Cocoa Farmers’ Participation in Farmer Field School Approach in Abia State, Nigeria
NJRED vol 8 final-41-49

Keywords

Participation
Cocoa
Farmers
Field School
Approach

Abstract

Abstract

The study analyzed cocoa farmers’ participation in Farmer Field School Approach in the three cocoa producing Local Government Areas of Abia State namely; Bende, Ikwuano and Umuahia North. Purposive and multistage random sampling technique was used in selecting 240 cocoa farmers (120 Farmer Field School Cocoa farmers and 120 non Farmer Field School Cocoa farmers). Instrument for data collection was through a structured questionnaire and were analyzed with descriptive statistics and tobit regression analysis. Results indicate that farmers were actively involved in the training of cocoa technologies in agrochemical application with mean ratings of ( x=3.77), pruning techniques ( x=3.75), fertilizer application ( x=3.60), cocoa marketing ( x=3.58), plantation establishment ( x=3.50), cocoa bean storage ( x=3.40), nursery establishment, and nursery establishment and cocoa bean processing ( x=3.20) respectively. The tobit regression estimates of extent of farmers’ participation in the programme reveals that household size, education farming experience, labour use and attendance to trainings were critical determinants to farmers participation. The result of paired “t” test showed that farm size, farm output and farm income of beneficiary Farmer Field School Cocoa Farmers were significantly higher than the non Farmer Field School Cocoa Farmers at 1.00% level of probability. Bad road network ( x=3.59), price fluctuation of dried cocoa beans ( x=3.47), inadequate land ( x=3.31), inadequate incentives ( x=3.22) and location of school ( x=3.13), were identified constraints to farmers participation in the programme. Policies aimed at providing rural infrastructures, subsidy on farm inputs and review of Land Use Act of 1990 were advocated for effective farmers’ participation and increased cocoa production.

NJRED vol 8 final-41-49