FOOD SECURITY AND TECHNICAL EFFICIENCY LEVELS OF SMALLHOLDER COWPEA FARMERS IN BASSA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF KOGI STATE, NIGERIA

H I Opaluwa, G Opeyemi, A Mohammed

Abstract


Cowpea is one of the most important staple food crops in Nigeria. It is one of the priority food crops necessary for improved food security and poverty reduction in Nigeria. The study estimated the food security status and technical efficiency of smallholder Cowpea farmers in Bassa Local Government Area of Kogi State, Nigeria. The respondents for the study were selected using multistage sampling technique. Primary data was used to carry out the study while data was collected from a total of 120 respondents in the year 2019.Descriptive statistics, FGT model and stochastic production function were used to achieve the study objectives. The findings revealed that 45% of the respondents were food secure. The food insecurity gap and severity indices were 0.15 and 0.02 respectively. The technical efficiency level ranged from 0.12-0.96, the mean technical efficiency indices of the respondents was (0.50), indicating that 50% of the farmers were operating below the efficiency frontier, suggesting efficiency of the farmers can still be increased by 50%.The major determinants of Cowpea output in the study area include fertilizer, capital, farm size and labour .The outcome of the study also indicated that food security increases with the technical efficiency levels of Cowpea farmers in the study area. The study further revealed that technical efficiency contributes to the food security status of small holder cowpea farmers in the study area. The study concluded that large proportion of Cowpea smallholder farmers were food insecure and technically inefficient. The result of the study suggests that farmers can take advantage of increasing their food security status by improving on their technical efficiency levels in the application of the determinants of cowpea’s output in the study area. In addition to, programmes and policies that can help improve the farmers technical efficiency levels should be implemented.


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