FARMERS’PERCEPTION OF THE GROWTH ENHANCEMENT SUPPORT (GES) SCHEME IN KOGI STATE, NIGERIA.

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ABSTRACT

The main objective of the study was to determine the farmers’ perception of Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme in Kogi State. A total 120 copies of the questionnaires were administered to the schemes’ participants purposely selected from 12 communities of six local government areas of the State. The local government areas are Lokoja, Kogi, Ajaokuta, Adavi, Bassa and Dekina. Data was collected on both demographic and farm characteristics of the respondents. Others areas include respondents’ perceived perception of the GES scheme effectiveness, knowledge level of respondents, level of satisfaction on the scheme activities, the constraints to effective implementation of the scheme and the strategies for effective implementation of the scheme. Data collected was presented using descriptive statistics, mean scores, standard deviation, factor analysis and multiple regression models. The result of the analysis revealed that majority (78.3%) of the respondent were male and married and the farmers mean age was 42.4years. The mean farming household size was 5persons with Christian and Muslim religion being mainly practiced. About 89.2% of the respondents took farming as their major profession with the mean farming experience as 18.6 years. Majority (85.8%) of the respondents belong to social or religion organisations and have access to agriculture-related information. The major crops grown in the area include maize, cassava and rice. The respondents had a very high knowledge of the schemes’ activities and the major source of information on the scheme activities was extension agents. On the farmers’ perception of the GES, a good number of respondents have positive perception on the schemes’ operational process and are equally satisfied with some implementation processes of the scheme. However, the major constraints to effective implementation of the scheme include untimely input provision, inability to pay for the mobile phones. Factor analysis also grouped these constraints into inputs, personnel and poverty-related constraints. The suggested strategies for effective implementation of the scheme include timely input provision and early registration of participants. The hypothesis shows that access to agriculture- related information (t=-2.340:p=0.05) had a significant relationship with rural farmers’ knowledge. It was  recommended that early inputs provisions is to be ensured since farming operations are time bound, the farm inputs are to be further subsidised in such a way that everyone will be able to pay for the subsidized inputs. Other suggestions are the provision of mobile phones, creation of more redemption centres along with construction of feeder roads in order to facilitate the effective operations of the scheme. Lastly, early registration of participants, recruitment of more staff along with women encouragement for participation is to be ensured.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page                                                                                                                    i

Declaration                                                                                                                  ii

Certification                                                                                     iii

Dedication                              iv

Acknowledgment                                          v

Abstracts                                                                          vi

Table of contents                                           vii

List of tables                                                                           viii

Acronyms                                                                                                                     ix

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION                                                                   

1.1       Background Information                                                                                1

1.2       Problem statement                                                                                          4

1.3       Purpose of the study                                                                                       5  

1.4       Hypothesis                                                                                                      5

1.5    Significance of the study                                                                                   5

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE   REVIEW                                                       7

2.1.      Farmers’ perception and participation in agricultural programmes 7

2.2.      Concept of knowledge and its use                             10        

2.3.      Sources of agricultural information used by farmers              12

2.4.      Some agricultural development interventions in Nigeria and the prevailing constraints                                                                                18

2.5.      Strategies for boosting agricultural production         34

2.6.      Conceptual frame work                                       37

CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY                                     39

3.1       Study Area                                                                                                      39

3.2       Population and Sampling Procedure             40

3.3       Instrument for data collection                                             41

3.4       Measurements of variables                                   41

3.5       Data Analysis                                                                                                  45

CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION                                           47

4.1.1   The socio economic characteristics of respondents      47

4.1.2   Institutional characteristics of the respondents      52

4.2      Farmers perceived effectiveness of GES scheme      54

4.3.1    Farmers’ knowledge of Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme                     56

4.3.2    The farmers’ knowledge level on GES scheme         58

4.4       Sources of Information on Growth Enhancement Support             (GES) scheme                59

4.5       Farmers level of satisfaction in the schemes’ implementation Process                      60

4.6.      Perceived constraints to effective implementation of GES scheme 62

4.7       Strategies for effective implementation of the GES scheme  66

4.8       Test of Hypothesis                                                                                          68

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION   71

5.1       Summary                                                                                                         71

5.2       Conclusion                                                                                                      72

5.3      Recommendation                                                                                           73

REFERENCES                                                                                                        75

 LIST OF TABLES                                                                                           

Table 1:           Population and sampling procedure        41     

Table 2:           Percentage distribution of respondents by their socio-economic characteristics                                       51                                          

Table 3:           Percentage distribution of respondents according to their Institutional characteristics                                                                       54

Table 4:           Mean and standard deviation of farmers’ perceived effectiveness GES                                                                                                       56

Table 5:           Percentage distribution of respondents knowledge score 58

Table 6:           Farmers knowledge level on GES scheme                               59

Table 7:           Percentage distribution of respondents by information sources on GES                                                                         60

Table 8:           Farmers’ level of satisfaction in the implementation of the scheme                                                                                                    62

Table 9:           Mean and standard deviation of perceived constraints to effective implementation of the scheme                                                   64

Table 10:         Varimax rotated constraints to effective implementation of the GES scheme                                                                                        66

Table 11:         Strategies for enhancing the effective Implementation of GES                                                                                                       68

Table12:          Socio-economic and Institutional characteristics influencing Farmers’ GES knowledge                                                                           70

LIST OF FIGURE

Figure 1:          The schema for the farmers’ perception of the GES scheme in Kogi State   38

            ACRONYMS USED IN THE STUDY

ADP                Agricultural Development Project

ATA                Agricultural Transformation Agenda  

CDD               Community Driven Development

DFRRI            Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure

DFEE               Division of Farmers’ Education Extension    

FCAs               Fadama Community Associations

FRUGs            Fadama Resource User Groups

FEAP              Family Economic Advancement Programme 

FSS                             Farm Settlement Scheme    

 FCT                Federal Capital Territory 

FGN                Federal Government of Nigeria 

FMRD             Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development  

 FAO                Food and Agricultural Organization     

ICTs                 Information and communication technologies  

IFAD              International Fund for Agricultural Development  

IIDC            International Institute for Communication and Development   

LDPs               Local Development Plans

LGA                Local Government Area   

MARA            Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs  

NAFPP           National Accelerated Food Production Programme

NALDA          National Agricultural Land Development Authority

NBS                National Bureau of Statistic

NFDP              National Fadama Development Project

NPC                National Population Commission

OFN                Operation Feed the Nation

RBDA             River Basin Development Authority

RDP                Rural Development Project  

 USDA            United States Department of Agriculture

CHAPTER ONE

   INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background Information

           The Nigerian economy has been strongly dependent on agriculture for many years, before the discovery of oil in 1956. Agricultural enterprises such as cocoa, groundnut, oil palm and cotton production accounted for a large chunk of foreign exchange earnings in Nigeria. The south-western zone of the country was renowned mainly for its cocoa production and the South East together with South-South zones were renowned for oil palm production, while the Northern part of the country was renowned for its groundnut and cotton production. Nigeria was also one of the largest exporters of oil palm and cocoa until the discovery of crude oil, which resulted in the partial neglect of the agricultural sector. Even with the decline in output, the sector has continued to contribute about 40% to Nigeria’s GDP.(Nigeria Economic Outlook Report 2010-2011 period, in National Bureau of Statistic (NBS), 2012).

      Agriculture is predominantly practised in the rural areas of the country. Most farmers in those areas could not embark on mechanized agriculture because of the high rate of poverty that is prevalent in those areas coupled with the land tenure system still being practised in most places; hence, the need for farmers in rural areas to have access to farm inputs such as fertilisers in order to ensure that soil fertility is maintained. Resources required to enhance high agricultural productivity are the provision of seeds and information on best farming practice. In view of this, in July 2012 the Federal Government of Nigeria introduced the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme and this was designed to deliver government subsidised farm inputs directly to farmers via GSM phones. The GES scheme, according to Adesina (2012), is powered by e-Wallet, an electronic distribution channel, which provides an efficient and transparent system for the purchase and distribution of agricultural inputs based on a voucher system. The scheme guarantees registered farmers e-Wallet vouchers with which they can collect fertilisers, seeds and other agricultural inputs from agro-dealers at half the cost, the other half being borne by the federal government and state government in equal proportions. As part of the GES Scheme, the federal ministry of agriculture announced that the ministry would equip millions of farmers in the rural areas with mobile phones (Adesina, 2013). Adesina (2013) further stressed that the project would link farmers directly to government and vice-versa so that Government would be able to monitor the progress of farmers as well as disseminate valuable information to them.

         According to Cross River State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (2012), the GES scheme is one of the many critical components of the federal government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA). It was designed for the specific purpose of providing affordable agricultural inputs like fertilizers and hybrid seeds to farmers in order to increase yields per hectare and make them comparable to world standard. GES scheme which is an innovative scheme seeks to remove the difficulties usually associated with the distribution of fertilizer and hybrid seeds in the country, as in the past farmers complained of diversion, exorbitant cost and adulteration of various inputs which had ultimately led to low productivity, increased poverty, unemployment and lack of interest in farming.

          The scheme, according to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMRD) (2012), represents a policy and pragmatic shift within the existing fertilizer market stabilization programme and puts the resource- constrained farmer at the centre through the provision of series of incentives to encourage the critical actors in the fertilizer value chain to work together to improve productivity, household food security and income of the farmer. According to Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMRD) (2012), the goals of GES include to:

  • target 5 million farmers in each year for four (4) years that will receive GES in their  mobile phones directly, totalling 20 million at the end of the 4 years;
  • provide support directly to farmers to enable them procure agricultural inputs at affordable prices and at the right time and place,
  • increase productivity of farmers across the length and breadth of the country through increased use of fertilizer i.e. 50kg/ha from 13kg/ha; and
  • change the role of Government from direct procurement and distribution of fertilizer to a facilitator of procurement, regulator of fertilizer quality and catalyst of active private sector  participation in the fertilizer value chain.

            The scheme’s approach is to target beneficiaries through the use of electronic system, and by encouraging the engagement of the private sector in the distribution and delivery of fertilizers and other critical inputs directly to farmers. The objectives of the GES scheme include to : (a) provide affordable agricultural inputs like fertilizer, hybrid seeds and agro-chemicals to farmers; (b) remove the usual complexities associated with fertilizer distribution; (c) encourage critical actors in the fertilizer value chain to work together to improve productivity; (d) enhance farmers’ income and promote food security; and (e) shifting the provision of subsidized fertilizer away from a general public to only identified genuine   small holder farmers (FMARD, 2012).      

In various states of the country, the programme commenced in July 2012 after the farmers were sensitized and registered prior to the commencement of the scheme. Thirty five states of the country had already keyed into the programme for implementation except Zamfara had already keyed into the programme with various farm inputs being redeemed to registered farmers at designated redemption centres (FMARD, 2013).

FARMERS’PERCEPTION OF THE GROWTH ENHANCEMENT SUPPORT (GES) SCHEME IN KOGI STATE, NIGERIA.