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SOCIO-ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF COCOA FARMERS IN SELECTED LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS IN ONDO STATE, NIGERIA.
Abstract: In Nigeria, cocoa is an important cash crop that helps in generating income and poverty reduction; but there is a downward trend in cocoa production. The study investigated the socio-economic analysis of cocoa farmers in Ondo East and Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State, Nigeria. Data were collected through the use of well-structured questionnaires administered to farmers in selected cocoa producing local government areas. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and gross margin analysis. The result showed that most of the respondents (69.5%) were males while 30.5% were females. Few (40.5%) of the respondents had secondary education, also 38.1% fell within the age range of 30-39 years old. Findings from the study revealed that most (65.5%) of the respondents used cocoa for various purposes. The findings from the study showed that the Gross Margin is ₦244948.429. Also based on the findings of the study it was revealed that almost half (57.0%) of the respondents strongly agreed that pests and diseases are problems militating against cocoa production. Therefore, findings from the study revealed that cocoa is a profitable enterprise. It is thereby recommended that the government should provide adequate inputs to the farmers at subsidized rate and support them by providing soft loans.
Keywords: Socio-economic, Cocoa, Farmers, Ondo State, Nigeria