COSTS AND RETURNS OF ACRE TECHNOLOGY MPCKAOCS
CASSAVA 43 ,o
Jaswant R Jindia, Ph.D.
Professor of Agricultural Economies
M T Dahniya,Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer and Head
Department of Agronony
Njala University College
Part-Time Scientist-ACRE Project
ADAPTIVE CROP RESEARCH AND EXTENSION
(ACRE)PROJECT-MANR /USA I D/NUC
The Adaptive Crop Research and Extension (ACRE) Project
has been in operation in Sierra Leone since 1980. It is
jointly supported both in finance and human resources
expertise by the governments of Sierra Leone and that of the
United States of America. The agencies that are responsible
for the execution of the Project are USAID, MANR and NUC.
USAID has contracted some of its responsibilities for the
Project to a consortium which is formed by Southern University
and Louisiana State University (SULSU), both of which are
in the United States of America.
The Project activities which emphasize on-farm research
trials and on-farm research demonstrations, has as its main
objective, to increase the food production of the small
farmers within the operational areas. This it is hoped will
also increase their incomes. The operational areas are
demarcated to be within 25 mile radius of Njala, Kenema,
Kabala, Makeni and Rokupr.
This publication is the first in a series of economic
considerations of the ACRE food crop packages that are being
published. It is hoped that they will be useful to the
agricultural institutions and development agencies as well as
the agricultural field workers and farmers.
W. E. Taylor
Although high crop yields constitute an important
goal for the researcher, the inputs in terms of materials and
labour which go into these yields cannot be ignored. Simple
economic analysis is necessary, as a first step, to screen out
packages which are not likely to be accepted by farmers. It
should be borne in minO however that small farmers tend to
integrate all their enterprises in a stable system which may
not be intended to maximise yield/returns of a particular
product per unit area of land but to maximise total production
and thereby decrease risk.
Cassava yield data collected over the 5 Project Zones showed
little or no consistent differences between cultivars. The
paper therefore does not distinguish between Nucass 4, Rocass 1
and Rocass 3.
The writing up of the study on cassava by Dr. Jindia and
Dr. Dahniya is timely. Dr. Jaswant R. Jindia is Professor
of Agricultural Economics at Southern University and has been
with ACRE Project as Agricultural Economist since June,1984.
His earlier comprehensive report on the economics of ACRE
technology packages covering rice, maize and sweet potato was
very well received. Dr. Mohamed T. Dahniya, Senior Lecturer in
Agronomy, N.U.C., has been part-time scientist with the ACRE
Project since its inception. He is the group leader of the
root and tuber improvement program which aims at developing
cassava and sweet potato cultivars that are high yielding,
resistant to major diseases and insect pests, adaptable to a wide
range of environment in Sierra Leone and possessing acceptable
E. R. Rhodes,
The research presented in this report was dependent
upon the prior collection of labour time data and the yield
data. Without co-operation of the entire ACRE family, this
research could not have been conducted. The authors express
their special thanks to Dr. E. R. 1Rodes(Research Co-ordinator)
for providing all the needed data and helpful suggestions.
Thanks are also due to Dr. W. E. Taylor, Director; Mr. E. J.
Mammy, Extension Co-ordinator; and Mr. Moses Tucker, Subject
Matter Specialist for reviewing the draft and offering
suggestions for improvement. We also thank Mr. John Samu,
Research Assistant (Data Processing) and Mr. Moses Brainard,
Field Assistant, for processing the data and correcting
typographical errors. All remaining errors and short-
comings of this paper are of course the sole responsibility
of the authors.
COSTS AND RETURNS OF ACRE TECHNOLOGY PACKAGE OF CASSAVA
Cassava is the second most important food crop (after
rice) in Sierra Leone and is widely cultivated in the country.
The crop has the ability to adapt to diverse environmental
conditions and can produce well in adverse conditions (Coursey
and Haynes,1970). It requires few production skills and
can be grown with limited inputs. Planting and harvesting are
not seasonal'and the crop can be kept in the ground for up
to 24 months and harvested when required for consumption.
Cassava is relatively drought tolerant and can survive even
4-6 months of dry weather (Hahn, et.al.,1979).
Cassava is the most important root crop grown in Sierra
Leone. It provides a sustained food supply when rice is not
available or is too expensive. The root as well as the
leaves are consumed as food. It is also used as a raw material
for starch/glucose industries and as cattle and poultry feed.
Cassava flour is used as an ingredient for manufacture of
food products like sago, flakes, vermicelli,etc.
Yield of cassava in Sierra Leone is very low. The
traditional cultivars and practices give low levels of output.
ACRE has done a considerable amount of on-station research in
co-operation with IITA, Rokupr Rice Research Station and
Njala University College to develop high yielding disease
resistant clones and improved cultural practices. These
clones and practices have been tested at farmers fields and
their superiority over local cultivars and practices have been
demonstrated. The package of clones and practices thus
developed consists of either one of the three improved varieties
of cassava, row planting at recommended distances, and optional
fertilizer application. This study examines the economics
of this package to see how cost effective it is.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Varieties: ACRE cultivars are ROCASS 1, ROCASS 3 and
NUCASS 1. ROCASS 1 has small leaves with red petioles
similar to the local coco-cassava. Its white tuber skin
differentiates it from the coco-cassava which has pink skin.
It is an all purpose variety because it cooks well and
can be directly prepared for food in addition to gari and
foo-foo. ROCASS 3 has the largest leaves and stems. It grows
most vigorously and fastest under good conditions. It is
however, most susceptible to drought. Petioles are green
on top but lightly pink underneath. NUCASS 1 resembles
ROCASS 3 in the colour of leaves, petioles and tuber skin.
Its boiling quality is poor. All three cultivars produce
excellent gari for human consumption. Leaves of all
cultivars are rejected by most cassava leaf eaters on the
ground that their heavily (green) chlorophyll content poses
a high palm oil requirement problem (Squire, J.S., 1984).
Cultural practices: ACRE Package calls for cassava to
be planted on ridges one meter apart. Distance between
plants should be 1 meter, giving a plant population of
10,000 per hectare. Weeding must be done 2-3 times as
The package of improved varieties
and improved cultural practices was tested without fertilizer
application (intermediate management) and with fertilizer
application (improved management) at 6 bags of 15:15:15 per
hectare. Fertilizer was applied in 2 splits at 4 weeks
after planting and 3 months after planting.
In order to demonstrate the superiority of the
package over local varieties and practices, several
demonstrations were conducted in 1982 and 1983. Results
from 24 such demonstrations were statistically analysed.
Partial budget analysis of the package was conducted using
CIMMYT MANUAL (Perrin, R.K., et.al., 1976) as a broad guide.
In this analysis the additional costs on account of fertilizer,
labour and planting materials have been considered and net
benefits from each alternative have been arrived at. The
net benefits enable the farmer to compare different alternatives
and select one which is the best for him. Net benefits have
been further illustrated with the help of net benefit curves.
Minimum returns analysis was conducted to assess the risk
associated with unfavourable growing conditions and sensiti-
vity analysis was performed to assess the impact of changes
in the cost of inputs and price of the output.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Average yield of cassava under the three treatments is
reported in Table 1.
Table 1: Mean Yield of Cassava All Zones
1982 & 1983
Treatment Average Yield lb/acre**
T3 Improved Variety and
Improved management 14208 12675
T1 Improved Variety and
Intermediate Management 10231 9127
T2 Local Variety and Local
Management 4663 4160
L.S.D. 1546 1379
C.V. 29% 29%
** Means significant at 99% level.
The yield data was statistically analysed and the treatment
differences were found to be highly significant.
Highest yield is obtained by using improved variety under
improved management. Improved variety under intermediate
management gives relatively lower yield, but still the yield is
more than 10 tons per hectare and is more than double that of
local variety under local management.
Partial Budget Analysis
Table 2 presents the partial budget analysis for
the average of two years,1982 and 1983.
Table 2: Partial Budget Cassava, 1982 and 1983
Average of all zones
n = 24
IMPROVED VARIETY VARIETY/
NO. ITEM IMPROVED INTER- LOCAL
MANAGEMENT MEDIATE MA CEMENT
T3 Tl T2
1. Average yield (Kg/ha) 14208 10231 4663
2. Net Yield ]2787 9208 4197
3. Field price (Le) 0.25 0.25 0.25
4. Gross field value 3197 2302 2049
VARIABLE MONEY COST
5. Cost of cuttings for
planting 50 50 0
6. Fertilizer 6 bags 150 0 0
VARIABLE OPPORTUNITY COS"
7. Days of added labour 10 8 O
8. Cost of added labour 35 28 O
9. Total variable cost (Le) 235 78 O
10. Net benefit (Le) 2962 2224 3T049
'n' is the number of observations.
In this table line 2, the net yield is 90% of average yield.
.-.-,.- *? t*>
It is assumed that there will be harvest losses amounting to
10% of the yield. Line 3 the field price has been taken as
250 per Kg. This is the expected price of cassava at the
farm gate, i.e. the price that the farmer will receive for his
produce, minus the transportation and marketing costs if any.
Line 6 is the cost of fertilizer 15:15:15 at 25 leones per
bag. Line 7 is the days of additional labour required for
making ridges for planting and fertilizer application. Line
10 is the net benefit.
Table 3 presents net benefits as the result of the partial
budget analysis, minimum returns and sensitivity analysis:
Table 3: Net Benefits from Various Treatments (Le/ha)
NET BENEFITS IMPROVED MEDIATE
At 25% higher price.of caczava
At 25% higher cost of inputs
At 25% higher prices and costs
The net benefits by using improved variety under improved
management are the highest. Improved variety under intermediate
Net Benefits Curve, Cassava,1982 and 1983
t 3000 B)i Averace Net Benefits
40 80 120 10 200 240
40 80 120 160 200 240
Variable Cost (Le)
management gives lower benefits. However the benefit is more
than two thousand leones per hectare and is more than double
that of local variety under local management.
Fig.l gives the net benefit curve and illustrates further the
benefits derived from various treatments. This graph shows a
steeper slope between T1 and T2 and a milder slope between Tl and
T3. This indicates higher rates of return for adopting new variety
with intermediate management and lower rates of return to improved
The net benefits derived from various treatments were
subjected to marginal analysis and it was found that the rate of
return for the improved variety under intermediate management is
1506% and additional returns to fertilizer application are 470%.
These rates of return are very high and demonstrate very clearly
that the ACRE package, particularly the intermediate management
is very beneficial to the farmers of Sierra Leone. The marginal
returns to improved management (fertilizer application) are also
very high, so that Sierra Leone farmers, particularly those who
grow cassava for the market will find it very profitable to use
the improved management practice. It is, however, possible
that some farmers may be reluctant to invest money on fertilizer
for this crop, because of its very long duration and also
marketing and transportation problems.
A minimum returns analysis was conducted by averaging lowest
yielding 25% of the observations, in order to assess the downside
risk associated with this package. A separate partial budget was
constructed using these lower yield levels. The net benefits
derived from the treatments are reported in Table 3 and are also
presented in the form of a minimum benefits curve (Fig.l).
Returns to intermediate management, even under adverse growing
conditions are 951% and to improved management 252%. These
returns are very high, so that even the risk averting subsistence
farmer will find it highly profitable to adopt at least the
intermediate management practice.
Sensitivity analysis was conducted to assess the impact of
price variability and cost variability on the profitability of
the package. A 25% higher price of cassava greatly increases
the net benefits and the marginal rates of return, both for
intermediate, as well as for improved management. A 25%
increase in cost of inputs reduces the net benefits and rates
of return to a very small extent, so that the package still
remains very profitable. Net benefits are reported in Table 3
and marginal rates of return in Table 4.
Table 4: Rates of Return to Improved and Intermediate Management;-
Cassava, 1982 and 1983.
Average 1506 470
Minimum 951 252
At 25% higher price of cassava 1991 607
At 25% higher cost of inputs 1179 357
At 25% higher prices and costs 1485 466
SU MARY AND CONCLUSIONS
Analysis of 24 demonstrations on cassava conducted in
1982 and 1983 in ACRE Project Zones revealed very high rates
of return to the improved varieties of cassava, i.e. NUCASS 1,
ROCASS 1 and ROCASS 3. Average returns to these new varieties
under intermediate management were 1506% and returns to improved
management (fertilizer application) were 470%. These rates of
return clearly indicate that ACRE package on cassava particularly
the intermediate management is highly profitable to the farmers
of Sierra Leone. Fertilizer application is also very profitable,
but it is possible that due to the long duration of the crop and
difficulties of marketing and transportation of cassava, the
subsistence farmers may be reluctant to apply fertilizer to this
Coursey, D.G. and Haynes, P.H.1970. Root Crops and their potential
as food in the tropics. World Crops, July/August:
Hahn, S.K., Terry,E.R., Leuschner,K., Akobundu,I.O., Okali,C.
and Lal,R.,1970. Cassava Improvement in Africa.
Field Crops Res.,2: 193-226.
Jindia, J.R. and Tuthill, D.F.,1985. Costs and Returns of ACRE
Technology Pakages. Adaptive Crop Research and Extension
(ACRE) Project, Njala, Sierra Leone.
Perrin, R.K., Winkelmann, D.L., Moscardi, E.R. and Anderson,R.J.,
1976. From Agronomic Data to Farmer Recommendation,
Centre International de Mejoramiento de Maiz Y Trigo,
Onwueme, E.C., 1978. Tropical Tuber Crops. John Wiley and Sons,
Squire, J.S.,1984. Guide to growing cassava in Sierra Leone.
Adaptive Crop Research and Extension (ACRE) Project,
Extension Bulletin No.6.
U.S.A.I.D.,1974. Guide for field crops in the tropics and the
sub-tropics, Technical Assistance Bureau, Agency for
International Development, Washington, D.C. 20523,