Profitability of cassava/maize on Iwo and Egbeda soil series in Oyo State, Nigeria Uncategorized

Rentabilité du manioc/maïs cultivé sur une série de sol d’Iwo et d’Egbeda, État d’Oyo au Nigeria

Abegunde Linda OLUKEMI, Shaba Halilu AHMAD, Alaga Abayomi TAOFEEK, Adebayo Gbenga OJO & Micheal  ABIOLA 

Abstract : This study examines the resource use efficiency of cassava and maize production on two soil series in Oyo State. Data collected from 200 cassava/maize farmers using multistage sampling procedure were analyzed using the descriptive statistics (to describe the socioeconomic characteristics of the farmers) and budgetary analysis (to determine the costs and returns structure of cassava/maize production). The result of the budgetary analysis revealed that farmers cultivating cassava/maize on the Iwo soil series earned more profit than cultivating on the Egbeda soil series in terms of net farm income between total revenue and cost. This study has thus revealed that the Iwo cassava/maize soil series farmers performed better than their Egbeda counterpart.

Keywords: Budgetary Analysis, Cassava, Maize, Soil, Oyo State, Nigeria


Résumé Cette étude examine l’utilisation efficiente des ressources dans la production du manioc et du maïs sur deux séries de sol dans l’État d’Oyo. Les données ont été recueillies auprès de 200 producteurs de manioc/maïs à l’aide de l’échantillonnage stratifié puis analysées en utilisant la statistique descriptive (pour décrire les caractéristiques socio-économiques des fermiers) et l’analyse budgétaire (pour déterminer les coûts et la structure de rentabilité la production du manioc/ maïs). Le résultat de l’analyse budgétaire a révélé que des fermiers qui cultivent le manioc/le maïs sur la série de sol d’Iwo ont gagné plus que ceux qui cultivent sur la série de sol d’Egbeda en termes de revenu agricole net (recette totale moins dépenses engagées). Cette étude a ainsi révélé que le manioc/maïs produit par les fermiers qui cultivent la série de sol d’Iwo donne de meilleurs résultats que celui de leurs homologues d’Egbeda.

Mots clés : Analyse budgétaire, manioc, maïs, sol, État d’Oyo, Nigeria



Description of the study area
Method of data collection
Sample size and sampling technique
Analytical techniques
Results and discussion
Socio-economic characteristics of cassava and maize farmers
Profitability estimation of Iwo and Egbeda cassava/maize soil
Constraints to efficient cassava/maize production
Conclusion and recommendation 


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Nigerian economy is supported by its agricultural sector, a fundamental instrument for poverty alleviation; food security; social and economic stability; economic growth and protection; contributing about 33% to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (Bureau of Africa Affairs, 2010). Agriculture in Nigeria is characterized by a multitude of small scale farmers scattered across the land, producing the bulk of food requirements in the country but despite their important position, they remain the poorest and cannot invest much on their farms leading to unimpressive performance of the agricultural sector.

Crop production is an integral part of agriculture dealing with the cultivation, protection, harvesting and storage of cultivated plants for man’s use. Crops such as cassava and maize are staple agricultural food crops which provide the required nutrients for man and livestock. Cassava is a major staple food security and income generating crop in virtually all parts of Nigeria. It is the most widely cultivated crop in the southern part of the country in terms of area devotion and number of farmers cultivating it (Ogunniyi et al., 2012). Nigeria currently is the largest producer of cassava in the world with annual production of over 34 million tons of tuberous roots (Ogunniyi et al., 2012). International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has recognized the crop as lending itself to a commodity based approach for poverty alleviation (FAO/IC, 1995). The need for sustainable increase in cassava production unit area in Nigeria has resulted to more soil being opened up for large scale production (Ande et al., 2008).

Maize has been in the diet of Nigerians for centuries and its production derives from three factors: firstly, it can be easily prepared into variety of meals and this accounts for about 65% of the total daily calories intake of rural people (Fajemisin, 1985); secondly, the rising income realizable from the production of maize; thirdly, maize not only thrives in intercropping and relay cropping of farmer`s cropping system but has quicker biomass recovery with low economy of production (Ezeaku et al., 2002). Its intercropping with cassava exhibits more advantages over the soil cropping and these may include: yield stability and security; higher profitability due to higher combined returns per unit area of land (Ezulike et al., 1993; Ibeawuchi et al., 2005). Cassava is usually intercropped with short duration crops like maize and it is popular across many southern part of Nigeria (Ofori et al., 1987; Amanullah et al., 2006).

Inadequate crop production is one of the most serious problems facing Nigerian economy (Shehu et al., 2007). Nigeria is witnessing an upward trend in the price of foodstuff, which should not be attributed to inflationary tendencies alone. The price increase is due to fall in production coupled with rise in demand as a result of increase in population and purchasing power (Ogunniyi et al., 2012); also undermined by land degradation, depletion of soil organic matter, soil erosion and lack of adequate plant nutrient supply; where problems are getting worse in many part of the country (Penderet et al., 2001). High population growth, deforestation, traditional agriculture techniques and improper use of land have resulted in massive land degradation with losses of fertile soil. The most serious problem affecting agricultural production in Nigeria is land degradation (Lal, 2007; Senjobi, 2007). More lands opened up for agricultural production exposes the top soil to the elements of degradation and alters the natural ecological conservatory balances in the landscape, thus endangering food security. Overexploitation of land resources though over use of fertilizers causes land degradation (Oyekale, 2008), where severity of land degradation can be observed in Oyo state (Egbetokun et al., 2013). Even due to improved seedlings of cassava and maize crops, yields are still low compared to the potential yield of developed countries (Osundare, 2013). A major limitation to cassava and maize production in Nigeria is the declining soil fertility, exacerbated by the high cost and/or unavailability of chemical fertilizer (Ismaila, 2010). The International Centre for Soil Fertility and Agricultural Development (IFDC) estimated that Africa loses 8 million metric tons of soil nutrients per year and over 95 million ha of land have been degraded to the point of greatly reduced productivity (Henao et al., 2006). The pedological characteristics of some of the soils in Oyo State is highly weathered and as a result more nutrients leached and therefore, substantial nutrients must be added to complement the in-situ nutrients that is available for crops such as cassava and maize (Ogunwande et al., 2012).

Optimal crop growth and production is based among other factors on soil, a superficial and inconsistent layer of the earth crust, which are the most important natural resources for sustaining life and economic growth. The productivity of Nigerian soils is decreasing (Ande, 2011). Soil fertility poses a great threat to majority of smallholders in Nigeria and farmers have sought to furnish additional nutrients by the application of organic manures and chemical fertilizers to increase crops yield (Bosede et al., 2011) but their high cost, inaccessibility and generalized recommendations resulting in low, erratic and unprofitable crop responses limit their use, particularly on smallholder farms in Nigeria. Little or no use of fertilizers and organic manure has resulted in soil becoming poorer (IITA, 2007). Any serious attempt to judiciously use land for agricultural, regional or urban development must start with a consideration of the nature and kind of the soils series existing at a region and its ability to support high yield of crops. Knowing the various types of soil series that support cassava and maize production is the initial step towards agricultural sustainability. Also, ascertaining the level of input combinations that maximize output of cassava and maize, and minimize cost over time remains an issue of interest.

This study therefore sought to determine the soil series most profitable for cassava/maize production on Iwo and Egbeda soil series in Oyo state, Nigeria. The specific objectives in achieving this includes: describing the socioeconomic characteristics, determining the costs and returns of production and identifying the constraints to effective allocation of resources in cassava/maize production on the two soil series in the study area. The findings and outcome of this research will go a long way in justifying the need for improvement in the understanding of the level of resource use efficiency in relationship to the various soil series which will greatly aid farmers and policy makers in allocating these crops to the most appropriate soil series for optimum production.


Soil is a body occupying the uppermost part of the earth curst and having properties different from the underlining rock materials (FAO (1976). Soil classification describes the orderly arrangement of soils (natural bodies) of an area or land form based on some selected criteria so that they can easily be distinguished.

Soil classification in Nigeria

A comprehensive taxonomic classification of Nigerian soils was attempted by Vine (1954) who divided the soils into three climatic zones on the basis of the differences in drainage, degree of leaching and major differences in mechanical composition and organic matter content. In western Nigeria, Smuth and Montgomary (1962) completed a reconnaissance to semi-detailed study of the soils in cocoa growing areas of Western Nigeria which is underlain by metamorphic rocks. These soils were included in the Ibadan group of the taxonomic classification of Vine. They were classified into soil associations based on parent rocks as they found a close relationship between soil morphology and the underlying bed rock. Eight soil associations were described in the metamorphic region (areas underlain by metamorphic rocks) also referred to as the Basement Complex area or Southwestern Upland of Nigeria: Iwo, Ondo, Egbeda, Itagunmodi, Okemesi, Mamu, Jago and Origbo associations. Each soil association is made up of various soil series (smallest group of similar profiles including a group of soil profile developed from a particular parent material and displaying a similar arrangement of soil horizon which in turn shows a specific combination of differentiating characteristics). Over forty soil series were described in the soil associations but only two is relevant for this study: Iwo series: Gotten from the Iwo soil association. Soils of this series are sedentary soils characterized by dark brownish gray clayey sand to very clayey fine sand (loamy sand to sandy loam) top soils and brown, orange brown or reddish brown, coarse sandy clay (subsoils which merge with clay subsoils and less weathered (saprolitic parent material) at depth of about 2-3 m. Between 25-120 cm, there are marked gravelly horizons (stone/gravel layer) formed by the concentration of gravel size and even stone size concretions and quartz grains. The soils generally contain pieces of feldspar at depth of about 20 cm and below. The content of feldspar and rotten rock increases significantly with depth below 50 cm until fresh rock is reached at a depth of 2-2.75 m. The sand fraction is coarse and as well drained, friable, porous soils with clayey subsoils, they are good for cocoa, coffee or annual crops. Egbeda series: Gotten from the Egbeda soil association, soils of these series are bright orange brown to brownish red, and they extend from the surface to a depth of 10-48 cm. They are very clayey, ranging in texture from very clayey sand (sandy loam) with a thickness between 10-20 cm to sandy clay below 20 cm. They are more fine-textured than soils of the Iwo series. They are among the most fertile soils of Central Western Nigeria. Their fine textures ensure good water retention and they are very suitable for cocoa, coffee and kola.


Description of the study area

The study area is Oyo state (Ibadan/Ibarapa agricultural zones), located in the Southwest geo-political zone of Nigeria. It lies between latitudes 701’32.74’’ and 9011’7.81’’ N of the equator, and longitudes 2039’59’’ and 4034’14.79’’ E of the meridians, covering an area of approximately 28,454 km2. The landscape consists of old hard rocks and dome shaped hills, rising gently from 500 m in the south and reaching a height of about 1,219 m above sea level in the north. The climate is equatorial, notably with dry and wet seasons with relatively high humidity. The dry season lasts from November to March while the wet season starts from April and ends in October. Average daily temperature ranges between 250 C (77.0 0F) and 350 C (95.00 F). Based on the prevailing climatic conditions and vegetation types, the state has three agro-ecological zones: rainforest, savannah and derived savannah. The rainforest is characterized by high relative humidity and supports the cultivation of tree crops like citrus, oil palm and cocoa as well as arable crops like cassava, maize and yam. The vegetation of the savannah zone mainly supports the cultivation of crops such as sorghum, maize, cowpea and yam, while the derived savannah combines the peculiar characteristics of the first two. The other three agricultural zones within Oyo State are Oyo, Ogbomoso and Saki. The climate in the state favours the cultivation of crops like maize, yam, cassava, millet, rice, plantain, cocoa, palm produce, cashew etc.


Figure 1: Soil Series Map of the Study Area

Method of data collection

The data utilized for this study consisting of the socio-economic characteristics and economic variables of farmers was collected with the aid of a well-structured questionnaire administered during field survey and soil series map covering the Ibadan/Ibarapa agricultural zone gotten from Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Global Positioning System (GPS) device aided the identification of appropriate locations of farmland visited on the soil series. The questionnaire contained questions that border on production patterns and inputs as well as some socio-economic characteristics of the farmers and constraints to effective production.

Sample size and sampling technique

Multistage random sampling procedure was employed in the selection of the respondents. First stage involves the selection of Ido, Akinyele, Lagelu, Egbeda, Ona-Ara and Oluyole Local Government Areas (LGAs), being the main agricultural fields in the zone. Secondly, two villages were selected on each of the soil series in each Local Government Area (LGA), and lastly, random selection of 200 respondent farmers.

Analytical techniques

Descriptive statistics was used to analyse the socio-economic characteristics of the farmers and constraints to effective production using frequencies and percentages. Analysis of costs and returns was estimated using budgetary analysis while gross and net margins as well as rate of return to investment were used to measure profitability of cassava and maize production. Mathematical notation for calculating this is:

GM = pi yi – ri ci                                                                        (1)

where:   GM = Gross margin (naira), pi yi = Total revenue (naira), ri ci =Total variable cost (naira), pi =Farm price of crop produced (naira), yi = Output of crop produced (kg), ri = Price of variable input used (naira) and ci= Quantity of variable input used (kg).

Total variable cost (TVC):

TVC = X1 + X2 + X3 + X4 + X5 + X6 + X7 + X8+ X9   (2)

where:   TVC = Total variable cost (naira), X1 = Cost of seedling (naira), X2 = Cost of fertilizer (naira), X3 = Cost of labour (naira), X4 = Cost of transport (naira), X5 = Cost of herbicide (naira), X6 = Cost of pesticide (naira), X7 = Cost of weeding (naira), X8 = Cost of harvesting (naira) and X9 = Other variable cost (naira).

GM = TR – TVC                                                              (3)

NFI = GM – TFC                                                             (4)

where:   TR = Total revenue cost (naira) and NFI = Net Farm Income (naira).


Socio-economic characteristics of cassava and maize farmers

The study revealed 42% of the farmers cultivating on the Iwo soil series falls within the age group of 40-49 years, 6% less than 30 years, 34% within 50-59 years and 24% within 60-69 years (Table 1).


Source: Field Survey, 2015

Table 1: Distribution of Cassava/Maize Farmers by their Socio-economic Characteristics

For farmers cultivating on the Egbeda soil series, 26.2% falls within the age group of 40-49 years while 10.8% were 70 years and above. The male gender distribution was 73% and 84.6% for farmers cultivating on the Iwo and Egbeda soil series respectively, re-validating the age long dominance of men in agriculture. The manual nature of farming requires large household size to enhance production and reduce the cost of hired labour (Ewaonicha, 2005). Farmers cultivating on the Iwo soil series have household size of 10-14 people (49%) while the Egbeda soil series farmers has between 5-9 people (35.4%) per household size. Large household size ensures availability of labour and expansion of farm size (Mbanasor et al., 2008; Ninso, 2012; Nurudeen, 2012). The study also identified the educational qualification of the farmers and showed that 55% and 23.1% respectively of the Iwo and Egbeda farmers had secondary education, and 35% and 20% for the Iwo and Egbeda farmers respectively had primary education. Exposure to high level of education is efficient to marketing and sustainable to production (Esiobu et al., 2014). Experience in agribusiness enhances output performance (Onyeneke et al., 2011; Onubuogu et al., 2012). The result in Table 1 shows 51% of farmers cultivating on the Iwo soil series has a farming experience between 30-39 years while 12.3% on the Egbeda soil series. About 10% and 7.69% of the farmers in the Iwo and Egbeda soil series respectively had more than 40 years of farming experience. Therefore, the high level of experience among the Iwo soil series farmers could have a positive impact on their efficient allocation of resources and are thus expected to run a more efficient and profitable enterprise. Furthermore, from the results obtained in this study, 53% of the farmers cultivating on the Iwo soil series has a farm size of between 1.1-1.5 hectares and about 35.4% on the Egbeda soil series. This implies that majority of the farmers in the study area are mainly smallholder farmers operating on less than or equal to 1.5 hectares of farmland. This could be as a result of land tenure system predominant in the area or due to the increasing population. Also, 47% and 24.6% of the Iwo and Egbeda soil series farmers respectively has between 0.5-1.0 hectares of farm size for cultivation. All things being equal, the more farm size farmers possess, the greater the potential to increase food crops.

Average income of the farmers varies and majority of the farmers cultivating on the Iwo soil series earned between 71,000 naira and above on the average annually (51%). About 35% of farmers cultivating on the Egbeda soil series earned between 71,000 naira and above on the average annually. Furthermore, 2% and 15.4% of farmers cultivating on the Iwo and Egbeda soil series respectively earned less than 10,000 naira on the average annually. Therefore, the marginal propensity to consume farm produce far exceeds their propensity to save for farmers earning less than 10,000 naira, making the generation of financial capital almost impossible. This further perpetuates the vicious cycle of poverty that had engulfed these farmers and their inability to purchase the needed inputs.

Profitability estimation of Iwo and Egbeda cassava/maize soil

Series farmers

The breakdown of the total costs and returns of cassava/maize farmers is shown in (Table 2). The Iwo cassava/maize soil series farmers incurred total variable cost of N82,937, total fixed cost of N88,378 and earned total revenue of N374,268 per hectare. Furthermore, the Iwo cassava/maize soil series farmers had an average net profit of N202,953/ha while for the Egbeda soil series farmers was N106,948/ha on an average of 1.05 hectares of land. Total variable cost of N92,775 was incurred by the Egbeda cassava/maize soil series farmers with total fixed cost of N91,087 and earned total revenue of N290,810. For the Iwo cassava/maize soil series farmers, the cost of fertilizer application was 14.68% of the total variable cost, which was lower compared to the Egbeda cassava/maize soil series farmers which was 18.66%. The total fixed cost was depreciated using the straight line method. The total fixed cost for the Iwo cassava/maize soil series farmers was N88,378, while that of the Egbeda cassava/maize soil series farmers was N91,087. The rate of return on investment values of 0.78 and 0.68 for the Iwo and Egbeda cassava/maize soil series farmers respectively implies that for every one naira invested by each farmer, it will yield a net profit of 78kobo and 68kobo to the Iwo and Egbeda farmers respectively.


Source: Field Survey, 2015

Table 2: Cost and Returns Analysis of Cassava/Maize Farmers

Test of difference of mean

The t-test of difference of mean was used to determine the extent of the difference in the net profit/ha of the Iwo and Egbeda cassava/maize soil series farmers. The result of the t-test of difference of mean between the net farm income for the farmers was significant (p<0.05), shows that there is a significant difference between the net profit of the Iwo and Egbeda cassava/maize soil series farmers (Table 3). The t-test result which was significant at 5% level implies that we reject the null hypothesis and thus fail to reject the alternate hypothesis.


Source: Field Survey, 2015

Table 3: Test of Difference of Mean between Net Profit/ha of Cassava/Maize Farmers

Constraints to efficient cassava/maize production

The distribution in respect of the constraints affecting the production of cassava/maize between both soil series identified that 37% of the Iwo farmers strongly agreed to inadequate capital has strongly influencing their production while 46.1% for the Egbeda soil series farmers (Table 4&5). This could lead to the reduction in their production efficiency. Furthermore, 17.7% and 7.69% of the Iwo and Egbeda cassava/maize soil series farmers respectively strongly disagreed that inadequate capital was a constraint to their production. About 45% and 40% of the farmers respectively strongly agreed to the fact that pests and diseases was an issue to be strongly tackled to attain efficiency in their production on both soil series, while about 8.88% and 3.07% of the Iwo and Egbeda farmers respectively strongly disagreed. Furthermore, 15.5% and 53.8% of Iwo and Egbeda farmers respectively strongly agreed that poor soil fertility was an issue in attaining efficiency; which could be as a result of the composition of the soil series. The nature and suitability of the Iwo soil series could have influenced the farmer’s perception. Also, 33.3% and 26.1% of the Iwo and Egbeda farmers respectively agreed that bad road network was a constraint to achieving optimal production while 5.92% and 6.15% disagreed. The presence of diversity of opinion in the features of their constraints implies that there will be possibility of variation in their efficiency model.


Source: Field Survey, 2015

Table 4: Constraints to Efficient Production on the Iwo Soil Series

N.B: Figures in parenthesis are percentages.


Source: Field Survey, 2015

Table 5: Constraints to Efficient Production on the Egbeda Soil Series

N.B:- Figures in parenthesis are percentages.


This study has been able to identify the socio-economic characteristics, costs and returns and constraints to effective cassava and maize production on the Iwo and Egbeda soil series farms. The result of the budgetary analysis revealed that the Iwo cassava/maize soil series farmers operating on 1.05 hectare of land earned more profit than their Egbeda counterparts in terms of the net farm income between total revenue and total cost. The Iwo soil series was discovered to be more profitable given the same scale of cassava/maize cultivation compared to the Egbeda soil series. There is the need to improve on the soil condition of the Egbeda cassava/maize farmers by improving on the Egbeda soil series which will possibly improve the production efficiency of this category of farmers. We need effort to maintain the appropriate nutrients in the soil by practicing shifting cultivation and erosion control to avoid washing away of the nutrients. Efforts at mobilizing farmers into viable cooperative groups should also be pursued vigorously. This will help mobilize rural savings that can be readily available to the farmers. Farmers, if capacitated financially can easily afford necessary inputs to improve their production. Trained extension staff in the public service should be empowered through requisite training and knowledge to adequately and appropriately educate farmers. Finally, the government must make greater investments in transportation infrastructure, especially rural-urban roads and markets. Improvement in road quality will attract private investment in cassava/maize production, improve access to purchased inputs, credits and output markets and enhance marketing efficiency.



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To cite this article

Electronic reference

Abegunde Linda Olukemi, Shaba Halilu Ahmad, Alaga Abayomi Taofeek, Adebayo Gbenga Ojo & Abiola Micheal (2017). « Profitability of cassava/maize on Iwo and Egbeda soil series in Oyo State, Nigeria ». Canadian journal of tropical geography/Revue canadienne de géographie tropicale [Online], Vol. (4) 2. Online in December 31, 2017, pp. 01-10. URL:



Abegunde Linda Olukemi
Cooperative information network
National space research and development agency, Obafemi
Awolowo University campus, Ile-Ife, Osun state, Nigeria.

Shaba Halilu Ahmad
National space research and development agency
Abuja, Nigeria.

Alaga Abayomi Taofeek
Cooperative information network
National space research and development agency, Obafemi Awolowo
University campus, Ile-Ife, Osun state, Nigeria.

Adebayo Gbenga Ojo
African regional Centre for space science and technology education
National space research and development agency, Obafemi Awolowo
University campus, Ile-Ife, Osun state, Nigeria.

Abiola Micheal
Federal university of agriculture
Department of agricultural economics and farm management
Abeokuta, Nigeria.



ISSN 2292-4108