Assessment of Awareness and Use of Improved Cassava Technologies among Agricultural Field Staff in Umuahia Agricultural Zone, Abia State, Nigeria
The study assessed the level of awareness and use of improved cassava technologies among agricultural field staff in Umuahia Zone, Abia State, Nigeria. Specifically, described the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents, ascertained the level of awareness and use of cassava technologies, among the respondents in the study area. Multistage random sampling technique was used in sampling 80 respondents. Data for the study were collected with the use of questionnaire, analyzed with both descriptive and inferential statistics. The major findings showed the mean age of 38.21 years, and larger proportion (56.3%) of females. About 70.0% of the respondents had tertiary education, and married each, 36.3% civil servants, 32.5% farmers, 23.8% traders, while 7.5% engage in other activities. About 67.7% of the respondents had 1-10years of experience, and 85.8% were within the annual income rage of ≤ N 500000. The result on awareness showed that 70.0% of the respondents were aware of Baba70 cassava variety, 52.5% aware of Obasanjo-2 variety, whereas 43.8 not aware of the variety, 63.8% were aware of game changer variety, and 77.5% Umucas 44. About 80.0% of the respondents were aware of Umucas 45, 67.5% Umucas 46, 86.3 TME 419, and 78.8% NR87184. The distribution of respondents based on their level of utilization showed a grand mean of 2.92 implying a fair general utilization of improved cassava technologies. The result showed OLS regression estimates of effect of socio-economic characteristics influencing the respondent’s utilization of improved cassava technologies among the field staff, with results significant at various levels. The study concluded by providing empirical evidence that greater majority of the respondents was aware and responds positively to utilization of improved cassava technologies. The study recommends that, since these field staff are very strong agents of dissemination of improved cassava technologies, especially in their locality, concerted effort should be made by organizing workshops, seminars aimed at demonstrating the use of these improved cassava technologies and creating more awareness. Farmers on their own should make effort to access these technologies from Agricultural Institutions or their field staff.
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