Adoption of new rice for Africa (NERICA) technologies in Ekiti state, Nigeria
Acceptance of new agricultural technology can lead to significant increase in productivity, income and improve livelihood of rural poor farmers in Nigeria. The study assessed adoption behaviour of the beneficiaries of Multinational (New Rice for Africa) NERICA Rice Dissemination Project in Ekiti State, Nigeria. Simple random sampling technique in a multistage sampling procedure was used to select 52 beneficiary rice farmers. Data were collected through the use of structured interview schedule and analysed using mean score, adoption index, multiple regression and factor analysis. The results revealed that majority (80.4%) of rice farmers were males, average age of the farmers was observed to be 40years and average farming experience of the famers was found to be 19years. Also, results showed high adoption score for planting distance, early planting, late planting and harvesting duration (61%), fertilizers use (95%) and herbicides use (75%), while water efficiency methods (26%) and improved rice varieties (48%) of the NERICA disseminated technologies had low adoption. Regression analysis indicated that only age and number of years spent in school influenced adoption decisions of rice farmers. The perceived serious constraints to adoption of improved NERICA rice technologies were menace of birds on rice field (M = 4.96), menace of grass cuter (M = 4.47), high cost of labour (M = 3.41), poor access to road (M = 3.61) amongst others. Also, the perceived not serious constraints to adoption of improved NERICA rice technologies were lack of sufficient land (M =1.96), untimely availability of improved NERICA rice varieties (M = 1.92), inadequate knowledge about rice processing techniques (M = 1.78), inadequate access to NERICA rice varieties (M = 1.59) and incompatibility of innovations conflict between technology and norms of the people (M = 1.59). Therefore, the study recommends that researchers should increase farmers’ participation and interaction of local and ecological knowledge to enhance generation of socially, economically and ecologically adaptable rice varieties.
Key words: New Rice for Africa (NERICA), adoption, rice farmer, technologies
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