fertilizer use in vegetable production was factor-biased, and that the technical efficiency was higher for fertilizer users than nonfertilizer users. Both farms were found to be allocatively inefficient in the use of land, seeds, capital, labour, and other production inputs, while fertilizer users were allocatively inefficient in the use of fertilizers. Budgetary analysis revealed that fertilizer users employed larger quantities of all variable inputs and produced higher quantities of vegetable output than non-fertilizer users at relatively higher unit costs of production, with per-unit profit margins remaining higher for fertilizer users. To achieve sustained increase in vegetable output, farm income, and profit, farmers should be encouraged to increase their use of land, seeds, capital, and other production inputs and reduce the amount of fertilizer and labour used.