EVALUATION OF FARM PRODUCTION GOALS AMONG FARMERS IN MAIGANA ZONE OF KADUNA STATE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

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ABSTRACT

There is no doubt that the overall objective of most agricultural policies and programmes in Nigeria since independence have been the development of a more efficient agricultural sector. However, policies, programmes and projects can only achieve targeted goals if they are consistent with the farmer’s basic objectives of farm production. This study examined the objective of small and large scale farmers in one of the major food crop production areas of Northern Nigeria. It also examined the farming systems, the enterprise combinations, as well as the constraints militating against the farmers in the study area. Statistical tools, net farm income analysis and the element ranking techniques of paired comparison were used in the analysis and the following major conclusions were made: (1) More than 90 percent of farmers sampled have more than ten years of experience in farming. (2) The average number of persons per household was about ten, with women and children making up about 60 percent of this figure. (3) More than 95 percent of the farmers sampled practised mixed cropping, with maize and sorghum being the most important crops. (4) Over 76 percent of the farmers sampled were small scale holders. (5) Farming is a profitable venture in the study area.Results from goals evaluation revealed that farmers in the study area have objective functions that are multiple and varied in nature. Also, that in planning his farm production, the small scale farmer combines the following objectives in the following order of preference:(a) Meeting his family food need – food security for the household. (b) Minimizing borrowing of money for farm production (c) Generating as large a surplus produce as possible The goal of profit making is not considered a major objective for decision making among the small scale farmers. The large scale farmer on the other hand combines the following objectives in the following order of preference while planning his farm production:(a) Making profit from farm production. (b) Generating as large a surplus produce as possible (c) Limiting out-of-pocket cash expenses The effects of decision making by the small scale farmers were very overwhelming on the overall result obtained when all the farmers i.e small and large scale were treated together for goals ranking. This is because small scale farmers are in majority; more than 76 percent of the respondents. What we have here could be a reflection of what is happening all over the country in terms of the proportion of small to large scale farmers.

EVALUATION OF FARM PRODUCTION GOALS AMONG FARMERS IN MAIGANA ZONE OF KADUNA STATE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

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