Information-seeking behaviour and adoption of organic farming practices among vegetable farmers in South Western Nigeria / Sijuwade Adebukola Adebayo
Adebayo, Sijuwade Adebukola
This study analyzed information-seeking behaviour and adoption of organic .farming practices among vegetable farmers in South-Western Nigeria. This is based on the fact that conventional intensive agricultural systems have side-effects which compromise food production in terms of quality and safety. As a result many are now stating that conventional agriculture represents an unsuitable long-term option. Specifically, the study identified the personal characteristics of the farmers, profile organic farming practices, determined the sources of information about organic agricultural practices, evaluated the attitude of vegetable growers towards organic agriculture, and identified factors that influence farmers' adoption of organic agriculture, estimated the adoption rate for organic agricultural practices and determined the knowledge of
value chain among vegetable farmers.
The research design of the study is descriptive and quantitative. The population of the study was the entire population of vegetable farmers in /he South Western Nigeria. A cluster sampling technique was used to select 450 farmers covering three out of six states present in South Western Nigeria. Data for this study was generated from primary sources based on the objective of the study. A structured questionnaire consisting of seven sections comprising sections namely: personal characteristics, profile organic farming practices, altitude of vegetable growers towards
organic agriculture, factors influencing farmers' adoption of organic agriculture, source of
information about organic agricultural practices, intensity of adoption of organic agriculture technologies and knowledge of value chain among vegetable farmers was used to collect data. The questionnaire was face validated by panel of experts on agricultural extension. agronomist and organic agricultural research. Data were analyzed by using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) 18.0. Descriptive statistics such as frequency distribution and percentages, mean and standard deviation were used to describe the personal characteristics of vegetable farmers.
Ranking was used to identify the prominent source of information used by the farmers. Tables were used to analyze the data and enhance the readability of the results. The statistical tools used in the analysis are probit model, ordinal regression model and linear regression model.
The results showed that majority of the respondents were male between 40 and 49 years of age married and had family household sizes of 6 to 10 members. Most of the farmers possess secondary education as their highest educational qualification; they also have a working experience of 1-15 years. The results further showed that the farm size ranges between 0. 5-3.4 acres (80.4%): and most commonly used organic farming practices are tillage (80. 9%), crop rotation (80.7%). sanitation (69.8%), and inter-cropping (66.2%), and green manure (60.9%) cover crop (55.8%), and .fire (53. 6%). The results revealed the most prominent attitudinal statement as ranked by the farmers were statements that organic agriculture improves soil fertility and soil structure · (M=4.38), 'organic agriculture encourages the use of indigenous knowledge'
(M=4.38). Furthermore, the results on adoption intensity showed that nine out of fourteen organic farming technologies studied were practiced on 50% acres of land. These include crop rotation, cover crop, animal manures among others. Factors influencing the intensity of adoption of organic agriculture practices frequency of contact (t= -1.01, p<0.01) with extension agent, farming experience (t= .064, p<0.01), farm size (t= .282, p<0.01), age (t= -.028. p<0.05) and subsidy received (t= 1.494. p<0.1). The study among others recommends that the constraints limiting the
adoption and !he intensity of adoption of organic farming practices must be removed.
Thesis (Phd Agric Ext.) North-West University, Mafikeng Campus, 2013