This study examined the participation of farmers in the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) spear grass (Imperata cylindrica) control project, which used the participatory research and extension paradigm. A sample of 60 small-scale yam farmers from three districts of Tarka Local Government Area of Benue State who participated in the IITA spear grass control project were randomly selected and interviewed in this study. Descriptive statistics were employed in data analysis. The result of the study indicated that majority (80%) of the participants sourced herbicides from open markets, 98.3% perceived that the cost of herbicides was high, 75% could use herbicides, 73.3% were not visited by extension agents, 71.7% did not belong to any social organization, while all the participants had no access to credit. However, the farmers were satisfied with the operation of 6 out of 12 project activities. The study also revealed that involvement of participants in project activities was highest at the consultative level where key decisions were made by project officials and farmers only contributed their views. The study concluded that participation of farmers in IITA spear grass control project has not empowered them with the skills, knowledge and experiences to take greater responsibility of increasing yam production and productivity. The results call for strategies aimed at improving farmers’ participation in similar projects to enable them attain a level where they can continuously co-create innovations in order to cope, compete and survive.
Key words: Participatory, Research, Extension, Spear grass, Technology.