ABRAHAM FALOLA*, OPEYEMI E. AYINDE, VIVIAN E. T. OJEHOMON
Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ilorin, P. M. B. 1515, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria
Abstract: Youths’ unemployment is one the major developmental challenges facing many developing countries. However, the youths usually show apathy towards agriculture, which is a potential solution to this menace, due to perceived non-lucrativeness of the venture. In the light of this, this study assessed economic performance of youth rice farmers using Kwara State as a case study. Data were collected from 120 respondents through questionnaire using a combination of purposive and random sampling techniques. Descriptive tools, cost and return analysis, and regression model were used for the analysis. Majority of the youths were male (74.17%), married (65.83%), less educated, had no access to extension services (61.67%), small scale farmers, financed their operations with personal savings (68.33%) and had farming as a secodary occupation (73.34%). The gross margin, return to farm management and labour, gross ratio, operating ratio and return to capital invested by the farmers was
N53,654.16/ha, N35,053.33/ha, 0.59, 0.36 and N1.80/ha respectively (1USD = NI58). Factors influencing rice output of the respondents were quantity of seeds (p ˂ 0.01), farm size (p ˂ 0.1), labour (p ˂ 0.01), age (p ˂ 0.01), level of education (p ˂ 0.01), farming experience (p ˂ 0.1), access to extension services (p ˂ 0.01). The major problems faceed by the youths were insufficient capital, inadequate knowledge on rice production, low output price, high input cost and transportation problems. There is need for encouraging the youth through provision of improved seeds, land, credit facility, good roads and extension services.
Keywords: Youth rice farmers, profitability, factors, constraints