Influence of Extension Contact and Farmers’ Socio-economic Characteristics on Adoption of Oil Palm Technologies in Aniocha North Local Government, Delta State, Nigeria
Keywords:Extension agents’ contact, farmers’ characteristics, technology adoption
Many factors have been found to affect farmers’ adoption of new technologies by different authors, which include extension contact and socio-economic characteristics of farmers. The study therefore assessed the influence of extension contact and farmers’ socio-economic characteristics on adoption of oil palm technologies in Aniocha North local government area of Delta State, Nigeria. With the assistance of the extension agents and contact farmers, a two–stage random sampling technique was used for the random selection of one hundred (100) respondents for the study. Findings show that majority of the respondents were males (74.0%). About 70% of the respondents were within the age bracket of 20-50 years with a majority (85%) having nonformal, primary and secondary education qualifications. Most of the respondents (92%) were small scale farmers having farm sizes ranging from 1-5 hectares with more than 16 years of farming experience (60%). About 53% of the respondents had contact with extension agents and the contact was mostly on monthly basis, which respondents felt was not effective. Majority of the respondents were not aware of some of the major oil palm technologies which probably lead to nonadoption of most of these major technologies. The perceived major constraints for the adoption of the major oil palm technologies were inadequate information (M = 4.77), capital (M=4.77), high cost of input (M=4.49), and irregular extension contact (M = 4.56). The regression analysis shows that respondents’ years of farming experience (b = 2.786), farm size (b = 1.879) and frequency of extension agents’ contact with respondents (b = 2.534) had significant association with adoption of technologies. The study recommended the assistance to farmers by subsidizing farm inputs and increase the number of extension agents.