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PROJECT TOPIC- IMPACT OF EXTENSION AGENTS ON RICE PRODUCTION IN EZZA NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EBONYI STATE

PROJECT TOPIC- IMPACT OF EXTENSION AGENTS ON RICE PRODUCTION IN EZZA NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EBONYI STATE

ABSTRACT

In years ago, rice has become an important staple and component of Nigeria’s food import statistics. In fact, no other single crop appears to attract so much government attention as rice does in Nigeria. This study investigates mainly on the extension agent factors on rice production in Ezza North Local Government Area Ebonyi State. The factors which contributed to the adoption of new and improved farm technologies, how familiar the farmers practice is accrue consistency by using the farm practice; planting, harvesting and processing techniques, adoption of improved varieties of rice that is of diseases and weeds resistance, the adoption of application of the fertilizers and the use of new recommended chemicals; such as insecticides and herbicides for weeds and pest control. Four research questions were developed in time with what the study sought to find out. Structural questionnaires were developed and it was used for collection of data from the study area. The data collected were analyzed using frequency counts and mean. The results obtained established that in spite of the long time existence of agricultural extension services, one of the remarkable factors recorded in the area was the significant increase in the rice production in Ezza North. It was also found out that agricultural extension agents were faced with these constraints observed during training the farmers, inadequacy of needed fund/capital by the Government, transportation problem, delay in payment of staff salaries, shortage of technical personnel and low level of farmer education. It was found out that these problems had led to low performance of extension agents and services in order to improve its activities on rice production in the area.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

In developing countries extension work is the function of government and is supported by public fund. This fact is true of advanced countries, yet in general, technical and economic information reach farmers through such sources as professional consultant firms and agricultural services Industries. 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, 2002).

Agricultural extension is a service or system which assist farmers trough educational procedures in improving farming methods and strategies; Farm production and income, bettering farm methods and techniques, farm produce and restructure their levels of living and uplift the socio-economic and educational standard of rural life(Nwuzor,2000). 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, 2002).

Decree 4 of 1987 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria established the Directorate for Food, Road and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI) on 6th of February, 1986 and was charged with the responsibility of the agents bringing to an end the misery of rural people (communities) particularly in terms of apparent neglect and abject poverty. It aimed at the mobilization of the total rural community farmers for improvement of life and good living condition of all rural people in Nigeria (Itam, 2008).

Extension agents are raised to educate the rice farmers the best ways to farm, through training programme, seminar, field trip, organizing symposium, on the new technical and economic(innovations) on rice production in Ezza North. Agricultural extension officers or agents are people who have been technically and professionally trained to carryout extension service. They extend the service to facilitate village level extension activities, provide consultancy service, supervision of trials and demonstrations, provide new information, create improvement on rice production, administration on the use of facilities as well as defending the farmers against any workshop challenges, and offer training and visit services.

Extension agents help the farmer to improve on their already acquired skills. This also involves bringing educational breakthrough in close contact with an educational instructions and who are likely to remain without the educational training or information needed. This covers a wide range of socio-economic, cultural and educational services provided for comfort and for the benefits of mankind as an impact on agricultural extension agents through information dispensation (Ndem, 2010).

Extension agents is built for purpose of changing farmers knowledge, skills, practice, and attitudinal behaviours of rice farmers, including farmers of all type, agricultural produce marketers, suppliers of all production requisite Igwe (2009). The innovations 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 (William, 2009). Impacts are observed through the effectiveness of the roles of agricultural extension agent on farmers especially the rice farmers. In this content, impact means noticeable roles of agricultural relation to rice farmers. From the foregoing, the researcher seeks to find out Impact of Extension Agents on Rice Production in Ezza North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

PROJECT TOPIC- IMPACT OF EXTENSION AGENTS ON RICE PRODUCTION IN EZZA NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EBONYI STATE

Statement of the Problem

Need exists to improve rice production to meet the demands of the growing population. Although rice is a traditional crop in Nigeria, local production was limited until recently. Internal demand is growing and, at the same time, rice is a major commodity of world trade. Nigeria is therefore under pressure from international bodies not to restrict imports; production under local conditions to match prices of rice produced on large mechanized farms therefore represents a considerable challenge.

In order to raise farmers’ income and production in developing countries, governments and international organizations have been aggressively promoting agricultural extension services in those countries. Despite the increase in the production density of rice in Ezza-North Local Government Area, Farmers are still suffering great deficit in their rice production. As a result of this, the researcher is set to find out the Impact of Extension Agents on Rice Production in Ezza North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

Purpose of the Study

Generally, this research work is set to find out Impact of Extension Agents on Rice Production in Ezza North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. Specifically, the researcher seeks to:

  1. Find out the role of Extension agents on educating rural farmers on rice production.
  2. Ascertain the impact of subventions provided by extension agents on training rural farmers on rice production.
  3. Know the facilities which extension agents provide training to the rural farmers for rice production.
  4. Ascertain the constraints facing agricultural extension agents in assisting the rural farmers on rice production.

Significance of the Study

The study will be of great benefit to the extension workers, communities, the agricultural students and the researchers who want to further their study. The agricultural extension workers use the information provided in this research to retain the extension agents (extension farmers) in developing, improve rapidly and well in formulating strategies in tackling some of the agricultural problems that have been causing backwardness to agricultural development in growing crops in Ezza North. The community base farmers will benefit from the research, when they use the information gathered from the research to proceed in adoption of adequate methods for easy production of rice that will help in improving in their income, agricultural input and increase their standard of living.

The agricultural student, especially the agricultural science education students who are carrying research projects on agricultural extension programme, to solve some of the school related problem and the necessary information released to them here will be used as a reference purposes.

Finally, the academics and researcher that are further their study on agriculture science will use the information got from the research work or project as a references and also as a citation.

Research Question

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:

  1. What are the roles of Extension agents on educating rural farmers on rice production?
  2. What are the effects of subventions provided by extension agents on training rural farmers on rice production?
  3. What facilities do extension agents provide training to the rural farmers for rice production?
  4. What are the constraints facing agricultural extension agents in assisting the rural farmers on rice production?

Scope of the Study

This research work is on Impact of Extension Agents on Rice Production and specifically delimited to Ezza North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

PROJECT TOPIC- IMPACT OF EXTENSION AGENTS ON RICE PRODUCTION IN EZZA NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EBONYI STATE

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