Evaluation of the agricultural extension programmes of Shell Petroleum Development Company in Rivers State, Nigeria
AbstractThe Shell Petroleum Development Company provides Agricultural Extension Services as part of her corporate social responsibilities in Rivers, a major oil-producing state in the Niger Delta, southern Nigeria. This study evaluates the extent to which host communities participate, perceive and adopt recommended technologies and community development services of the company. One hundred and fifty (150) farmers and five (5) extension agents were interviewed, using interview schedules and questionnaires, respectively. Percentages, mean scores and t-test were utilized for data analysis. The study revealed that farmers (host communities) were dissatisfied with the agricultural extension and community development services of the company. Low participation of farmers and low adoption of agricultural technologies of the company were identified. The causes included farmers' poor financial status, late supply of production inputs, inadequate storage facilities and poor field contacts between extension agents and farmers. The effectiveness of field extension agents was limited by inadequate communication and transport facilities, non-repayment of soft loans and irregular attendance to scheduled extension meetings by farmers. Complete re-organization of the company's extension and community development programmes, considering the problems identified, was suggested to meet the needs of the farmers and host communities.
International Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development Vol. 7(1) 2006: 112-120