Capacity Building Needs of Small-Holder Cocoyam (Xanthosoma Sagittifoliuu) Farmers in Selected Rural Communities of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
The study investigated the capacity building needs of small-holder cocoyam farmers in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria during the 2018 cropping season. Data were randomly collected from 130 respondents selected through a multi-stage sampling procedure using questionnaire and analysed using descriptive statistics, net returns model and budgeting technique. For agronomic management practice, result showed that the major sources of land acquisition and labour were inheritance (63%) and hired labour (52.6%). The majority (71.6%) of sampled farmers cultivated between 20 and 80 stands of cocoyam per farm. Result further showed that the major marketing channels of cocoyam were; farm gate (40.7%) and rural markets (24.7%. The main sources of information for cocoyam farmers were family and friends (40.9%), radio and television (18%) and extension agents (10.5%). The cost-returns analysis showed a gross margin and net return of N1, 164,500.00, and N494, 700.00, respectively, and the return per capital of N1.74. The most capacity
building needs of cocoyam farmers were information on processing technology ( x̄=3.31), farm credit information ( x̄= 3.19), information on pest/ disease control ( x̄=3.17), storage information ( x̄=3.15), record keeping/ evaluation need ( x̄ =2.92) and effective cocoyam marketing ( x̄ =2.88). The major constraints militating against cocoyam production in the study area were; absence of marketing information ( x̄ =2.57), poor record keeping ( x̄ =2.57), labour scarcity ( x̄ =2.42), pest and disease ( x̄=2.34), lack of improved variety of planting material ( x̄ =2.30). Provision of marketing channels information to farmers, enhancing access to extension contact and periodic training of farmers` on improved management practices are avenues to boost cocoyam production.
Keywords: Capacity building needs, small holders cocoyam farmer