Full Length Research Paper
For decades, debates among African leaders have centred on possible solutions to the continent's food security dilemma. If not addressed, the continued increase in population density and the accompanying pressures from conflicting demands for land in many Sub-Saharan African nations, including Nigeria, have the potential to exacerbate the arable land situation in the near future. To achieve increased production, African farmers must increase their use of productivity-enhancing tools such as irrigation, improved seeds, fertilizer, and modern farm management practices. The use of Urea Deep Placement (UDP) technology to boost nitrogen availability, a key ingredient in rice production, was introduced to rice farmers in selected Northern Nigerian states. Empirical information on the economics of the use of this technology in rice production is scanty, hence this study. Based on data collected from three hundred UDP users and non-users, this study examined the cost structure, the profitability and productivity of rice farm in the presence of technological heterogeneity. The study employed descriptive statistics, logistic regression, and the Latent class generation modes. The data was divided into two groups based on their production functions. The study concluded that farmers that used urea deep production technology outperformed non-users. However, in the short run, this technology is labour intensive. To solve the excessive labour use in the short run and to make rice production appealing to the young people who make up the majority of Nigeria's labour force, labour-saving technology must be combined with UDP technology.
Key words: Productivity, profitability, technological heterogeneity, urea deep placement, rice.
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