LINKAGES IN AGRICULTURAL INNOVATION GENERATION AND ADOPTION FOR PROMOTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY IN THE SOUTH-SOUTH, NIGERIA

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                        PAGE

TITLE PAGE                                                                                                             I

APPROVAL                                                                                                              II

CERTIFICATION                                                                                                     III

DEDICATION                                                                                                           IV

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS                                                                                       V

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                           VI

LIST FIGURES                                                                              IX

LIST OF TABLES                                                                                                     X

LIST OF APPENDIX                                                                                       XII

ABSTRACT                                                                                                               XIII

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study                                                                               1

Statement of the Problem                                                                               10

Purpose of the Study                                                                                      11

Significance of the Study                                                                               12

Research Questions                                                                                         15

Research Hypotheses                                                                                      15

Scope of the Study                                                                                         17

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

Conceptual Framework                                                                      18

  • Linkages in agricultural innovation generation                        18
  • Dissemination and adoption of innovations                                             34
  • Agricultural research in Nigeria                                                                49
  • Place of agricultural education and training in the agricultural

       Innovation triad                                                                                       51

  • Agricultural production and environmental quality               54
  • Environmental quality: indicators and assessment                 71

Theoretical Framework                                                            73

  • Agricultural Innovation System                                                          73

Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) Theory                                              76

Theory of Reasoned Action/Theory of Planned Behavior                 78

 Related Empirical Studies                                                              81

Summary of Review of Related Literature                                           89

CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY

Design of the Study                                                                                        91

Area of the Study                                                                                           91

Population for the Study                                                                                92

 Sample and Sampling Technique                                                                   93

Instrument for Data Collection                                                                       93

Validation of the Instrument                                                                          94

Reliability of the Instrument                                                                           95

Method of Data Collection                                                                             96

Method of Data Analysis                                                                               96

CHAPTER FOUR: PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA

Research Question One                                                                                  97

Hypothesis One                                                                                              98

Research Question Two                                                                                  99

Hypothesis Two                                                                                              101

Research Question Three                                                                                102

Hypothesis Three                                                                                            103

Research Question Four                                                                                  104

Hypothesis Four                                                                                              105

Research Question Five                                                                                  106

Hypothesis Five                                                                                              107

Research Question Six                                                                                    108

Hypothesis Six                                                                                                109

Research Question Seven.                                                                              110

Hypothesis Seven                                                                                           112

Findings of the Study                                                                                     113

Discussion of the Findings                                                                             116

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Restatement of the Problem                                                                           127

Summary of Procedure Used                                                                          129

Principal Findings of the Study                                                                      129

Conclusion of the Study                                                                                 131

Implications of the Findings                                                                           133

Recommendations of the Study                                                                     137

Limitations of the Study                                                                                 138

Suggestions for Further Study                                                                        139

REFERENCES                                                                                              140

Appendices                                                                                                     156

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1:       Relationship between research, extension, education and farmers       33

Figure 2:       Ball shaped curve showing categories of individual innovators

          and percentages within each category                                                  43

 Figure 3:       S-curve representing rate of adoption of an innovation over time       44

                                                LIST OF TABLES

Table 1: Mean ratings of the responses on mechanisms employed for linkages by agencies                                                                                                   98

Table 2: Analysis of variance test for comparing data obtained from agricultural extension workers, AET lecturers and agricultural research scientists on the mechanism employed for linkage                                                     99

Table 3: Mean ratings of the responses of respondents on constraints to linkages in innovation generation and adoption                       100

Table 4:  Analysis of variance test for comparing the responses of agricultural research scientists, Agricultural extension workers, and agricultural education lecturers  on the constraints to effective linkages in agricultural innovation generation and adoption                                        101

Table 5: Mean ratings of the responses of respondents on the strategies for enhancing linkages in agricultural  innovation generation and adoption                                                                                                      102

Table 6: Analysis of variance test for comparing the responses of Agric. research scientists, agric extension workers and agricultural education lecturers on the strategies for enhancing linkages among agencies in agricultural innovation generation and adoption                                                          103

Table 7: Mean ratings of the responses of respondents on the level of adoption of environment friendly agricultural practices                                                        104

Table 8: Analysis of variance test for comparing data obtained from the responses of farmers, agricultural extension workers and agricultural research scientists on the extent of adoption of environment friendly agricultural practice     105

Table 9: Mean ratings of the responses of respondents on the ways environment friendly agricultural practices promote environmental quality                   106

Table 10: Analysis of variance test for comparing the responses of extension workers, research scientists, and AET lecturers on ways environment friendly agricultural practices promote environmental quality                               107

Table 11: Mean ratings of the responses of respondents on the obstacles to the adoption of environment friendly agricultural practices by farmers         108

Table 12: Analysis of variance test for comparing data obtained from the responses of farmers, extension workers, research scientists and AET lecturers       109

Table 13: Mean ratings of respondents on the measures that could promote the adoption of environment friendly  agricultural practices  111

Table 14: Analysis of variance tests for comparing the responses of research scientists, extension workers, AET lecturers  and farmers on the measures that could promote the adoption of environment friendly agricultural practices                                                                                                         113

LIST OF APPENDIX

Appendix A:   Letter to Validates                                                                 156

Appendix B:   Research instrument                                                               157

Appendix C:   Distribution of population of respondents                             165

Appendix D:   Sample for the study                                                               166

Appendix E:    Result of the analysis using Statistical Package

 for Social Science                                                                  167

Appendix F:    Result of reliability test using statistical Package

 for Social Sciences                                                                 192

                                                                      Abstract

The need to supply sufficient food and fibre to satisfy the ever increasing population is one of the greatest challenges facing government at all levels in Nigeria. To this end, government establish agricultural research institutes, departments, colleges and universities of agriculture to generate and teach farmers, practices and systems meant to boast agricultural production.  In spite of the long history of agricultural research and the fast increasing number of agricultural research institutes and colleges/universities of agriculture, coupled with the large volume of information/innovation resulting from enhanced research efforts, agricultural production has remained largely at subsistent level. The innovations generated are either not adopted or inappropriately adopted with severe environmental consequences. This study was carried out to investigate the linkages in agricultural innovation generation and adoption for promotion of environmental quality. Seven research questions were answered while seven related null hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance. The descriptive survey research design was adopted for the study. Proportionate random and purposive sampling techniques were used to select 329 respondents. A 117 item structured questionnaire developed from the literature reviewed was used to collect data from the respondents. Each of the structured questionnaire items was assigned four response options of strongly agree, agree, disagree and strongly disagree. The questionnaire items were face validated by three experts. The reliability data was collected from 20 respondents outside the area of study and a reliability coefficient of 0.82 was obtained using the cronbach alpha reliability test. The findings revealed poor/weak linkages among agencies involved in agricultural innovation generation and adoption. Fifteen constraints to linkages were identified to include inappropriate government policy, inequality and gap in qualification and salary scale, weak legal and policy framework for linkages, poor attitude and low morale of some agencies, poor logistics support, lack of incentives for linkage activities, lack of trust and confidence among agencies and inadequate well trained personnel in some agencies. Seven strategies for enhancing linkages were identified which include entrenching linkage mandates in policies establishing each agencies, making formal arrangements for linkage activities, organizing orientation on linkage activities, building linkage leadership in administration and promoting joint priority setting, planning, implementation and evaluation of research and training projects among others. The findings also revealed low level of adoption of environment friendly agricultural innovations. Eighteen obstacles to adoption of environment friendly innovations were identified to include high labour requirement, low level of education of farmers, low economic potentials and profitability of environment friendly agricultural practices, lack of clear and reliable information among others, while sixteen measures to promote adoption were identified to include provision of material inputs required for adoption, making application procedures simple and easy, enhancing technical skills and capacity of farmers among others. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended among others that linkage mandate should be formalized in policies establishing the agencies and massive education and enlightenment of farmers and the general public on the economic potential and profitability of environment friendly agricultural practices should be embarked upon.

                                                  CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

The supply of sufficient food and fibre to satisfy the ever increasing population is the greatest challenge of government at all levels in Nigeria. Globally, agricultural production is seen as being central to the overall wellbeing of the populace. The commanding position of the agricultural sector in Nigeria is manifested in its dominant share of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employing more than 70% of the active labour force and generating about 88% of non-oil foreign exchange earnings (Eboh, 2003). In 2009, the agricultural sector contributed about 41.84% of Nigeria’s GDP and provided employment for about 70% of the workforce (Corporate Agriculture, 2012). The annual contribution of the agricultural sector to the Nigeria’s GDP stands at 35% and employment of about 70 – 75% of the working population annually (Osinowo, 2012). Therefore the challenge for African countries and Nigeria in particular, is how to increase agricultural production and rural incomes without irreparably damaging the natural resource base upon which agricultural production rest.

To achieve this, government sets up various agencies, institutions, agricultural universities, and extension agencies to generate and circulate innovations needed by stakeholders. Of these agencies, agricultural research institutes (ARI), agricultural education and training (AET) institutions and agricultural extension agencies (AEA) play crucial roles in generating and circulating information about agricultural production to farmers.

The ultimate aim of all applied agricultural research is to increase agricultural production and improve the standard of living of farmers through the generation of innovations and technologies related to agriculture. These innovations are arrived at through careful experiments conducted by agricultural researchers domiciled in agricultural research institutes as well as in departments, faculties and colleges/ universities of agriculture across the country. Presently, there are twenty two (22) research institutes in Nigeria, each with a specific mandate in crop, animal or commodity and fields of activity (Voh, 1999) and twenty three (23) faculties of agriculture and veterinary medicine across Nigerian universities and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan (Voh, 1999). These research efforts give rise to a body of knowledge, technologies, practices and systems which form the basis for innovations related to agriculture and environmental management.

Agricultural development depends on innovation. Innovation is a major source of improved productivity, competitiveness and economic growth throughout advanced and emerging economies, and plays an important role in creating jobs, generating income, alleviating poverty, and driving social development. Continuous innovation is necessary if farmers, agribusinesses, and even nations are to cope, compete, and thrive in the midst of changes in agriculture and economy. An innovation has been defined by Hall (2006) as new creations of social and economic significance. They may be brand new, but are more often combinations of existing elements. For Hall and Dijman (2006), the concept of innovation is a search for development, adaptation, imitation and adoption of technologies that are new to a specific context. It is a process that involves continuous interaction among stakeholders. There must be continuous learning for innovations to take place and the opportunity to learn depend on the degree and type of interactions among the different enterprises, organizations and related sectors as well as institutional behaviours which determine the extent and rate at which information and knowledge are produced, transferred and utilized (CTA, 2005). It is a process by which farmers and farms accept and use agricultural technologies and services that are new to them.

Innovation implies something new. This newness indicates to some extent, a strangeness of the idea (Adekoya and Tologbonse, 2011). All technologies, ideas and practices have origins and would be treated as innovation in a domain until its popularity is overwhelming. Innovation therefore will be taken to include agricultural practices, technologies and systems that are new to farmers or not familiar practice in a geographical area. To be termed innovation, the use of this knowledge has to be novel to the farmer or firm, neighbors, and competitors, but not necessarily new globally. Innovation and technology may be taken as synonyms (Rogers, 1995; Van den ban and Hawkins, 1996). Such innovations could be mechanical (tractor and other mechanical equipment), biological (new seed variety), chemical (fertilizers, pesticides and other agro chemicals), agronomic (new management practices and systems), biotechnological (gene modification), or informational (computer technologies). They could also be yield-increasing, cost-reducing, quality enhancing, risk-reducing, environmental protection increasing and shelf-life enhancing.  

Once innovations are evolved, it becomes the responsibility of the agricultural extension agency to communicate same to end-users. End-users as used in this study do not only refer to farmers, but all stakeholders: government, agricultural policy makers, non-governmental organizations, financial institutions; including agricultural educators who need to incorporate the innovations into the curriculum and delivery system of Agricultural Education and Training (AET); and those who directly or indirectly are involved in agricultural policy planning, execution and implementation as well as extension agencies who are expected to have  regular contacts with farmers. To facilitate monitoring and guide from the agricultural extension agency, farmers are expected to register with the extension agency. Farmers who are registered with the agricultural extension agency are called Registered Contact Farmers (RCF), and are normally the target of extension agents and programmes.

The aim of agricultural extension is to promote agricultural development by providing information on improved production technologies and helping farmers with their adoption as well as communicating farmers’ problems to research institutions for solution. According to World Bank (2013), agricultural extension provides critical access to the knowledge and information that rural people need to increase the productivity and sustainability of their production systems, and thus improve the quality of their lives and livelihoods. Osinem (2008) mentioned the objectives of agricultural extension to include raising the standard of living of people by raising their productivity; disseminating research results, information or practical experience so that they will accept and put it into practice; finding solutions to farmers’ problems; developing leaders among farmers; and helping farmers in decision making as well as teaching them environmental management practices. Laogun (2011) summarized the task of the extension worker to include bringing knowledge of improved methods in farming that will make their work less arduous, more productive and more profitable to farmers; to develop in them new skills and abilities; and to develop in them new attitudes and ideas, to discard ancient superstitions and replace them with scientific attitude. Success in the discharge of its task would require that the extension worker be an integral component of the generation process of such innovation. The level of success recorded in the dissemination process results in the adoption or non adoption of innovations by farmers, with varying effects on the wellbeing of both man and the state of the environment.

Innovation adoption has been explained by Feder, Just and Zilberman (1985) as the degree of use of an innovation in long run equilibrium when a farmer has full information about the innovation and its potentials. Rogers (1995) sees innovation adoption as a decision to make full use of an innovation or technology as the best course of action available.  Vanden Ban and Hawkins (1996) describe adoption of an innovation as the decision of an individual or group to use or apply an innovation. It describes the realization of farmers’ decision to apply an innovation in the production process. The proper adoption of an innovation is expected to bring about improvements in the wellbeing of the farmer expressed in terms of increased yield and better living standard due to improvement in feeding and income status. For the environment, it is expressed in terms of sustainability in the use of environmental resources. This however is dependent on the environment friendliness of the adopted practice.

 An environment friendly agricultural practice or system is one that is resource conserving, socially supportive, commercially competitive, and environmentally sound (Amalu, 1998). Altieri (1991) is of the view that an environment friendly agricultural practice must provide long term sustained yields through the use of ecologically sound management technologies. The concept of environment friendly agriculture has been used synonymously with sustainable agriculture and often taken to mean low external input farming. It challenges farmers to think about the consequences of agricultural practices, as well as the functioning and interactions of agricultural systems (Horringan, Lawrence and Walker, 2002).

 The concept of sustainable agriculture is more frequently defined using its three components or aims: environmental health, economic profitability, and social and economic equity. The environmental component refers to the promotion of environmental quality including protection and improving soil quality, reducing dependence on non renewable resources and minimizing adverse effects of agriculture on safety, wildlife, water quality and other environmental resources (Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education (Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education (SARE), 2003). Environment friendly agriculture could thus be seen as a component of sustainable agriculture which improves the environment and natural resources upon which agriculture depends. It encompasses environmental sustainability by emphasizing the efficient use of on farm resources, non renewable resources and integration of biological cycles.

An environment friendly agricultural practice or system promotes environmental quality which is the relative capacity of an environment to satisfy the needs or wants of an individual or society. It means the balance of nature being composed of animals, plants, natural resources and man-made objects which are for the benefit and subsistence of mankind and the sustenance of human beings and nature (Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), 2006). SEPA (2006) established sixteen indicators of environmental quality based on five fundamental principles; promotion of human health, preservation of biological diversity, preservation of cultural heritage assets, preservation of long – term production capacity of ecosystems, and wise management of natural resources. The sixteen indicators are reduced climate impact, clean air, natural acidification only, a non-toxic environment, a protective ozone layer, a safe radiation environment, zero eutrophication, flourishing lakes and good streams, good quality groundwater, a balance marine environment, flourishing coastal areas and archipelagos. Others include thriving wetlands, sustainable forests, a varied agricultural landscape, a magnificent mountain landscape, a good built environment, and a rich diversity of plant and animal life.

The rate of adoption, non adoption, appropriateness or inappropriateness of adoption of agricultural innovations and technologies determine the health of these factors. Unfortunately, low rate of adoption and inappropriate application of innovations (Madukwe and Ozor, 2004) have often being the case with Nigerian farmers resulting in persistent low agricultural production and continual environmental degradation. The low rate of adoption becomes more manifest when it involves the adoption of practices that discourage the use of high external inputs. This situation has often been blamed on poor/ weak linkages among agencies involved in agricultural innovation generation, dissemination and adoption. Kaimowitze (1990) noted that poor linkages in information creation and use are responsible for the slow rate of adoption and inappropriate application of new agricultural techniques by farmers in the sub-region. Obibuaku and Madukwe (1992) working on the institutional framework for the transfer of agricultural technology to resource poor farmers in Nigeria reported that agricultural extension institutions are uncoordinated and improperly linked with the tenets of agricultural development.

 The existence of poor coordination and linkage mechanisms in innovation generation and adoption has become a recurrent problem (Madukwe, 2008). Havelock (1986) described linkage as communication and working relationship established between two or more organizations pursuing commonly shared objectives in order to have regular contact and improved productivity; while Eponou (1991) described it as any structural or managerial device or procedure used to facilitate the interconnectedness of the tasks of technology generation, transfer and utilization. Linkage would therefore mean the evolution of a clearly defined institutional arrangement which provide for regular contact among researchers, scientists, extension professionals and agricultural education institutions to solve problems faced by farmers and to develop a package of recommendations that will enhance agricultural production and enrich the curriculum of instruction in agricultural education and training institutions as well as mitigate adverse effects of farm practices on the environment. Linkage is the interaction between agricultural research scientists, agricultural extension workers, farmers and agricultural education and training lecturers as key components of the agricultural innovation system.

 Agricultural education and training, according to World Bank (2013), has a major role as the creator of capacity and supplier of the human resources necessary to enable rural people to increase agricultural productivity and the sustainability of their farming systems. Absent of this, the ability of rural people to improve their quality of live and livelihoods will be compromised.  Agricultural education and training (AET) refer to the process of imparting knowledge, skills and attitudes in agriculture to learners (Osinem, 2008), the purpose of which is to enable rural producers to realize higher returns on labour and investments. It is instruction about crop production, livestock management, soil and water conservation and various other aspects of agriculture. This can be done through farmer training or by educating extension staff, developing researchers or building the technical capacities of producer organizations and input suppliers. Ukonze and Olaitan (2010) defined agricultural education as a programme designed for equipping students with competency (knowledge, skills and attitudes) in different areas of agriculture to enable them impart same to learners in school. Wikipedia (2010) defined agricultural education as an instruction about crop production, livestock management, soil conservation and water management among others. Agricultural Education and Training (AET) has three primary target audiences: farmers (subsistence and commercial), extensionists and farmer service personnel (private and public), and tertiary level teachers and researchers. These audiences are reached through different levels and types of AET, ranging from informal farmer training to middle level agricultural colleges that prepare farm managers and extension specialists to post graduate faculties of agriculture where researchers are trained.

AET is offered at various levels ranging from departments of agricultural education in colleges of education, departments/units of agricultural education in faculties of education and faculties of agriculture in universities. Universities are the apex AET institutions responsible for the training of agricultural specialists such as agricultural teachers/instructors, agricultural research scientists, soil and animal scientists, and other technical staff that occupy various positions in agricultural research institutes and other agricultural establishments. They produce manpower that impart knowledge at middle and lower level agricultural institutions as well as play active role in structuring the curriculum of other levels of AET. Thus, linkages between these apex AET institutions, agricultural extension and agricultural research institutes will translate to greater agricultural production as well as adoption of more environment friendly management practices.

Linkage of agricultural education and training with research institutions is either weak or nonexistent. To train a researcher, an extension staff, and farmer demands that universities must understand the activities of these groups of actor and have strong linkage with them. Universities in Nigeria are under the ministry of education, while the agricultural research institutes and extension are under a different ministry. In practice, there is no formal linkage between them. Similarly, there are no provisions for any linkage between the Ministry of Agriculture and universities. A study of linkages between Agricultural Development Project (ADP), an arm of the ministry of agriculture and the universities reported limited linkages and interactions (Madukwe and Eze, 1999; Uzoegbunam and Madukwe, 2005). It is therefore worrisome that the ministry of agriculture that is the main recipient of agricultural graduates has no linkage and interactions with universities that produce these graduates. It is very odd that a graduate would be expected to work in an establishment he knows nothing about throughout his period of training.

 For innovations to realize their full potentials, and for agricultural education and training graduates to continue to remain relevant in the areas for which they were trained, effective linkage must be fostered among the agencies and their personnel to form an integral system. Agricultural research institutes, agricultural extension agencies, farmers and agricultural education and training institutions which are key components of the agricultural innovation system, must be adequately linked and collaborate in order to attain the individual objectives of the various agencies and the collective goal of the development of the agricultural sector. It has therefore become imperative to investigate linkages in agricultural innovation generation and adoption for more sustainable agricultural production.

Statement of the Problem

LINKAGES IN AGRICULTURAL INNOVATION GENERATION AND ADOPTION FOR PROMOTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY IN THE SOUTH-SOUTH, NIGERIA