Rural farmers perception on the use of agricultural mechanization in agricultural production in Rivers State, Nigeria
The study examined rural farmers’ perception on the use of Agricultural Mechanization in agricultural production in Rivers State. The study employed a descriptive survey design to seek the opinions of the respondents. The population of the study consists of all rural farmers in the 23 local government areas in Rivers State. 102 rural farmers were randomly selected from 6 local government areas, giving the total sample size as 612 respondents. The data gathered was analyzed using mean and standard deviation with acceptance mean value of ≥3.00. The study revealed that agricultural mechanization can be used to carry out different farm operation in the farming process. It also revealed that there are lots of benefits in the use of agricultural mechanization in farming, this include; increase in productivity, reduction in time of operation, increase in income generation opportunities, increase in stable development of food system among others. The study also revealed that Scarcity of machinery, Shortage of spare parts, Illiteracy of the farmers, Fragmentation, Lack of capital are some challenges bedeviling the use of agricultural mechanization in the rural areas. However, the study recommended that government should make Agricultural Mechanization available and accessible to farmers as to boost and motivate farmers in using them to maximize production; large area of land should be made available to willing farmers who want to go into large scale production.
Keywords: Agricultural Mechanization, rural farmers, agricultural production