PROFITABILITY ANALYSIS OF MAIZE FARMERS USING MODERN FABRICATED SOLAR DRYER IN ODEDA LGA OF OGUN STATE, NIGERIA
Abstract:In Nigeria, well over 30% of maize produced yearly is lost in storage due to improper drying methods and postharvest practices by rural farmers. Also, income of rural farmers over the years have been a great concern to the economy. This study analyzed the profitability of maize farmers in Odeda local government area with the use of modern fabricated solar dryer (MFSD). A total of 105 randomly sampled maize farmers from two villages in the local government were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics was used to analyze the socioeconomic characteristics of the respondents and their drying methods while budgetary analysis was used to estimate the profitability of maize. Results showed that majority of the farmers were young-males, with no formal education and had above 30 years of experience in maize farming. The major problems identified amongst the farmers was lack of credit facilities, lack of working capital (assets like land) and lack of skills (education). The result of profitability analysis of maize from the two major farms after the use of the fabricated dryer revealed a profit margin of 100%. Recommendation for this study is that farmers should be encouraged to invest more and increase their input in agriculture so as to improve their output by the use of modern dryer. Also, the government should give concessions to the rural farmers in various aspects which include provision of credit facilities and infrastructures. The use of the MFSD drying method by rural maize farmers reduced post-harvest losses by 65% irrespective of variety, and significantly boosted the farmer’s profit margin.