Evaluation of Communication Support Materials Used For Agricultural Development Projects in Selected States in North Central Nigeria

Abstract

Food is indispensable for the survival of every human being and for Nigeria to move away from an oil dependent economy we need to invest in agriculture. One of the ways to boost food production and other agricultural products is through Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs). ADPs Extension agents in selected North Central States effectively used communication support materials to disseminate information to less schooled adult farmers on how to improve their farming techniques. Did the farmers understand them? How effective were these materials and of what value? It is based on this premise that the researcher evaluated communication support materials used for farmers in selected states in North Central Nigeria. The researcher adopted a survey design. The study population included all the states in North Central Nigeria: Benue, Kwara, Niger, Nassarawa, Plateau and Kogi. From these six states Benue, Nassarawa and Kwara States were selected through purposive sampling technique because they are the most agriculturally endowed states. The sample size of 1500 farmers were selected from the 973,380 farmers through a combination of systematic and proportional sampling techniques from the list of the registered farmers from the states. The breakdown is as follows: Benue State– 478,060, Kwara State – 313,983, and Nassarawa State – 180,433. The major instrument used was questionnaire. The questionnaire was validated through a pilot test on 20 people in Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria while the reliability of the questionnaire was established through Cronbach Alpha Analysis. The score ranged from 0.70-0.772. The data was analyzed using frequency distribution, Cross tabulation, ANOVA and Linear regressing using SPSS Software version 20.0. The linear regression analysis of the hypothesis depicts that there is no significant effect between farmers lifestyle and usage of communication and support materials among respondents (P>.0.05). Findings revealed that, majority of respondents received extension training through leaflets. The result shows that out of 1356 respondents, 1116 (86.1%) agreed that extension agents attended training very often. The study concluded that majority of farmers in selected North Central States received extension training through communication support material. On the basis of the findings, it was recommended that, extension agents should continue to use communication support materials for training farmers. However, they should ensure that these communication support materials are attractive, persuasive, easy to understand and acceptable by farmers. Furthermore, the State governments in North Central States should as a matter of priority inject more funds to the Agricultural Development Projects so as to enable the ADPs achieve their mandate of improving agricultural productivity and raising the income of small-scale farmers.

Keywords: Agricultural Development, Farmers, communication, extension

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 1-28 (Download PDF)

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