Attitude of Farmers Towards Paying for Agricultural Extension Services in Oyo State, Nigeria
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The overall objective of this study was to assess the Attitude Of Farmers Towards Paying For Agricultural Extension Services.
The specific objectives of the study were to;
- Identify socio-economic factors affecting perceived effectiveness of AEAs in knowledge transfer to maize growers in Akure North Local Government.
- Identify problems associated with low maize yields in the study
- Determine farmer‟s perceptions on effectiveness of AEAs in obtaining required knowledge on maize growing in the study
Constraints to Agricultural Extension Services in Nigeria
Wikipedia (accessed 20.06.09) defined a constraint as anything that prevents a system from achieving more of its goal. In like manner, Hornby (2007) defined constraint as a thing that limits or restricts something or one‟s freedom to do something. According to FAO (2004), some of the major constraints against agricultural extension services include:
(i) lack of effective medium or long-term extension and training approach; (ii) lack of qualified manpower with appropriate experience in agricultural extension and/or adult education: most of them in most developing countries are attracted by more remunerating activities in other sectors, NGOs or International Organizations; (iii) over-reliance on extension through mass media approach: field activities that motivate farmers to experience improved/innovative practices are being kept to a minimum due to limited resources in some countries; (iv) low extension coverage rate e.g. one extension worker/840 households or one extension worker/6,000 ha of cultivated land; (v) low operating budgets of extension staff: the bulk of the budget on agricultural extension is allocated for salaries and construction; (vi) limited linkages with agricultural research and academic/formal education institutions; (vii) insufficient support to rural women intensively involved in farming and rural youth (in particular out-of-school children assisting in agricultural production); (viii) reliance on academic staff from universities for conducting training activities, who themselves are in need of upgrading of their knowledge to keep abreast of new development in the agricultural sector following the many years of isolation; (ix) limited level of application of basic adult education principles, methods and techniques by academic resource persons participating in the implementation of training activities; (FAO, 2004).
In this chapter, we would describe how the study was carried out.
It is a term used to describe a number of decisions which need to be taken regarding the collection of data before they are collected. (Nwana, 1981). It provides guidelines which direct the researcher towards solving the research problem and may vary depending on the nature of the problem being studied. According to Okaja ( 2003, p. 2),” research design means the structuring of investigation aimed at identifying variables and their relationship, it is used for the purpose of obtaining data to enable the investigator test hypothesis or answer research question by providing procedural outline for conducting research”. It is therefore, an outline or scheme that serves as a useful guide to the researcher in his efforts to generate data for his study.
This cross-sectional study used mixed methods (both quantitative and qualitative). It is used to obtain the peoples opinion through questionnaire.
Sources of Data
The data for this study were generated from two main sources; Primary sources and secondary sources. The primary sources include questionnaire, interviews and observation. The secondary sources include journals, bulletins, textbooks and the internet.
FINDINGS AND DISCUSSIONS
Information Characteristics of Farmers: Majority (95%) of the farmers indicated the extension agent as their main source of information on improved farm practices. Another 90% mentioned the ra- dio as being next in rank to the extension agent. These two sources though complementary are very vital to the development of farmers. The significance of these two sources is further justified by the low rating of other, sources (see Table 1). The concentration of development in these two sources of information is a necessary step towards sustainable agricultural extension services in Nigeria.
The second section of the table present results on the most, preferred sources by the farmers. Findings show that the extension agent
Table 1: Distribution of respondents based on information sources used
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The findings in the study revealed that the extension agent and the radio were the main sources of information to the farmers. The group extension teaching methods except the farm and home visits were the most widely used methods adopted in training farmers. The effectiveness of extension methods is medium, with an inverse relationship existing between frequency of contacts and the attitude of farmers towards extension services.
The implication of the findings on future extension programming areas follows, that:
- Extension prorgrammes should still be interpreted by extension agents who should also receive adequate training.
- A combination of extension teaching methods should be adopted when planning extension programmes.
- Training must focus on the felt needs of the farmers; and finally;
- Extension contacts must be well planned and desirable in order to maintain credibility of extension agents.
Based on the major findings of this study, the following recommendations were made:
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