Federal University of Technology, Nigeria
Title: Assessment of commercial production of “Ugu” vegetable in Akure metropolis, Ondo state, Nigeria
Lawrence O Oparinde is a young researcher who completed his first and second degree in Agricultural Economics from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State and Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State both in Nigeria with First Class Division and 4.30/5.00 CGPA respectively. He is currently on his PhD programme in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria where he is a lecturer. He has carried out studies on technology adoption, market participation, artisanal fish marketing etc. Oparinde has about 3 publications in reputable Journals and Conference Proceedings.
Telfairia occidentalis (Ugu) is one of the important vegetables that help in maintaining human good health because of the minerals and vitamins contained in it. It is also a good source of protein which can be used as substitute for animal proteins in the diets. It is against this background that this study assessed the commercial production of Ugu vegetable in Akure Metropolis of Ondo State, Nigeria. A multi-stage sampling technique was employed in selecting 70 respondents. Descriptive statistics, Gross Margin Analysis and Multiple Regression Analysis were used to analyse the data collected. The study revealed that Ugu production is profitable in the area as the profit per producer was N18,007.00 per cropping season. The result further indicated that years of farming experience, cost of seed, labour cost, pests and diseases as well as transportation costs were the significant factors that influenced the production of Telfairia occidentalis. Some of the constraints identified by the respondents are pests and diseases, lack of capital, flooding, high cost of fertilizer and poor market infrastructure. Therefore, Telfairia producers should be encouraged to form co-operatives societies which will serve as a means of providing credit to the producers through regular contributions. This will enable them to gain access to lending schemes of financial institutions. Also, flood control measures should be put in place so as to solve the problem of flooding in the area.
Keywords: Telfairia occidentalis, Ugu, Gross Margin, Production, Cropping Season, Commercial.