Agricultural extension needs of farmers in Telfairia production and marketing in Enugu State, Nigeria
The study assessed agricultural extension needs of farmers in Telfairia production and marketing in Enugu State, Nigeria. Multistage sampling technique was used to select 160 Telfairia farmers for the study. Structured interview schedule was used to collect data. Data was analysed by use of descriptive statistics and factor analysis. Results show that farmers sold their products directly to consumers through village or local markets (56.9%), village squares (27.6%), at roadside stands (16.2%), while 11.2% sold them at farm gate. Only 3.6% sold their products through cooperative societies. The quantity and price of sale of produce varied depending on the season of the year (26.6%) in which the crop was produced, number of buyers (20.0%) and quality of produce (16.2%). About 63% of the respondents did not have extension contact in the last one year. Extension needs of farmers were indicated in the following areas: sourcing of farm input (M= 3.62), sourcing appropriate marketing channel (M= 3.18), sourcing of improved farm tools (M= 3.11), expansion of scale of production (M= 3.07), receiving information on appropriate cultural practices (M= 3.06), and sourcing farm credit (M= 3.00). Infrastructural, technical, logistic and financial challenges hindered effective production and marketing of Telfairia among farmers. There is need for extension to assist farmers to source farm inputs and establish or explore viable markets where farmers will sell their products at a favourable price.