Cocoa farmers’perception of Community Based Nursery Scheme: A case study of selected states in Nigeria
Nigerian cocoa production has declined compared to the existing situation before oil discovery in the early 1970s. This decline has been linked to the presence of old cocoa varieties on cocoa plantations and incidence of pests and diseases. Sustainable Tree Crop Programme (STCP)| -Nigeria established Community Based Nursery Scheme (CBNS) to encourage easy access to improved cocoa seedlings and community participation in nursery establishment and maintenance. This study aims at determining cocoa farmers’ assessment of the CBNS in selected states of Nigeria. The study revealed that many of the respondents (44.7%) were over 60 year. the mean age was 59.8 years, and 91.4% were married while 63.8% had formal education. On cocoa farming experience, 41.7% had more than 10 years cocoa farming experience, 41.7 owned 1-3ha of land, 16.6% had more than 15 hectares of cocoa farms. Respondents’ comparison of the scheme with the government nursery scheme revealed access to seedlings (33.3%), nursery sites closer to farmers (43.8%), CBNS allows for self improvement of participating farmers (8.3%) and group efforts/ formation encouragement (14.6%) as the advantages of the scheme over the government nursery scheme. The attitude of respondents towards the scheme revealed that 78.6% of the respondents have favourable disposition toward the scheme. The inferential statistics show that educational status (÷2 = 10.2, p = 0.002) had significant association with
respondents’ attitude towards the scheme, while size of farm and farming experience (p<0.05) had a significant relationship with the respondents’ attitude towards the scheme. It was concluded that the high positive disposition of respondents shows that farmers would be willing to support the innovation if necessary support is given by the government and other stakeholders in the cocoa industry to scale up the idea.
Key words: Cocoa, farmers, attitude, and community nursery scheme,