BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
There has been a growing gap between the demand for maize and its supply In Nigeria and Inbour is a major constraint in maize production and agricultural production as a whole (Gocowski and Oduwole, 2005), The Nigerian economy had substantially depended on agriculture as a source of food products, raw materials for industrial sector and foreign exchange earnings (Arene and Mkpado, 2002). It is the dominant sector in the Nigeria economy and the second largest earner of foreign exchange next to the non —sustainable petroleum sector (Ayanwale, 2(002). Agriculture, as a strong and efficient sector in the past had a multiplier effect on the nations” socio-economic and industrial fubrie, This was reflected on its multifunctional nature os the largest employer of labour foree, which accounted for 72.9% in 1961, 88% of export revenue with aver 60% contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) (FAO (Food and Agricultural Organisation) of United Nations, 2007). These needs were however met mainly by subsistent farmers and at that time agriculture was characterized by scarce capital input, high labour supply, abundant land and simple tools (Osugiri, 2007). Over the years, however, the relative contribution of the Nigeria agricultural sector has been declining, its contribution to export revenue decline from 43% in 1970 to 5% in 2008 (CBN, 2009). Similarly the percentage contribution of the sector raw materials to merchandise export has fallen significantly from 11% in 1965 to about 0.01% in 2003 (WDI, 2006). In addition, the contribution of agricultural sector to the nation gross domestic product which stood at over 60% in the 60s has declined to 33.4% (Shittu, 2008). This decline has been attributed to the neglect of agricultural sector in pursuit of oil revenue, with its attendance mass movement of economically active population who hitherto engaged in agricultural sector to non-farm sector. This massive movement of predominantly young and educated members of the rural farm household has great implication on the nation agriculture. According to Shittu (2008), it leads to (a) Rapid Urbanisation (b) Demographically unbalanced population (c) Scarcity of labour (d) Low productivity in agriculture. Therefore, given the relevance of labour to agricultural production in developing countries such as Nigeria, this study is designed to provide answers to the following research questions:
- What are the different sources available to maize farmers in the study area
- What are the labor-use for specific farm activity in maize production in the study area
- What is the labor use efficiency in maize production in the study area
- What are the effects of the determinants of labor supply for maize production in the study area.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
In view of the above, the broad objective of this study ois to assess the economics of labour use among maize farmers in kanke L.G.A in plateau state. The specific objectives are:
- To assess the different sources of farm labour supply available in the study area.
- To examine the labor use for specific activity in maize production in the study area,
- To determine labor use efficiency in maize production in the study area.
- To assess the effects of the determinants of labor supply in maize production in the study
JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
Given the importance of farm labour supply in maize and agricultural production, studies are required to provide information that could guide the prospective maize farmers on those effects and factors that are likely to affect the supply of labour use on the farm. Unavailability of technology and decreasing availability of an energetic population who could cope with the task of farm operations has reduced agricultural and food crop production (Qiao and Datom, 2000). An alternative suggestion was to introduce labour intensive technology that required an increase in farm labour supply (Francis, 2011). The cost of purchased inputs in capital intensive technology could be replaced by fimily labour by providing farmers with the potential for more profit while al the same time protecting the environment (Tegegne et al., 2001), This research will serve as a guide to policy makers in plateau State. It will sharpen policy focus with a view to improving the livelihood of maize farmers by dealing with those factors affecting farm labour supply mane production, A study of this nature will add to the existing body of knowledge
Ho: There is no significant relationship between sources of farm labour and maize production,
Ho: There is no significant relationship between type of labour use for specific activity in maize
production and farm output.
Ho: There is no significant relationship between labour cost and maize output in the study area.
Ho: There is no significant relationship between labour supply and jts determinants for maize
production in the study area.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study would be of immense benefits towards agricultural output in Nigeria in general and maize cultivation/output in particular. The study would also benefit students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing a further study on the subject matter.
- SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to the economics of labour use among maize farmers in Kanke LGA of plateau state.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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