Authors: C.A. Afolami, I.A. Ayinde
Agro-Science Vol.2(1) 2001: 17-23
This study was carried out in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State, in 1995. Survey method was used to collect data from 70 respondents randomly chosen from a sample frame of tomato farmers obtained from National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), for the study area. Questions relating to the socio-economic characteristics of the tomato farmers, tomato outputs, output prices and cost of resources viz. labour, seed, fertilizer and land used in production, as well as constraints to tomato production were asked in the questionnaire. Production function analysis was used to show the equilibrium or disequilibrium of resource use from the optimum. Analysis of costs and return was used to establish the profit level of tomato production in the study area. The study revealed that most of the tomato farmers are married males with an average of 9 people in the household. Most of the tomato farmers were literate with an average of secondary school education, and their average age of 35 years fall within the active age group. The study also revealed that tomato production is a profitable venture, but the levels of resource use with respect to fertilizer, land and seed were below optimum. The problems militating against tomato production were identified to be high cost of fertilizer, pest and disease problems, and inefficient transportation network resulting in spoilage of output and inadequate credit facilities. To bring about sustainable production for an enhanced level of profit and resource use efficiency in tomato production, it was suggested among others in the short-run, that the road network should be improved. This will facilitate easy evacuation of tomato to urban centres where demand is high. The possibility of processing the tomato close to the production site should be explored in the long run, if the excess supply can justify putting in place a tomato processing plant of an appropriate plant size. In addition, farmers should be educated on the appropriate combination of inputs for economic optimum output. There is need for an increase in the levels of seeds, fertilizer and land allocation to tomato production than hither-to done for an achievement of economic optimum, which would make tomato production an attractive enterprise.