Title: A PILOT PRODUCTION OF DRY SEASON CUCUMBER USING INORGANIC FERTILIZERS IN THE UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA FARM, NSUKKA, ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA.
Authors: Ume Chukwuma, Onunka Cynthia and Prof A. I. Achike
Abstract: This pilot study was on the economics of dry season cucumber production using inorganic fertilizers. It was carried out at the University of Nigeria demonstration farm. The specific objectives of the research were to: describe the system of dry season cucumber production; determine the cost and returns of dry season cucumber production; describe the marketing channels of Cucumber marketing; identify major constraints facing dry season production and marketing of cucumber in the area; and, make recommendations based on findings. The best planting system was direct sowing unlike most other fruit vegetables that will require to be raised in the nursery first, before transplanting. The profitability was determined in two stages; including only the explicit cost items (Direct labour and capital expenses) used and secondly considering both the implicit (Land, Irrigation water, and Water storage facility) and explicit cost items. The cost and return analysis show that the net return per 8 square meters was determined to be (N80.33) for inorganic cucumbers considering only the explicit costs items and (-3,256.67) when implicit costs were included. Production scale and market risks, both affect profitability and economic viability of the dry season cucumber. In view of the low return to scale from the production, more lands should be developed by communities and made affordable to potential and active cucumber farmers. Arable lands along perennial waters could be made communal to remove restrictions placed by family inheritance and finally, the leasable lands should be made cheap.