Effects Of Agricultural Extension On Cassava And Maize Production In Abak Agricultural Zone Of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
AbstractThis study was carried out to assess the effects of agricultural extension on food production in Abak Agricultural zone of Akwa Ibom state. Specifically, the effect was measured using the productivity of small-scale maize and cassava farmers between the years 2004 and 2005. Data for the study were collected from 108 small-scale farmers drawn from 18 extension cells, using semi-structured research questionnaire. Data were collected on many variables but the impact variables used for analysis were farm sizes (ha),
mean yields (kg/ha) and mean income (N) for the two years, 2004 and 2005. The study revealed that Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) was the major agricultural extension programme in the area and the level of awareness of recommended practices was generally high but their rate of adoption was generally low. The t-test was applied to determine the differences in mean farm sizes, farm yields, and farm incomes of the farmers between the base year (2004) and terminal year (2005) for maize and cassava. The analysis revealed no statistically significant differences in mean farm sizes and mean farm yields in the year 2004 and 2005. Observed t-values for maize and cassava in respect of each of the two impact variables were 1.62 and 1.26; 0.95 and 1.39, with a critical t-value of 1.96. The t-test for farm income from maize showed no statistically significant difference (observed t=1.87; critical t = 1.96), but the t-test for
farm income from cassava detected a statistically significant difference (observed t=2.01, critical t=1.96) between 2004 and 2005. Technologies adopted include improved maize varieties, the second season maize
techniques, improved varieties of cassava cutting and use of fertilizers and pesticides. The chi-square analysis showed no statistically significant relationship between the adoption of improved technologies and increase in farm yields of maize and cassava (X2-value = 3.252, critical X2value = 3.841, P>0.05).