Comparison of youth farmers’ utilization of agricultural farm land in Benue and Abia states, Nigeria
The study was conducted to compare youth farmers‘ utilization of agricultural farm land in Benue and Abia States, Nigeria. Specifically, it described the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents and level of utilization of farm lands in the States. Multistage random sampling technique was used in selecting 240 respondents for the study. A structured questionnaire and Focus Group Discussion were used in eliciting data from the respondents. Descriptive and inferential (Regression) statistics were used in analyzing the data. The result of the socio-economic analysis revealed that large proportion of youths were males which shows that they are more productive in the farm, large proportion of the respondent in Benue State were married while their counterparts in Abia were single, farming was the primary occupation in both States. The respondents in Benue State had more of secondary education compared to that of Abia that had more of tertiary education, which means that they are literate and can interpret agricultural packages. The results revealed a general grand mean of high utilization of agricultural land in Benue State than in Abia State. Also, youth farmers in Benue State use their farmlands more for cultivation of vegetables, cultivation of arable crops, livestock and other nonfarm business while that of Abia State were for the production of arable crop, livestock farming and other non-farm business. The researcher observed that, inheritance, availability, gender and cultural beliefs were the major inhibiting factors to the use of farm land in Abia than Benue States. Again, high cost of land and poor orientation in the use of farm land contribute immensely to the utilization of farm land across the study areas. In conclusion results indicated that youth farmers in the study areas highly utilized their farmlands in order to improve their economic status. This entails that farming enterprise needs active, productive and relatively young farmers who are energetic to participate actively to raise the enterprise. The study therefore recommended that, youth farmers in Benue State should be encouraged to undertake tertiary education through short term programmes, and early marriage should be encouraged in Abia State among youth farmers in order to have more hands on agricultural production.
Keywords: Comparison, Youth Farmers, Utilization, Agriculture and Farm Land