DIFFERENTIAL THRESHOLDS OF FARMERS’ AND PUBLIC EXTENSION AGENTS’ PERCEPTIONS OF BENEFITS OF COST SHARING IN EXTENSION SERVICE DELIVERY IN BENUE AND NASARAWA STATES, NIGERIA

Abstract

The study was carried out in Benue and Nasarawa States, Nigeria to assess perceived benefits of cost-sharing among farmers and public extension agents. Data was collected from a sample of 346 respondents using interview schedule/questionnaire as well as Focus Group Discussion. Descriptive statistics such as frequency and percentage as well as Mann-Whitney U test were used for data analysis. Majority of the farmers (61.4%) and all (100%) the public extension agents were males, middle aged, having formal education which enabled them to understand possible benefits of cost-sharing in agricultural extension service. Farmers’ and public extension agents’ perceived benefits of cost-sharing practices were observed in the areas of equity participation of stakeholders (18.4%), result orientation of scheme (14.2%), effective monitoring of project (13.9%), demand driven of extension service (12.1%) and meeting of targets of extension service delivery (10.8%), among others. There was a significant difference between Benue and Nasarawa States in terms of perceived benefits of cost-sharing practices by respondents. This was due to the higher average work experience of farmers in Benue State as opposed to their counterparts in Nasarawa State implying that the longer the work life of an individual the better exposed he is to work experiences that would enhance his sense of perception and judgment. The study recommends that farmers be encouraged towards consistency in their primary occupation of farming to improve their cognate experience while efforts are made by service providers to ensure that extension services provided for end users are demand driven and result oriented in order to achieve the objectives of extension service delivery. The need for adequate measures for effective monitoring of extension services for greater efficiency was considered necessary as it will help to encourage stakeholders to participate in cost-sharing.

Keywords: Cost sharing., Farmers, Perception, public extension agents

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 15-27 (Download PDF)

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