OPTIMUM ENTERPRISE COMBINATION IN A MAIZE BASED CROPPING SYSTEM IN THE SOUTHERN AGRICULTURAL ZONE OF ADAMAWA STATE, NIGERIA
Background. Maize is a major cereal consumed by nearly all Nigerian households and accounts for about 43% of calorie intake. Rapid population growth and urbanization coupled with infrastructural developments have made agricultural resources very limited in supply and constrained maize production. This necessitates the need for an optimum enterprise combination in a maize based cropping system to guarantee the profit maximization objective of maize farming households. Hence, the study investigated optimum enterprise combinations in maize based cropping systems in the Southern Agricultural Zone of Adamawa State, Nigeria. This study would be of benefit to maize farmers that may need information on maize based enterprise combination that give optimum level of returns.
Material and methods. A multistage sampling technique was used to select 130 respondents. Data were collected during the 2018/2019 cropping season and analysed using descriptive statistics, Gross Margin (GM) analysis and the Linear Programming (LP) model.
Results. Result of the distribution of the respondents on the basis of maize based enterprises in the study area showed the largest group (40%) of the respondents practiced sole maize enterprises. The gross margin analysis revealed that seven enterprises (maize/rice, maize/groundnut, maize/sorghum, maize/soybean, maize/sugarcane, maize/yam and maize/benniseed) were sustainable as their respective total revenue was higher than their total variable cost. The linear programming model recommends that each farmer grows a mix of three crops in an area ratio of 6.15:3.35:1.50 for maize/soybean, maize/benniseed and maize/ sorghum, respectively, to give a gross margin of N 544,999.04 (1,192.41 €) for crops grown on an area of 11 ha.
Conclusion. The study recommended crop mixtures based on their hectarage allocation as prescribed in the optimum farm plans would have generated income as follows: maize/soybean (N 367,449.89 (804.15 €)), maize/benniseed (N 104,034.25 (227.85 €)) and maize/sorghum (N 73,514.89 (160.85 €)). The recommended crop mixtures would have increased the farmers’ gross margin by 17%.