The influence of technological changes on labour availability: A case study of cocoa farming households in Ogun State, Nigeria.
AbstractIn developing countries (such as Nigeria), labour is an essential factor in farming. This is because most of the farming activities are carried out with the use of labour. However, the advent of technological development has had an influence on labour availability. In view of the importance of labour in Nigerian agriculture, this study examined the effects of technological changes on labour availability. Primary data were collected using a structured questionnaire administered to a purposive sample of eighty cocoa farmers in Ogun state of Nigeria. Some of the information collected
from the respondents includes the type of technologies adopted by the farmers, extent of labour used for different farming activities, farm size, farmer’s income and labour’s wage rate. The data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and multi-variate regression analysis. Descriptive analysis revealed that some technologies such as improved spacing and fertilizer application require the employment of more labour while some technologies like mechanization and herbicide application displace labour. The result of the ANOVA shows that there
was significant difference in the magnitude of labour used in different technological groups (p<0.01). Multi-variate regression analysis revealed that availability of labour is influenced by the extent of cultivation (p<0.01), expenditure on improved technologies (p<0.01), adoption of mechanization (p<0.01), adoption of herbicides application (p<0.01) and adoption of improved planting spacing (p<0.05).The study recommended that farmers should adopt improved technology practices (especially
the ones that displace labour) to alleviate the problem of labour on their farms. Government should assist to make improved technologies available to farmers anytime they are needed and at subsidized prices. This will enable the farmers to adopt more improved technologies. Farmers should organize themselves into groups to enable them have access to credit facilities for them to be able to procure improved technologies. Small-scale processing industries should be established in the rural areas to take the advantage of the available excess rural labour resulting from the
displacement by some technologies thereby eliminating the problem of unemployment that is likely to be generated as a result of the adoption of the technologies.
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