Small scale banana farmers’ awareness level and adoption of improved banana varieties in Delta state, Nigeria
The general objective of the study was to determine smallscale banana farmers’ access to and adoption of improved planting materials in Delta State, Nigeria. Over the last two decades banana production in Nigeria has been on the decline. It was against this background that this research was carried out to assess the awareness of and use of improved planting materials by small scale farmers in Delta state. A multi-stage sampling procedure was used to select a total of two hundred and forty (240) banana farmers for the study. A well-structured and validated questionnaire was used to collect data from respondents. Descriptive statistics and binary logit regression were employed for data analyses. The results show that although majority of the farmers (96.67%) were aware of and had access to improved banana varieties, only 15.83% of them adopted the use of improved planting materials. Gros mitchel, Cavendish and sweet bananas were the major sources of improved banana varieties. The result further indicated that several constraints like cost of obtaining planting material (X= 4.80), climatic factors (X= 4.78), biological factors (X=4.60), palatability of the local cultivars over improved ones (X= 4.59), poor soil conditions (X =4.46) and socio-economic characteristics of the farmers(X = 4.11) as militating against the adoption of improved banana varieties. The study concluded that the adoption level of improved banana was low and recommended, among others, that major constraints hindering the small scale farmers from adoption of improved banana for planting should be addressed.
Key words: small scale, banana farmer, adoption, improved, Delta state