ANALYSIS OF FARMERS’ WILLINGNESS TO PAY FOR AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICES IN SOUTH EAST NIGERIA

AUTHOR: ONOH, PETER AGU (PhD)

DEPARTMENT: AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION

AFFILIATION: FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY OWERRI

This study investigated farmers’ willingness to pay for agricultural extension services in Southeast, Nigeria. Specifically it was aimed at identifying the socio-economic characteristics of the farmers, examine the types of extension services farmers are willing to pay for and describe the differences in the socio-economic characteristics of farmers willing and unwilling to pay for extension services .It was also to determine the extent farmers are currently paying for extension services, determine the difference in the levels of adoption of innovations between farmers’ willing and unwilling to pay for extension services and analyze the difference in adoption between male and female farmers willing to pay for extension services.It also determined perceived benefits, constraints and assessed the determinants if farmers’ willingness to pay for extension services. Data were collected with Structured and validated questionnaire from 360 randomly selected farmers. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Z-test as well as logistic regression model. Results showed that majority of the farmers were males (65%) who had spent 1-6 years at school, with a mean farm income of N69,000.00 per annum .A little over thirty five percent (35.3%) of the farmers were willing to pay for agricultural extension services especially  in piggery, poultry, sheep, goat, home stead fish and rice productions and their protection technologies .Majority of the farmers (62.9%), who were willing to pay were male. The results also revealed that farmers with higher educational status, income, farming experience and farm size were more willing to pay for extension services .The study also showed that farmers are currently paying for extension services in home stead fish production, poultry and animal feed productions. Adoption of these technologies also positively correlated with farmers’ willingness to pay for extension services. Level of adoption of technologies by farmers willing to pay for extension services was significantly higher than the non-willing. The level of adoption between male and female farmers willing to pay for extension services was statistically the same .The farmers felt that paying for extension services would encourage their involvement in programme planning process which improves extension services delivery .They saw the free extension services provided by government as a major hindrance to their paying for extension services. It was recommended among others that farmer with large farm sizes and with at least post secondary education should be the initial target for the commercialization of agricultural extension services in the Southeast, Nigeria.

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