The Role of Agriculture Extension in Increasing Food Production as a Strategy in Reducing Poverty
Statement of Objectives
The broad objective of the study is to examine the problems of agricultural extension services delivery and their effects on agricultural development in the Kano State of Nigeria. The study therefore seeks to achieve the following specific objectives; To
- examine the nature of the agricultural extension services provided to the farmers in the Kano State
- assess the institutional and logistical arrangements put in place for effective agricultural extension services delivery in the region
- assess the modes of agricultural technology dissemination to the farmers in the region
- examine the feedback mechanisms for the extension services delivery in the region
- based on the above, make recommendations towards the national policy interventions and directions for the provision of agricultural extension services and agricultural
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICES SYSTEM IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
This chapter presents a relevant examination of the development and organizational structure of agricultural extension services delivery in Nigeria. There is also a careful review of the models of extension services with their approaches and methods of dissemination of technology and their impacts on agricultural transformation in developing countries. In addition, impacts of agricultural extension services on agricultural modernization for rural poverty reduction, sustainability and challenges of agricultural extension services provision in Africa is reviewed.
Development of Agricultural Extension Services Delivery in Nigeria
Agricultural Extension Services delivery in the country has gone through transformation over time. According to Ekepi (2009), a historical perspective of agricultural extension activities in Nigeria indicates that agricultural extension services delivery was initiated in the nineteenth century by the early missionaries and foreign- owned companies involved in the production of export crops such as coffee, cocoa and rubber. Nigeria tried various extension approaches including extension under the farmers’ cooperative movement and several donor-assisted projects after independence (MoFA 2002). They were provided through donor funded projects such as the USAID funded project called Focus and Concentrate. These organizations provided both advice and inputs to the
In the 1970s and 1980s, the departments of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture such as Crops, Animals and Fisheries undertook separate extension services for their farmers. During the period independent commodity boards and organizations including Cocoa Services Division of Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) provided extension services in the form of technology transfer and technical services provision to farmers (MoFA, 2002). Agricultural extension services were therefore fragmented among the various departments within the same Ministry. In 1987 however, MoFA established 8 the Directorate of Agricultural Extension services (DAEs) to bring all splinter MoFA extension services under one umbrella. Since the beginning of the 1990s, the DAES adopted the Training and Visit (T&V) extension system nationwide. This extension initiative was supported with World Bank funding through the National Agricultural Extension Project (NAEP), which was implemented between 1992 and 1999. This project was set up and implemented to help improve the efficiency in the management and delivery of extension services, improve the relevance of technologies available to farmers and strengthen the technical departments of MoFA.
CHAPTER THREE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
This chapter presents the techniques and procedures employed to conduct the study. The choice of research design, data collection sources and instruments, the sampling techniques, key data variables and their measurement and the data processing, analysis and reporting framework have been explained in this chapter.
The main Research Approach adopted for the study is Qualitative Research Design. This research design is a non-experimental approach concerned with the understanding of social phenomenon from the actor’s perspective through participation and qualitative analysis (Cohen et al, 2007). The research approach was adopted because it enabled the investigator to employ ethnographic description of the process and allowed him to be immersed in the investigation.
However, a case study research method was used. This method was adopted because it guided the investigator to observe a group of farmers at a single point in time, subsequent to the intervention of agricultural extension services that produced change in farm yields and living standards. Nachmias (1992) has pointed out that a case study permits in-depth investigation of the object using a variety of data gathering techniques to produce evidence that leads to understanding of the “case” and answers the research questions.
According to Kumekpor (2002), the case study brings the investigator and the case being investigated into direct contact. This leads to a better conversance with the circumstances of a case and helps to assess the reactions of a group to questions and issues raised in the course of the investigation. The case study is an explanatory method that enabled the investigator to ask and seek answers to the “how” and “why” questions associated with the research. It also allowed the investigator to pose questions, record intuitive hunches, testimonies, stories and illustrations from clients which can be used in later reports.
Moreover, the case study method posed some challenges to the investigator including the possibility of biases and poor judgment of issues. However, the investigator relied on respect for the general principles of procedures, justice, fairness, objectivity in observation and recording, and weighing of evidence to overcome the challenges.
STRUCTURE OF AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICES IN THE KANO STATE
This chapter presents an analysis of the role of agricultural extension services in agricultural transformation in the Kano State. The analysis discusses the characteristics of the selected Local government area and the socio-economic characteristics of the farmers. Again, the analysis discusses the nature of the agricultural extension services, the institutional and logistical arrangements, how the agricultural technology is disseminated and the feedback mechanisms as captured in the farmers’ and institutional survey and analyzed.
Characteristics of the Selected Local government area
This section discusses the locations, the structure of the agricultural sector, available infrastructure and the institutional framework for agricultural management in the Local government area.
SUMMARY OF KEY FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION
This Chapter is the concluding part of the study. It summarizes the key findings of the research and indicates how the objectives of the study were achieved. It also provides recommendations for effective agricultural extension services provision.
Summary of Key Findings
The findings of the study are based on the objectives of the research. As a result, this section identifies issues concerning the nature of the extension services, logistical and institutional arrangements, modes of agricultural technology dissemination, feedback mechanism and national policy intervention and direction for effective provision of agricultural extension services and agricultural development.
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