The study was undertaken to determine the Information Sourcing, Organization and Dissemination by Agricultural Extension Workers in Borno State Agricultural Development Programme (BOSADP). Five research questions were investigated ranging from types of agricultural information sourced, methods adopted in sourcing the information, organization of agricultural information sourced, channels or ways of dissemination of agricultural information sourced and challenges encountered in the process of sourcing and disseminating the agricultural information by agricultural extension workers in BOSADP. Literature related to the objectives of the study was reviewed. Survey research method was adopted for the study. The total populations studied were 304 extension workers in BOSADP. A proportionate stratified sampling procedure was used to select 170 respondents out of the total population. 170 questionnaire was administered out of which 147 was duly filled and returned. The instruments used for data collection were close ended questionnaire and documentary sources. A descriptive statistic was used to analyze the data and was presented in tables using frequencies and percentages. The study revealed a high percentage sourcing of information on livestock production and application of inputs like fertilizer, pesticides etc. The study also revealed that agricultural extension workers adopted the method of sourcing agricultural information through discussion with farmers associations among others. On the organization of information sourced, respondent agreed that the information sourced were organized alphabetically by subject and were stored in file cabinets. The respondents agreed that they disseminate agricultural information through direct contact with farmers. The study revealed that extension workers were faced with multiple of challenges in the process of sourcing and dissemination of information, such challenges includes, low level of agricultural information exchange among stakeholders and poor funding of extension activities having recorded. The study concluded that the authority of BOSADP should provide all necessary and sustainable logistics to the extension services department so as to remove all possible bottlenecks or challenges hindering the agricultural extension activities in the State.
|TABLE OF CONTENT|
|List of table||viii|
|CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION|
|1.1||Background of the Study||1|
|Agricultural Extension Services||2|
|Role of Agricultural Information in Agricultural Development Programme||3|
|Information needs of agricultural extension workers||6|
|Information Management in Agriculture||7|
|Information Dissemination in Agricultural Work||9|
|Background Information on Borno State Agricultural Development Programme||12|
|1.2||Statement of the Problem||14|
|1.4||Objective of the Study||16|
|1.5||Significance of the Study||16|
|1.6 Scope and limitation of the Study||17|
|1.7||Operational Definition of Terms||17|
|CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE|
|2.2||Agricultural Extension Work in Nigeria||20|
|2.3||Concept and Role of Agricultural Extension Worker||23|
|2.4||Information Needs of Agricultural of Extension Workers||25|
|2.5||Types of Agricultural Information||27|
|2.6||Information Sources and Methods of Sourcing Information by Extension Workers||28|
|2.7||Organization of Agricultural Information Sourced by Extension Workers||30|
|2.8||Information Management in Agricultural Work||31|
|2.9||Information Dissemination in Agricultural Development Programme||33|
|2.10||Challenges of Agricultural Information sourcing and Dissemination in BOSADP||36|
|2.11||Summary of the Review||39|
|CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHOD|
|3.2||Research Method Adopted for the Study||49|
|3.3||Population of the Study||49|
|3.4||Sample and Sampling Procedure||51|
|3.5||Instrument for Data Collection||53|
|3.6||Validity of the Instrument||54|
|3.7||Reliability of the Instrument||55|
|3.8||Procedure for Data Collection||55|
|3.9||Procedure for Data Analysis||56|
|CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION|
|4.2||Response Rate of Respondents||58|
|4.2.1||Socio-Demographic Data of Respondents||59|
|4.3||Data Analysis and Discussion||60|
|4.3.1||Types of Agricultural Information Sourced by Extension Workers in BOSADP||60|
|4.3.2||Method Adopted in Sourcing Agricultural Information by Extension Workers||61|
|4.3.3||Organization of Agricultural Information Sourced by Extension Workers in BOSADP 64|
|4.3.4 Ways Agricultural Extension Workers in BOSADP Disseminate Agricultural Information|
|4.3.5||Challenges affecting Information Sourcing and Dissemination by Agricultural Extension|
|Workers in BOSADP||70|
|CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION|
|5.2||Summary of the Study||75|
|5.3||Summary of Major Findings||76|
|5.6||Suggestion for Further Studies||78|
|APPENDIX 1: Letter of introduction||87|
|APPENDIX 11: Study questionnaire||88|
1.1 Background to the Study
Agriculture remains the mainstay of almost all economies of the sub- Saharan African which Nigeria is not an exception. In Nigeria agriculture had been the most effective and viable sector in revenue generation to the economy before the advent of the oil and gas sector. It is now second to oil and gas in terms of revenue generation, and contribution to national gross domestic product (GDP) and first in all employment opportunities in the country. This view was highlighted by President Goodluck Jonathan (2012) when he averred that agriculture accounts for about fourty percent (40%) of Nigerians gross domestic product (GDP) and over seventy percent (70%) of all employment. The sector also increases productivity which drives down rural poverty and revive rural economy. In addition Ugwu and Kanu (2012) also stated that more than seventy percent (70%) of Nigerian population depend on agriculture and provides subsistence farming for two-third of Nigerians who are low income earners.
Agriculture and farming are synonymous when it comes to their definition, a layman simply sees it as the ordinary cultivation of land to obtain food and cash crops for his/her livelihood, but to professionals and corporate organizational bodies they see it beyond that. Ugumba, et al (2010) define agriculture and farming as the practice of cultivating the land or raising stock and the production of agricultural goods through the growing of plants and the raising of domesticated animals. In a similar definition, United Nation Development Programme UNDP, (2008) sees agriculture as the cultivation of land for producing crops and proper utilization, processing, marketing and extension of not only crops but also other agricultural commodities such as fish, meat, eggs, forest product etc. Following the definitions given above, it can be
discerned that agriculture involves many activities such as cultivation of land for crop production, agro-forestry, and animal husbandry.
The history of agriculture in Nigeria can be traced as far back as when man started living in the area. Jibowo (2005) however divided the history of agriculture in Nigeria into three different periods; pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial periods. The pre-colonial period involved mainly the introduction of crops and livestock production practices. During the colonial era conscious efforts were made by the British colonialist to increase agricultural production through the provision of improved varieties of seeds and training to farmers. During this period the British established the Department of Botanical Research in 1893 popularly known as Moore Plantation in Ibadan, the establishment of the unified Department of Agriculture in 1921, the kwara irrigation scheme in 1926 and the Niger Agricultural Project in 1949. The post-colonial saw the establishment of Federal Ministry of Agriculture with its extension component in 1967 following the creation of twelve states out of the four regions. All these efforts were made because of the relevance of agriculture to the people and the Nigerian economy at large. The states created were not also left out in the establishment of State Ministries of Agriculture with extension units as vital area to enlighten the farmers on the use of agricultural inputs.
Agricultural Extension Services (AES)
Agricultural Extension Service (AES) was conceived to extend research based findings and information on agriculture to the farmers via agricultural extension workers with the aim of improving their agricultural produce and standard of living. It is expected to be the largest organization in an agricultural activities being the major sources of information to farmers.
Arokoyo and Delwa, (2000) defined extension as the main vehicle for information and technology transfer and more broadly for creating aspiration and attitude to change for carrying
problems of the farmers back to researchers. In a similar definition Jibowo, (2008) views agricultural extension as the dissemination of improved technical information in agriculture and consequently improving their yields, farm income, standard and level of living. Agricultural extension therefore can be seen as the entire set of organizations that support and facilitate people engaged in agricultural production to solve problems through obtaining information and skills on new farming technologies so as to improve their livelihood and well-being. AES involves the transfer of agricultural information and new implements to farmers and from farmers experience to the researchers through the extension workers. AES cannot be possible without available agricultural research findings and extension workers to disseminate the information, thus the need for research experts and extension workers to work closely. It is in line with this, Kimaro, Mukandiwa and Mario (2010), note that a strong link between extension workers and researchers will improve the quality of information being disseminated as well as adoption of new technologies by farmers, and consequently lead to increase in agricultural production and improved livelihoods of the rural poor. For these reasons therefore, agricultural extension workers should enhance the flow of accurate and current agricultural information at the right time, and give necessary technical advices to the farmers. Agricultural extension service represents a very important link in the dissemination of information. It is through extension workers that adopted information technologies can be transferred to the end-user since they are farmers‟ main information source.
Concept and Role of Agricultural Information in Agricultural Development Programmes
The word “information” is complex and difficult to define because it is multi-disciplinary and this is evident in the various definitions given by different authors. This is not surprising because information is as old as man, and that it affects and is affected by all aspects of human activities.
The various definitions reflect the emphasis of their use and the user. It is against this background that Cliss as cited in Ukachi (2006) observed that the data processing manager might conceive information in terms of data, the records manager in terms of records and reports, the librarian or information scientists in terms of documents or materials and the rural women in terms of message. Furthermore, Ajewole (2001) categorized the definition of information into three. The first is the scientific and technical information (STI). This is within the domain of scientific and technological communities. The second is socio-cultural which viewed information as knowledge, which is transferable in the conduct of various activities. In the third category, information is perceived as a basic resource and an indispensable and irreplaceable link between a variety of activities, intellectual and material, in the service of society, institutions and individuals. Information therefore can be regarded as a processed data which has meaning, purpose and relevance in decision making. So, timely availability of relevant information is vital for effective performance of managerial functions such as planning, organizing, leading and control. Tadesse, (2008) define agricultural information as the various sets of information and messages that are relevant to agricultural production activities of farmers such as crop production and protection, animal production and management, and natural resource production and conservation. For the purpose of this study agricultural information therefore refers to agriculture related data which are transformed into meaningful and useful context or form for effective decision making in agriculture or farming related activities.
The role of agricultural information in increasing agricultural production in Borno State as a whole may not be possible to quantify but there is no doubt that effective agricultural information services contributes significantly to agricultural production.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Information transfer to farmers is the utmost mission of the Agricultural extension workers in
Agricultural Development Programme (ADP), farmers are expected to be keen to learn and know a lot on farming practices from the information disseminated to them. Ideally, the primary responsibilities of agricultural extension services are to inform and educate farmers to accept recent agricultural research findings so as to improve their standard of living through the transfer of improved farming practices. But because the farmers reside in remote areas and mostly uneducated, research findings cannot easily reach them without an effective information dissemination system. Functionality of such information dissemination systems like extension workers, libraries and information centers are therefore very essential for effective performance of Agricultural Development Programme.
Agricultural Extension workers are not only supposed to be the link between agricultural researchers and farmers but also serve as the engine of Agricultural Development Programmes. They are expected to source information from researchers and their organizations (ADPs) for onward transfer to farmers. On the other hand they are equally expected to bring back any information to the researchers and the ADPs.
Hence, because of the important role played by Agricultural Extension Workers in Agricultural Development Progammes, it is very important to understand and periodically evaluate them. It is also important to know the various ways they source information from, how they organize the information sourced and ultimately how they disseminate it.
In addition, effective organization of information resources is highly needed and this depends on the availability of skilled and experienced extension personnel or information professionals to plan, process, store in an organized manner, and disseminate the information appropriately and timely to the farmers. Allahyari (2009) noted that the basic problem of agricultural information resource organization is that of lack of skilled personnel, especially the field personnel to satisfy
the requirements of sustainable agriculture. This inadequacy of organizational skills among extension workers according to him lead to the failure of having an organized information resource centers and consequently having access to these resources becomes difficult to farmers. Hence, the Extension Services Department quest to disseminate agricultural information for the purpose of adopting new research findings so as to improve productivity in agriculture and well-beings of farmers becomes impossible.
Therefore to address the above observed problems, there is the need to find out how Agricultural Extension Workers in Agricultural Development Programmes, particularly in BOSADP source, organize and disseminate agricultural information to farmers with a view to increasing their agricultural productivity which will consequently improve their standard of living.
1.3 Research Questions
The following research questions were posed to serve as guide to this study;
1 What types of agricultural information do agricultural extension workers in Borno State Agricultural Development Programme source?
2 What methods do agricultural extension workers in Borno State Agricultural Development Programme adopt in sourcing agricultural information?
3 How is information sourced by Agricultural extension workers in Borno State Agricultural Development Programme organized?
4 How do Agricultural extension workers in Borno State Agricultural Development Programme disseminate information to farmers?
5 What are the challenges affecting information sourcing and dissemination by agricultural extension workers in Borno State Agricultural Development Programme?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this study are as follows;
1 To find out the types of agricultural information sourced by agricultural extension workers in Borno State Agricultural Development Programme.
2 To find out the methods adopted by agricultural extension workers in Borno State Agricultural Development Programme in sourcing agricultural information.
3 To determine how information sourced by agricultural extension workers in Borno State Agricultural Development Programme are organized.
4 To find out the ways agricultural extension workers in Borno State Agricultural Development Programme disseminate information to farmers.
5 To determine the challenges faced by agricultural extension workers in Borno State Agricultural Development Programme in the process of sourcing and disseminating agricultural information to farmers.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study is significant in the sense that its findings will benefit BOSADP by identifying the prevalent problems faced by agricultural extension workers in their effort to source, organize and disseminate appropriate and timely information to farmers. This will alert the authority of true situational problems militating against effective performance of extension works thereby encouraging the Government and authority of BOSADP to solve the prevailing problems. It will also benefit the Government in making a reliable policy statement on agricultural extension services and hence form a baseline for improvement in the extension work in the state.
The study will add knowledge to the growing literature on agricultural extension services generally, and specifically on BOSADP.
1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The Extension Service Department in Borno State Agricultural Development Progeamme is divided into three zones, called Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 3, and this study covers all the Zones as its scope. The study covers all the agricultural extension workers in all the zones being the information disseminators to farmers. The study does not intend to cover any other staff as respondent in the Extension Services Department of Borno State Agricultural Development Programme although they support the extension workers in performing their functions.
The limitations of the study are constraints to persistent security threats in Borno State, time and fund which make it difficult to cover every detail in the agricultural extension services in the State.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
The key operational terms used in this study are defined as they relate in this research, thus Agricultural Extension Service; is a service vested with responsibility of transferring agricultural information to the farmers and general public enlightenment.
Agricultural Extension Workers; Personnel who sources agricultural information from research experts and other sources of information for onward dissemination to farmers. Farmers; People involved in practical farming activities and the recipients of agricultural information from extension workers.
Information Sourcing; The ways individuals articulate their information needs, source, evaluate, select, and use the information to satisfy some goals,
Information Organization; The technical method of separating the unlike or grouping together of related information sourced in accordance with some common characteristics.
Agricultural Development Programme; Formal governmental organization that provide
different agricultural services to farmers with a view to improve agricultural productivity,