EFFECTIVE AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE: A STRATEGY FOR IMPROVING FOOD PRODUCTION IN NIGERIA
Noah, O. A. & Abidoye, A. G.
Despite the level of resources potentially available for the development of the agricultural sector in Nigeria, it has performed below global average over the past three decades.In reaction to this, several policies have also been employed by successful governments in an attempt to revamp the sector but the achievement of any of these policies has been minimal because of dwindling investments, low capital and political commitment. The objective of this study was therefore to examine the impact of agricultural extension services on food production in Nigeria. The study relied mainly on a randomized primary data from farmers in Oshin, Oke-Oyi in Ilorin East Local Government of Kwara State through a structured questionnaire. The data collected were analysed using the descriptive and inferential statistics (Multinomial Logit Model (MLM)). The results show that most of the farmers under the Oshin Irrigation scheme indicated that the scheme has greatly improved their farm outputs and reduced their cost of production. It has also promoted private farmers’ partnership with the government agricultural extension service. This had made them have constant access to government extension services more than their non-member farmers. The study, therefore, recommended the shaping of a general policy package to induce the youth back to agriculture, an arrangement such as the one at Oshin irrigation scheme. Also, it was recommended that availability and accessibility of credit facilities to farmers should be enhanced so as to enable them acquire more modern farm implements and other inputs towards increased productivity.