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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The economic behaviour of Nigerian small scale farmers: implications for food policy in the 1990s
Author:Adubi, A.A.ISNI
Periodical:Discovery and Innovation (ISSN 1015-079X)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Nigeria
West Africa
food policy
small farms
Economics, Commerce
economic behaviour
Nutrition policy
subsistence farming
External link:https://www.ajol.info/index.php/dai/article/view/15587
Abstract:Food and cash crop production in Nigeria has for decades depended largely on the output of small-scale farmers. With one foot in the market and the other in subsistence, these farmers are neither fully integrated into the economy nor wholly insulated from its pressures. They are rarely prosperous and contain among them some of the poorest people in the world. In order to be able to plan for the improvement of their prospects, it is necessary to possess analytical methods which yield an accurate perception of their behaviour and the nature of their problems. This paper, based on a study which was carried out in the northern part of Oyo State between October 1990 and December 1991, provides a test of two hypotheses of farmers' behaviour in their own setting and matches farmers' observed behaviour with the expected behaviour based on the two hypotheses. The 'efficient-but-poor' hypothesis stipulated that farmers are efficient given their background and opportunity. They therefore maximize expected profit. On the other hand, the 'safety-first' hypothesis judged farmers to be averse to taking risks given their many goals. They therefore maximize expected profit, subject to attaining a certain level of goal attainment. The results indicated total support for the 'safety-first' hypothesis though evidence also shows that the farmer makes part of his income in a riskier fashion. Also a test of the efficiency hypothesis shows the marginal value product of resources invested in farming to be greater than their prices. The study thus recommended the improvement approach, which is a departure from the usual transformation approach, to enhancing agricultural food production. Bibliogr., sum. in English and French.