Economic Analysis of Watermelon-Based Production Systems In Ebonyi State, Nigeria
Okeke, G.C., Ugama, G.N., Apollos, D.S. and Adejoh, E.U
Keywords: watermelon-based farm, budgetary analysis, stochastic production function.
The research was on the economic analysis of watermelon based production systems in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. A multistage random sampling technique was used in the selection of hundred farmers from the selected local governments. Well-structured questionnaire was used to obtain information on socio-economic characteristics and other relevant variables. The study data were analyzed by descriptive statistics, budgetary and stochastic frontier production function. The results showed that 80.0% of watermelon farmer in the study area were female in which 78.6% of them were married and 33.5% did not have any formal education. Watermelon was predominantly grown as sole crop by 42.5% while 57.5% of farmers engaged in intercropping. Budgetary analysis revealed that watermelon intercropping with cassava had higher gross margin (N265, 638.00/ha) than sole watermelon (N322, 824.00/ha). The benefit/cost ratio (BCR) of sole watermelon (2.33:1) was greater than watermelon cassava intercropping system (2.21:1). Yield level was positive and significantly (p ≤ 0.01) influenced by labour input. The level of education was significant and found to contribute positively to technical efficiency while farming experience was found to reduce technical efficiency. Inadequate credit facilities (79%), pest and disease (75.2%), inadequate fertilizer (65.4%), labour shortage (66.7%), high transportation cost (55.1%) and seed procurement (34.5%) were the prominent constraints to watermelon production in the study area.