Agricultural Information Needs of Small Holder Farmers in Central Agricultural Zone of Nasarawa State
AbstractThis study was conducted in the Central agricultural zone of Nasarawa State to investigate the level of farmers’ access and use of agricultural information. Data for the study were collected from 120 respondents with the aid of a structured questionnaire. Data analysis was done using descriptive statistics (frequency, percentage and mean scores) for objectives 1, 2, 3 and 4. Objective 5 was achieved using a multiple regression model. Most (41%) of the respondents were aged between 41 – 50 years and their mean age was 40 years. A greater proportion (39%) of the respondents had primary education and 15% were illiterates. Most (77%) of the respondents were married. Majority (86%) of them were full time farmers with average farm size of 4.5ha and mean household size of 8 persons. Majority (94%) of respondents belonged to one or two social organizations. The mean years of farming experience was 25 years. Only 37% obtained farm credit of various amounts. The respondents’ information needs were numerous and diverse which included information on pests and disease control (61.7%), sources of improved seeds/seedlings (43.3%), crop and animal husbandry (42.5%), sources of farm credit (39.2%) and marketing information among others. Respondents’ most preferred sources of information included produce buyers, input dealers and extension agents. The major constraints to use of various information sources were poor marketing facilities, lack of credit, poor infrastructures as well as poor extension services. It was recommended that governments at all levels should introduce measures that would ensure easy access to credit, agricultural information and market as well as rural infrastructures in line with the transformation agenda.
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