Analysis of Land Value Systems and Productivity of Cassava in Imo State
Okere, R. A.
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The value of most arable farmlands in Imo State is not commensurate with their productivity hence, the frequently occuring inefficient land allocation systems in the State. This study identified suitability of lands for cassava production, their estimated values and rate of returns to investment. The study was done using a survey of cassava farmers in Imo State. Data were drawn from a multi-stage sampling of 203 cassava farmers across the three zones in the State and analyzed using inferential and descriptive statistics as well as econometric tools and cost and return analysis. Result shows that cassava farmers in the State are mainly married females with a maximum of post primary education. The suitability index ranges from 0.139 to 0.908 with a meanstandard deviation of 0.53040.1913. Majority (46.3%) of the farmers cultivate on non-suitable lands of between 0 to 0.339 suitability index while 33.0% cultivate on marginal suitable lands of between 0.340 to 0.722 suitability index and only few farmers of about 20.7 percent cultivate on suitable land value of above 0.723 suitability implying that majority of the farmlands are not suitable. The partial productivity of land increases from 3.72 to 4.00 and 5.71 as land moves from non-suitable to marginal and suitable values respectively, thus making marginal and suitable lands about 7.5 and 53.5% higher in land productivity than non-suitable lands. Productivity thus increases with suitability of land. Again, an increase in farm land cultivated by 1% will lead to a less than proportionate increase in output by 84.1% for non suitable land, 80% for marginal lands and 74.8% for suitable lands. It pays the farmers to to mainatain the level of output but reduce the sizes of their nonsuitable and marginal suitable lands cultivated than the size of suitable lands to increase productivity. The total marginal value productivity of all land value was N304,921.81, and it ranges from N302,429.76 in non-suitable land to N718535.20 in suitable lands. The study recommends that farmers in non-suitable farmland should reduce the size of farmland cultivated more than farmers on suitable lands so as to increase cassava production in the area. This is because suitable lands demonstrated the best response to slight increase in land. Again, the value of marginal productivity of land increase with land suitability from nonsuitable to suitable lands should be used to allocate land for optimal land use instead of the prevailing market value per unit of farmland. Therefore allocation of resources on lands should follow the value marginal productivities so as to ensure maximum efficiency.