Production of yam is a labour intensive set of activities especially in the Tropics. In Eastern Nigeria this is done by small farmers at subsistent level due to inadequate and short supply of labour. This study examined labour-use efficiency by smallholder yam farmers in Abia State, Nigeria. A two-stage random sampling technique was used to select 120 smallholder yam farmers from Ikwuano and Umuahia North Local Government Areas of the state. Data were collected during a survey with a well-structured questionnaire administered by personal interview method with the farmers. The result revealed that farm households provided an average of 336 man-days used in yam production activities, with 36.66% using hired labour while family labour, share croppers, and exchange labour provided the balance labour (63.34%) required. The Cobb-Douglas functional form of labour-use frontier estimates shows that the quantity of harvested yam, size of cleared farm land and quantity of fertilizer applied significantly affected the amount of labour used in yam production at 10.0%, 5.0% and 1.0% level of significance respectively. The socio-economic determinants of labour use efficiency were age, education, farm size, gender, labour wage and household size which were statistically significant at 1.0% risk level except the coefficient of age which was significant at 5.0% risk level. The result showed that the estimated farm labour-use efficiency ranged from 0.20 to 0.97 with a mean labour-use efficiency value of 0.76. Policies aimed at increasing yam farmers’ scale of operation through improved access to production inputs like fertilizer, agrochemical and capital are required for increasing labour use efficiency in the area.


Downloads Statistics

Download Full History