Kumpulan Jurnal Nasional & Internasional
|Productivity Potential and Technical Efficiency|
|South-Western Nigeria 1 AND S.O. OJO†|
ABSTRAK: This study examined the productivity potential and technical efficiency (TE) of the taungya farming system as one of the agroforestry-based technologies practiced in Ondo State Nigeria, in ensuring food security without land limitation. Cross-sectional data collected from 200 farmers in 2005 using a multi-stage sampling technique was analyzed using stochastic frontier production (SFP) function technique. About 75% of the variations in output from the frontier are attributed to differences in the farmer’s technical efficiency, while the relative contribution of inefficiency to total variance equalled about 64%. The resource productivity revealed that farm size and number of trees, labour and operating expenses are significantly associated with changes in the output of the respondents. The return-to-scale (RTS) of 1.045, which was not significantly different from unity, indicated a constant value among the farmers. This reaffirmed the assumption that the selected Cobb-Douglas form assumed a constant return to scale. The TE of the farmers varied between 0.168 and 0.974 with a mean TE of 0.81. Results showed that the wide range of TE indices among the respondents point to the fact that there is considerable room for improvement. In particular, the size of the mean TE showed that the maize-yam crop production under Taungya farming could be increased by 19% through better use of available resources in the studied area. Key Words: Taungya farming; Agro-forestry; Productivity; Technical efficiency; Stochastic frontier
In spite of the dominant role of the petroleum sector as
the major foreign exchange earner, agriculture remains the mainstream of the Nigerian economy. Apart from contributing as largest share of the gross domestic product (GDP), it is the largest non-oil export earner, a key contributor to wealth creation and poverty reduction, the largest employer of labour. According to Azeez (2002), a large percentage of Nigeria population derive their income from agriculture and agricultural related activities in which over 75% of rural inhabitants are farmers. However, over the years, the rate of growth in agricultural production has stagnated and failed to keep pace with the needs of rapidly growing population, resulting in a progressive rise in import bills for food. The gap between demand and supply of food continues to widen (CBN, 2005). Nair (1997) identified land accessibility as part of the determinants of food security in the western part of Nigeria, because of an increasing demand for land for nonagricultural purposes, such as road construction, residential house and so on. In view of this, the agro forestry system regarded as the oldest land use system in Nigeria with the aim of solving problems of land hunger, traditional shifting cultivation and bush fallowing is of the opinion that under continuous cultivation will be a suitable farming system for a region that want to increase her food production, ensure
stream of income and maintain the fragile and limited land resources. Oladokun and Egbe (1990) highlighted that a systems can be modernized for the purpose of adoption as an alternative to shifting cultivation in Nigeria.
The Taungya farming system is a form of agro forestry-based technology, which integrates arable crops with forest trees on the same piece of land (Ehiagbonare, 2006). It is a system in which arable crops are cultivated on the same piece of land in between rows of young forest trees thus ensuring the optimum utilization of free and fertile forest land and at the same time checking hazards such as degradation of farm land and increased infestation by weeds associated with traditional shifting cultivation. Allison et al. (1986) reported that Taungya, as an agro-forestry system, could be a cost-effective method of establishing forest plantation.
However, the difference between this system of farming and the conventional system of farming is that the land in question belongs to forestry department under Taungya farming that allows farmers to raise annual crops, while the farmers in turn are required to tend the tree seedlings as a complement for the free fertile land pending the time the forest species will grow and expand their canopy. This agreement usually lasts for about 2 to 3 years. Although, the ultimate goal of the Taungya system is wood production and the immediate motivation for practicing the system is food production, but for meeting family food
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