COMPARATIVE ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF CROP-LIVESTOCK INTEGRATION AMONG SMALLHOLDER MAIZE FARMERS IN THE DERIVED SAVANNA ZONE OF SOUTHWESTERN NIGERIA
Keywords:Crop-livestock, Small holder, Maize farming, Gross margin, Regression, Savanna
Development objectives in most developing countries are moving towards the management and conservation of the land resource base, while striving for greater agricultural production. This paper examines the possible synergy of combining crop and livestock technologies on land quality and net returns among maize farmers in the derived savanna agro-ecological zone of Southwestern Nigeria. A three-stage sampling technique was used to select 100 respondents of equal numbers of maize-livestock farmers. Primary data on the farmers socio-economic characteristics and the costs and returns to maize production were collected with a pre-tested structured questionnaire in the 2004 production season. The data were complimented with information from two focus group discussion (FGD) sessions and secondary data from Ogbomosho North Local Government Secretariat. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics, costs and return analysis and regression techniques. Mono-cropping farmers have higher level of farm education, farm size, farm size, more extension contact and longer fallow period. However, these farmers suffer from insect and pests infestations. The crop-livestock farmers on the other hand, have longer years of farming experience but suffer from bad odour emanating from animal wastes and did not have enough labour services. Regression results showed that cost of labour, choice of enterprise, level of education, farming experience, farm size and gender relations are factors that need to be considered in any policy strategy aimed at improving the livelihood of people in the study area. Budgetary analysis showed that the net return (N34,853.6 per ha) to maize mono-cropping is statistically (5% level) lower than the net return (N42,153.1 per ha) to crop-livestock farmers. This implied that maize-livestock integration is an economically preferable farming system in the study area. Extension services should focus more on the management of farm-level information.