FACTORS INFLUENCING ADOPTION OF RECOMMENDED CASSAVA PRODUCTION PRACTICES BY FARMERS
The study was to determine the socio-economic, institutional and technological factors influencing adoption of Recommended Cassava Production Practices (RCPPs). The specific objectives were to describe the socio-economic characteristics of cassava farmers, identify the different sources of information used, assess the levels of adoption, determine the effect of socio-economic, institutional and technological factors on adoption of RCPPs, examine the effects of adoption of the recommended practices on the yield and income of farmers and identify the constraints faced by farmers in adoption of the recommended practices. The study used a multi-stage sampling procedure to select 120 registered cassava farmers. Frequencies, percentages, means, multiple regression and z – test were employed for data analyses. The results showed that majority (68%) of the respondents fell within the middle age group of 30 – 49 years with a mean age of 35 years. Majority (81%) of the respondents was literate. About 80% cultivated less than 3 hectares of farmland with a mean farm size of 3.5 hectares. The major source of information used by the respondents was radio. The coefficients of regression analysis showed that the R2 value was 0.60 and education, farm size, credit need, membership of cooperative association, source of information, extension contact and complexity positively and significantly influenced adoption of RCPPs at 5% level of probability. Relative advantage and compatibility coefficients were both positive. Recommended planting time and recommended planting method had the highest adoption levels of 78% and 67% respectively while recommended fertilizer application rate and herbicide application rate had the lowest adoption levels. Result of the Z-test revealed that the mean yield of cassava before and after adoption were 3,832t/ha and 6,387t/ha with a differential of 67%. The mean income of farmers before and after adoption was N464,642.00 and N714,833.00 and the differential mean was 54%. The identified major constraints for low and non-adoption of some of the RCPPs were limited scale and uneven distribution of farmland, insufficient funds and complex nature of technologies to farmers. It was recommended that technology developers should develop technologies that are simple, cost effective and easily used by farmers. On the other hand, promoters of technology adoption should intensify efforts targeted at improving service delivery and promoting the adoption of RCPPs by the farmers especially the technologies that recorded low levels of adoption.
1.1 Background of the Study
Nigeria is predominantly rural in character in which more than 80% of total population lives in the rural areas (FAO, 2002). The economy is basically agrarian, with majority of the people living in squalor and very poor standard of living. Most of the farmers are subsistence small holders, farming 1.2 hectares of farmland under a traditional system characterized by low technology and production efficiency. Besides, they are also faced by problems of natural resource inputs, especially land, water, labour and management. The poverty among farm families goes beyond material deprivation to include insecurity, vulnerability, exposure to risks, shocks and stress. This poor condition of the rural communities had continued to deteriorate since independence due to severed neglect emanating from poor and inconsistent policies formulation and implementation by successive governments in Nigeria (Okozie, 2003).
In cassava production, Nigeria is rated the highest producers in terms of its volume of production (FAO, 2002). However, it occupies the 8th position in terms of its productivity (kg/ha), relative to countries as Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia, Uganda, India, Ghana and Congo respectively. The reason for this is being attributed to a number of production factors, such as: the varieties cultivated and the management practices adopted. These farming practices have been revealed to be poor in Nigeria compared to such countries like Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia (FAO, 2002). The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike Umuahia and many other research institutions have developed.