Farmers’ Perception of Sustainable Agriculture in South-Western Nigeria: Implications for Rural Economy
The modern industrial agriculture had created an array of ecological and equity problems through the introduction of high input agricultural technology such as heavy machinery, irrigation and agrochemicals. This approach favours the rich farmers at the expense of poor farmers because it is not scale neutral. This study examined the perception of farmers with respect to sustainable agriculture that produces abundant food devoid of the earth’s resources depletion. Amultistage sampling technique was used to select 480 crop farmers in three states (Oyo, Osun and Ekiti) of the south-west, Nigeria. Data were collected with the use of structured interview schedule and described using frequency counts, percentages, mean and standard deviation. Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) was used to test the existence of relationships between the pairs of variables (age, year of formal education, farming experience, farm size and farmer’s perception).. This study was able to examine farmers’ disposition toward sustainable agriculture. Farmers were favourably disposed to the practice of sustainable agriculture and realized its potentials as an alternative to industrial agriculture, a profitable venture, capable of providing a healthy family income that would improve the rural economy. Extension agency should intensify efforts through collaboration with relevant non-governmental organisations to keep farmers abreast of the sustainable agriculture practices and benefits.