Issues And Challenges In Commercialization Of Agricultural Extension Service In Rivers State, Southern Nigeria
Commercialization of public enterprises, including agricultural extension service, is Nigeria’s policy idea aimed to meet the challenges of economic growth in the twenty-first century. Rivers State is expected to implement the programme to reach the farmers. Thirty (30) extension workers and sixty (60) contact farmers of the Rivers State ADP were interviewed to ascertain their perception and challenges associated with commercialization
of extension service in the state, using questionnaires and interview schedule, respectively. Percentages, mean scores and t-test were applied for data analysis. Results revealed that commercialization of agricultural extension service is advantageous. The extension workers were more aware of the programme than the farmers, showing a significant difference at P < 0.05. The effectiveness in implementing the programme in the state is, however, bedeviled by the following constraints: high cost of agricultural inputs, poverty, high interest rates, corruption, illiteracy, political interferences, unfavourable government regulatory environment, information gap, among others. It was suggested that for commercialization of agricultural extension service to work effectively, the identified impediments must be considered with utmost seriousness by agricultural extension policy planners and administrators.
Keywords: Commercialization, agricultural extension, Rivers State.