Challenges and agricultural extension needs of urban and peri-urban livestock keepers in Benue State, Nigeria
The study sought to assess the challenges and agricultural extension needs of urban and peri-urban livestock keepers in Makurdi metropolis of Benue State, Nigeria. Six council wards were randomly selected out of the 11 council wards in the study area using simple random sampling technique. Proportionate sampling technique was used to select 120 farmers for the study. Structured interview schedule/questionnaire and observations was used to collect data. Data collected were analysed using percentages, mean scores and factor analysis. About 57% of the respondents were male. The mean age of the farmers was 36.1 years. A good proportion (39.5%) of the respondents had no formal education and the mean number of years spent in school was 7.3 years. The major livestock kept by the respondents were poultry (76.3%), cattle (26.3%) and goats (6.1%). The major challenges encountered by farmers were grouped into financial, technical and site location constraints. The extension needs identified by the livestock farmers were mostly in livestock marketing (M=2.00), vaccine procurement (M=2.00), disease prevention (M=2.00), vaccine and disease management (M=2.00), among others. Extension agents should regularly disseminate information on livestock production to urban and peri-urban livestock keepers via training, demonstration sessions or other extension teaching methods.
Keywords: Animals, Constraints, dissemination, Farmers, Information, Production