Evaluation of Communication Support Materials Used For Agricultural Development Projects in Selected States in North Central Nigeria (Published)
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.
Farmer organisations (FOs) are key actors in agricultural development and can play an important role in achieving sustainable rural development. The Cameroon government aware of this important role played by FOs, after independence created cooperatives as alternative organizations for agricultural production and source of foreign currencies. The economic crisis of the 1980s encouraged the creation of many FOs (Common initiative groups and cooperatives) since the government could no longer handle the FOs and this led to the transfer of responsibilities to farmers. The North-West region like other parts of Cameroon since then witnessed the creation of thousands of FOs that have to play both social and economic roles for the benefit of the farmers. This research was carried out to examine the actual state of affairs of FOs in the region and the role they play in the agriculture development of the North West region of Cameroon. The research methods used included field work, field surveys through semi-structured interviews with members of FOs or actors in this sector and documentary research. The results revealed that in 2017 the number of FOs dropped from 16, 425 in 2015 to 11,108 with the number of active groups only 9.6% indicating the presence of FOs which do not provide the expected benefits to farmers.
The Impact of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) On Economic Development in Nigeria: 1985-2015 (Published)
IFAD intervention programmes are tailored towards the seeming problems of poverty through increased domestic savings and investments. There is no gainsaying the fact that the literature is complete on various policy mix that could usher in the much desired economic development especially in developing economies. Since the mid 80’s, IFAD has been involved directly in development programmes of LDCs, but to what extent have these programmes impacted on some of the major or key indicators of economic development such as literacy level, income generation, life expectancy, infant mortality amongst others, hence the need to examine the impact of IFAD programmes on these variables. The objectives of the study included to identify the key IFAD intervention programmes on incremental income, literacy rate, life expectancy and infant mortality. Secondary data were sourced and analyzed using the Ordinary Least Squares (OLS). The major findings of the study showed that the long-run determinants of economic development; measured by per capita income, are largely from IFAD funded project inputs in Nigeria (IFPN) and life expectancy in Nigeria (LERN). Literacy rate proxied by total enrolment in primary education regardless of age and expressed as a percentage of the population of official primary education age have negative coefficient and results in -0.382% change in economic development in the long run. Similarly, the coefficient of infant mortality rate in Nigeria measured by 1000 live births is indirectly related to economic development. It is against this background, that the study recommended increase funding of agricultural activities and rural savings mobilization, and by extension promotes development through increasing the volume and productivity of human capital as result improvement in life expectancy.
The role of agriculture in accelerating economic growth and development process of any nation cannot be overemphasized. However, in Nigeria, the sector has suffered severe neglect, due in part, from the windfall from the discovery of oil in the 1970s and other structural rigidities. The study investigated the constraints to agricultural development in Nigeria using time series data spanning the period 1970 – 2010 and contemporary econometric methods of unit root test, co-integration and error-correction mechanism. Empirical findings reveal that rainfall, exchange rate and food export (lag one) are the most significant positive determinants of agricultural output in Nigeria. However, food imports, diversion of funds meant for agricultural purposes and low technology diffusion in agriculture are among the factors identified as constraints to agricultural development in Nigeria. The study recommends among others, maintenance of stable and favourable exchange rate regime, and the pursuance of programmes that will bolster partnerships between research institutions and other stake holders in agriculture as a route to facilitating agricultural development and hence, economic development in Nigeria.
THE DYNAMICS OF COMMUNICATION IN AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT. THE CASE OF THE SOUTH-EASTERN STATES OF NIGERIA (Published)
The poor and deplorable condition of Agricultural development in the South Eastern Nigeria has become a regional concern, especially with the notion that agriculture is an occupation for the poor, illiterate and the old. The work investigated the role of the media in agricultural development as well as the level of audience awareness of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) agricultural development programme as strategies and effective tools for dissemination of agricultural development programme in the South Eastern Nigeria. Methodologically, the work adopted a survey method of data collection to elicit information needed. The findings revealed that most rural agriculturists do not have access to NTA stations and programmes. This is principally due to poverty and lack of infrastructural development. The subsistent farmers are found at the lowest rung of development, and so were cut off from modern information that can better their lots. The work stressed the need for upgrading the NTA to be responsive and grassroots oriented by using local content features like language, time, message and scene to transmit agricultural development programmes. The work is a clarion call on the government to be proactive in the development of infrastructural facilities like electricity in the villages, good road networks, as the establishment of weekend viewing centres for watching agricultural development news, commentaries and programmes transmitted in the form of drama and discussion. This will act as a panacea for development of agriculture at the grassroots