PROFITABILITY OF CUCUMBER (Cucumis sativa L.) PRODUCTION IN TAI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF RIVERS STATE, NIGERIA is a well-researched topic, it is to be used as a guide or framework for your Academic Research
This study examined the economics of cucumber production in Tai
Local government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria. It made use of data obtained through the administration of copies of well structured questionnaire to obtain 70 respondents selected by purposive and random sampling methods. Descriptive statistics involving frequencies, tables and percentages were used to analyze the data including the profit function. Majority (67.4%) of the respondents were educated with a mean age of 35years and average house- hold size of 6 persons. 64.4% were married, the mean plot size and farming experiences of the farmers were 2.3 plots and 3.2 years respectively. The gross margin of production was ₦716,100.00, while the net farm income and profitability index were ₦-168,657.52 and -0.047 respectively showing that cucumber production in the study area was unprofitable. Production was most seriously constrained by the lack of storage, scarcity of planting seed, high cost
of labour, and lack of capital. Policy to boost production and maximize profit must be channeled towards measures that would combat the identified problems such as the provision of soft loans to the farmers, encourage extension visits and organize seminars and training for the farmers.
Cucumber is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family called cucubitaceae (Swaider, Ware and Macollin, 2005). It is a monoecious, annual climber or creeper (Adetula and Denton, 2003) that has been
cultivated for over 3,000 years and is still widely cultivated today. The crop is the fourth most important vegetable after tomato, cabbage and onion in Asia (Tatlioglu, 1997), the second most important vegetable
crop after tomato in Western Europe (Phu, 1997). In tropical Africa, its place has not been ranked because of its limited use. It is grown mainly in Jos, Plateau State especially and in some other states of the federation. It is a soft succulent plant with high water content and has large leaves that form canopy over the fruit. The vines grow on stakes or on trellise. The fruit is roughly cylindrical, elongated with tapered ends and may be as long in diameter. They are used in unripe mature state, usually eaten raw in salads or pickled and are also stewed in tropical regions (Grubben, 1977). Cucumber grown for eating are called slicers and those intended for pickling are called picklers. Pickler refers to cucumbers that are primarily used for processing. Although, it is less nutritious than most fruits, it is still a very good source of vitamins A, C, K, B6, potassium and also provides dietary fibres, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphous, copper and manganese (Vimala et al., 1999). It contains ascorbic acid and caffeic acid both of which help to smoothen the skin irritation and reduces swelling in skin. Its juice is often recommended as a source of silicon to improve the complexion and health of the skin (Duke, 1997).
According to Okonmah (2011), cucumber is one of the most important market vegetables in the tropics. However, the production of the fruit in Nigeria is very low due to some constraints such as choice of appropriate type of staking (in order to promote higher yield of pods), environmental factors and diseases, etc. They are produced mainly in the northern states of Nigeria (Adetula and Denton, 2003). It is necessary to increase the production in order to supplement the high intake of carbohydrate in Nigeria, especially the southern parts of Nigeria where there is sparse and over dependence of its supply for salad, vegetables and fruits from the north (being major suppliers), resulting to relative higher price because of transportation cost and spoilage of the fruit (Okonmah, 2011). The fruit constitute the dietary system of the populace in the cities
as valuable ingredient in vegetable salads and fruit. This study is therefore aimed at studying cucumber production and profitability, estimating cost and returns of cucumber production and constraints to