Assessment of adoption of improved sweet potato production technologies among farmers in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria
The study assessed adoption of improved sweet potato production technologies among farmers in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria. The specific objectives were to describe the socio-economic characteristics of the farmers; ascertained the stages of adoption of improved sweet potato production technology and identified the constraints to the adoption of improved sweet potato production technologies among farmers in the study area. Multi stage sampling procedure was used in the selection of 60 sweet potato farmers. Data were collected with the aid of structured and validated questionnaire. Descriptive statistical tools (frequency, percentages and mean) were used to analyze the data generated. Findings on the socio-economic characteristics revealed that the mean age of sweet potatoes farmers in the study area was 35.5years, 55% of them were female, majority were married (65.0%), average household size was eight persons with an average monthly income of N21, 500 and an average farm size of 1.1ha. Majority of the farmers were literate (51.6%), an average farming experience was 13 years, majority (85.5%) belonged to social organization and (61.7%) of farmers had contact with extension officers. The majority (78.3%) of the farmers were aware of the improved technologies of sweet potato while most farmers adopted 10 out of the 14 improved sweet potato technologies. In the overall, (51.7%) adopted the improved sweet potato. Major constraints to adoption of improved sweet potato were low consumer preference associated with sweet potato products (75.0%), lack of capital (70.0%), unavailability of land for cultivation (65.0%), high cost of labour (61.7%) and lack of market to sell increase quantity of sweet potato (55.0%). Based on the findings of the study, it is recommended that extension agents should help farmers to increase adoption by intensifing campaigns and trainings on sweet potato technology through community- level education program. Also, government should intervene in the problems of high cost and unavailability of such farm inputs as fertilizer and agrochemicals by strengthening the input delivery system of the extension service in order to increase their adoption of sweet potato production technologies.
Keywords: Sweet potato, Improved production technologies, Adoption.