Performance of agricultural extension services at enhancing market-oriented cocoa production in Ife-East Local Government Area of Osun State, Nigeria
The extent at which agricultural extension is rendering support towards ensuring market-oriented cocoa production formed the basis for this study. Multi-stage sampling procedure was used to sample 76 cocoa farmers in Ife-East Local Government Area of Osun State. Radio was the mostly used (92.1%) extension communication channel by the extension agents. The most established linkage was found between farmers and agro-dealers (85.5%). The prominent activities performed by the extension agents toward market-oriented cocoa production were: training on production techniques (x̄ =3.62), establishing linkage with input supplies (x̄ = 3.56) and tailored marketing production (x̄ = 3.53). Meanwhile, provision of sales outlets to sell produce (x̄ = 2.91) was ranked low by the cocoa farmers. There was high level of trust for cooperative leadership (x̄ = 1.86) and extension services (x̄ = 1.81) . There was no significant relationship (r = -0.037) between activities performed by the extension agents and level of trust with other actors. Agricultural extension services should work with relevant governments and non-governmental organizations to create alternative marketing channels to sustain the current efforts at achieving market-oriented cocoa production.
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