Impacts of extension activities on Rice Production in Olumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State
Background of the Study
Decree 4 of 1987 of the federal republic of Nigeria established the directorate for food, Road and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI) on the 6th of February, 1986, and was changed with the responsibility of bringing to an end the misery of rural people (communities) particularly in terms of apparent neglect and abject poverty. It aim at the total mobilization of rural communities for improvement of life and good living condition of all rural people in Nigerian ( Itam, 1992) that Local to the establishment of Agricultural extension programme in 1973 by Cambridge University (british Universities) to describe a particular educational advantages of the Universities to the ordinary people where they lived and worked.
(Alalu, 1998). The expression connoted an extension of knowledge from the university to places and people far beyond. within a decade or so the movement had spread to other institutions in Britain, the united states and else where. (Edekobi, 1996). He further stated that, as the movement was taken up. It’s programmes become adopted to meet the needs of the people, the place, and the time.
Agricultural extension as a strategy for agricultural transformation is an attempt to bring theories and of rural development through extension work (Ezoma, 1993). Through agricultural extension farmers are informed of novel ways of farming as well as new technical and economic possibilities that could it adopted be useful to them (Oyaide, 1993).
In developing countries extension is the function of government and is supported by public fund (Howard, 1992). Although this fact is true of advanced countries, yet in general, technical and economic information also reach farmers through such sources as professional consultant firms and agricultural services Industries. Therefore, the nature of extension work changes as agriculture changes from traditional to progressive, success depends on the socio-economic and educational circumstances of the countries concerned (Enume, 1992). In both developing and advanced countries, the ingredients of success in agricultural transformation through extension are the same and include:
- Extension must have something to extend, such as new technology or practice.
- The Innovation offered must be technically possible, reliable, economically attractive and socially acceptable.
- The Innovation must be communicated to farmers effectively (Nasko, 1992).
He further stated that if farmers reject an innovation, the chances is that one of the above conditions is lacking and not that that the people are stupid. The innovation introduced to farmers must be within the competence of not only the progressive farmers but ultimately of the majority of farming population.
However, before any meaningful discussion of strategies for agricultural development can be undertaken, it is necessary to understand the nature of farmers and life-style of farmers in the area affected (willian, 1999). Several approaches have been adopted for disseminating information to relevant farmers since the advent of organized agricultural extension world over each approach reflects a particular set of objectives, aims, goals, national/political goals, the client and their socio-cultural setting (Wright 1989). The FAO programme committee at it’s 58th session in 1987 review all agricultural related extension activities and agree that concerted efforts should be made to appraise the various extension system world over with a view to determining.
- Their cost effectiveness.
- Their reliability and sustainability .
- Their capacity to reach relevant target such as women, landless producers and other disadvantaged audience (Cantado, 1997).
Agricultural extension is therefore defined as a services or system which assist farm people through educational procedures, improving farming methods and techniques increasing production efficiency and income, bettering their levels of living and lifting the social, economic and educational standard of rural life (Kelsey et al, 1996).
Fanley and Williams (1994) define extension as that system that brings about improvement in a systematic way, through carefully planned and organized programs. The aim of all extension work is to teach people living in rural areas how to raise their standard of living, by their own efforts, using their own resources of man power and materials, with the minimum assistances from government, by encouraging local leadership, and spirit of self-help, extension develops civic pride and the progressive growth of the community (Oriade, 1990).
The introduction of Agricultural extension programme in my community was introduced during the creation of the state in 1990. to help the people in my community the best way of cropping system, that leads to cultivation of rice in that community.
Rice (Oryza sativa) belongs to the grass family (Grammineae). It is the worlds most important cereal crop. It originated from china. It forms the staple food of half of the world’s population. Apart from being an important sources of food for man, its increasing being used as a constituent of animal feed.
There are many varieties of rice eg. FARO 15,16,19,21 SML 104/10, Agbede E 425, Oshodi and 0S 6. these varieties are broadly grouped into two Viz upland rice and swamp rice. Agricultural extension programme has made a lot of impacts on rice production.
Impacts are observed effectiveness of the roles of agricultural extension programme on farmers especially rice farmers. In this content, impacts means noticeable roles of agricultural extension programme in relation to rice farmers.
Statement of the Problem.
Agricultural extension programme been in place in Orumba Local Government Area of Anambra State since 1990, ever before the creation of the state in 1990. Activities of this programme have not been assessed since the beginning of the programme, this is because there is no data or record showing the activities of agricultural extension programme in the study area. The lack of assessment and data on activities of agricultural extension programme prevent the stakeholders to know the strength and weaknesses of the programme. It is therefore difficult to improve the programme without information on its activities with references to the objectives.
More so, it has also been difficult for the impacts of Agricultural extension programme on food production/farmers activities to be clearly stated. It is therefore necessary to assess the impact of Agricultural extension programme in other to determine how far it has been implemented. This will help the stakeholders and farmers to improve their activities.
Purpose of the Study.
The main purpose of the study is to access the impact of agricultural extension programme on rice production, specifically the study seeks to:
- Identify the farm resources made available to rice farmers by the agricultural extension programme.
- Evaluate the adoption behaviour of the rice farmers.
- Determine the impacts agricultural extension programme has made on the productivity of the rice farmers.
- Identify the constraints facing agricultural extension programme and the rice farmer.
Significance of Study.
The study will benefit the stakeholders of the programme, farmers and agricultural student or the person carrying out the research.
The agricultural extension programme (state holder) will use the information to retrain the extension agents and personnel to update them on the latest needs and information available that will be beneficial to the farmers and the society at large.
The farmers will use the information and adequate methods for easy adoption that will help them improve in their income, agricultural input and increase their standard of living.
The agricultural student carrying research projects in agricultural extension programme officers where necessary information are release to them will use it for reference purposes.
The following research questions were raised to guide the study.
- What are the farm resources made available to rice farmers by agricultural extension programme?
- To what extent have rice farmer adopted agricultural extension technologies?
- What impacts has agricultural extension programme on the productivity of the rice farmers?
- What are the constraints on the activities of agricultural extension programme in relation to rice farmers?
Scope of the Study.
The study was delimited to agricultural extension programme officers and rice farmers in Orumba Local Government Area of Anambra state. It covered resources supplied by agicultural extension to rice farmers, extent of adoption of agricultural extension programme by rice farmer, productivity of farmers who adopts agricultural extension programme and the constraints on the activities of agricultural extension programme in Orumba Local Government Area of Anambra State.