Determinants of Food Crop Diversity and Profitability in Southeastern Nigeria: A Multivariate Tobit Approach
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The present study jointly determines the factors influencing decisions to diversify into multiple food crops (i.e., rice, yam and cassava) vis-à-vis profitability of 400 farmers from Ebonyi and Anambra states of Southeastern Nigeria using a multivariate Tobit model. Model diagnostic reveals that the decisions to diversify into multiple crops and profits generated therefrom are significantly correlated, thereby justifying use of a multivariate approach. Results reveal that 68% of the farmers grew at least two food crops and profitability is highest for only rice producers followed by joint rice and yam producers, which are mainly for sale. Farm size is the most dominant determinant of crop diversity vis-à-vis profitability. A rise in the relative price of plowing significantly reduces profitability of yam and rice. High yield is the main motive for growing yam and cassava whereas ready market is for rice. Other determinants with varying level of influences are proximity to market and/or extension office, extension contact, training, agricultural credit, subsistence pressure and location. Policy recommendations include investments in market infrastructure and credit services, land and/or tenurial reform and input price stabilization to promote food crop diversity vis-à-vis profitability in Southeastern Nigeria.
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