Monday, August 22, 2011

Lit in Review: Nigerian Agriculture 1

This has been an impressive time for papers coming out about Nigerian agriculture. Eight were uploaded to my reader just last night.

Segun-Olasanmi and Bamire look at maize-cowpea intercropping in Oyo (far west). They find that while men (72%) and women (28%) farmers earn statistically different revenues from intercropping (N76,500 vs. N42,400 - about $500 vs $300) per hectare, and have statistically different costs, men don't have statistically higher profits (N31,000 vs N20,000 - about $200 vs $140). This is in large part explained because men use three times as much inorganic fertilizer and more than twice as much in labor costs. About half also work at other occupations, such as "carpentry, hunting, trading and tailoring in the order of predominance among male farmers, and trading, weaving and tailoring among the females." If male occupations earn more than female, I wonder if the apparent differences in profits are really caused by a higher imputed male wage, so it looks like own labor has a higher cost. So the questions are: is it that male farmers get more production per hectare or get a higher price for the crops? and is it that male farmers are imputed to have a higher wage or do they spend significantly more time on the crops?

Apata, Folayan, Apata, and Akinlua examine the role of subsistence agriculture in Nigeria following the 1994 structural adjustment. They find that subsistence agriculture played an essential role in mitigating the hunger and poverty that ensued following SAP; that trade openness improves agricultural productivity through technology transfer and increasing the gains to education; however it also reduces demand for local production, shifting farmers into more export-oriented areas but not enough to replace lost GDP; 71% of household and subsistence agriculture never reaches the formal market, in part due to high transaction costs, so most impacts from imports and exports hit the largest 10% of farms. They cite government policy shortcomings (instability, inconsistency, poor implementation, and weak institutional development) for being the primary constraints to growing agricultural productivity for both large and small farms.

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