This study analyses farmers‟ overall efficiency in Pineapple production in Edo State, Nigeria. Data were collected through structured questionnaire administered on 175 Pineapple farmers selected using a multi-stage sampling technique and analyzed using descriptive statistics and the stochastic frontier production and cost function models The results showed that 76.0 percent of pineapple farmers in the study area were male and 24.0 percent of them were Female. Budgetary analysis revealed that pineapple farming in the study area was profitable with an average return of N1.27 kobo for every N1 invested. The result of the study also revealed that the technical, allocative and economic efficiencies of the farmers were with a mean of 0.70 percent, 0.68 percent and 0.64 percent respectively, which indicates ample opportunity for the farmers to increase their productivity through improvement in their technical efficiency. Farm size and labour were found to be statistically significant and positively related to output while educational level, marital status, membership of cooperative society, extension contact and farming experience of the respondents negatively influenced farmers‟ technical inefficiency. Inadequate credit facilities (44%), Weather and disease (35%), poor road network and high transportation cost (30%) were the prominent constraints to pineapple production in the study area. The study recommends the need to increase output through more intensive use of land, availability of high yielding Pineapple varieties and the effective and efficient utilization of labour and fertilizer inputs. 



1.1 Background to the Study

Nigeria is largely an agrarian country, because 70 percent of the population is engaged in agricultural production at a sustainable level despite the fact that the country depend on the oil industry for its budgeting revenues (WHO, 2006). The importance of this sector is more pronounced in the developing countries including Nigeria where it is the main thrust of national survival, employment, food and foreign exchange earnings

(Adebayo et al. 2005).

Nigeria is a nation blessed with good climatic condition that favours agricultural production. Nigeria’s wide range of climatic variation allows it to produce a wide variety of cash crops, fruits and vegetables. However, food production trend does not correspond to the population growth of Nigeria which is put at about 3.2 percent. The rate of growth of Nigeria‟s food production has been very low. Food growth rate has been put at 2.65 percent and population growth at 3.2 percent, leaving a food deficit of 0.55 percent (CBN, 2007). Despite the great inherent potential for farming in Nigeria, the country has not kept up with the rapid population growth due to the decline in agricultural production as a result of the discovery of oil and gas. According to Abdullahi (2001), the general lack of scientific and technological capacity will severely limit actual production in spite of the inherent potential. Also poor resource base, coupled with competing demands for other developmental needs makes public funding for agriculture grossly inadequate. Mention could also be made of poor prioritization, mismanagement of limited resources and lack of sufficient political will as additional factor limiting agricultural growth in most developing countries, Nigeria inclusive (Iken and Amusa, 2004; Oniah, 2005).

In spite of the different initiative programmes by successive Governments aimed at boosting agricultural production in Nigeria such as the River Basin Development Authority, Land Use Decree, World Bank Assisted  Agricultural Development

Programme, National Fadama Development Project, Root and Tuber Expansion Programme , and the Special Programme on Food Security (Panwal 2006), the horticultural sub-sector still remain relatively under-developed. 

The horticultural sub-sector also reflects the problem in the agricultural sub-sector. These problems include inadequate knowledge of production, technology of production, insufficient planting materials, land tenure, poor extension and insufficient post harvest facilities (Babatola, 2004).Horticultural crop production in Nigeria has been hampered by the policy and fiscal constraints of the government. It has received very little attention in the national perspective plan for agricultural development (Oseni, 2004). In addition, Nigeria has only one research institute, the National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT) established in 1975 for all horticultural crops. Fruit crop farming in Nigeria is associated with general negative outcomes stemming from imperfect predictable biological climatic and price variables. Those variables include natural adversities such as pest and diseases, weather factors not within the control of the agricultural producer and adverse fluctuation in both input and output prices.