Farmers’ Perceived Effectiveness of the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme in Kogi State, Nigeria
The study determined farmers’ perceived effectiveness of the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) Scheme in Kogi State, Nigeria. A total of 120 scheme participants were purposively selected and interviewed from 12 communities across six local government areas. The results revealed that the majority of the respondents (85.8%) had access to agriculture-related information. The major crops grown in the area included maize (84.2 %), cassava (80.8%)and rice (48.8%). Respondents had a very high knowledge (80%) of the schemes’ activities and the major source of information on the scheme activities was extension agents (78.3%). Again, respondents percieved a few of the scheme’s operational processes, namely, the use of phone in information dissemination (x̄=2.21), registration process of the scheme (x̄=2.18), channels used for the sheme implementation (x̄=2.17), farmers’ sensitization process (x̄=2.04) and types of personnel used (x̄=2.02) as having high level of effectivessness. They were equally satisfied with some implementation processes of the scheme, namely, quality of seeds provided (x̄=2.15), level of subsidy provided by the scheme (x̄=2.05) and fertilizer distribution methods (x̄=2.00), among others. However, the major constraints to effective implementation of the scheme included untimely input provision (x̄=2.20), inability to still pay for the subsidized inputs by the farmers (x̄=2.31) and inability to purchase mobile phones (x̄=2.08). The study points to the need for early inputs provisions to farmers as farming operations are time bound. There is also the need to focus attention on encouraging more women to participate in the scheme in order to achieve its main objective of increased productivity and household food security.
Keywords: food security, input supply, knowledge index, mobile phone