Survey of Operators Knowledge of Operation and Maintenance of Farm Machinery in Ebonyi State, Nigeria
A survey was carried out to access the operatorsb knowledge of operation and maintenance of farm machinery for sustainable agricultural mechanisation in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. The questionnaires, oral interviews/interactions and field investigations were used to ascertain the operatorsb educational background, experience on machine operation and maintenance in the government and private agricultural organisation in the study area. The survey revealed that 44.6% of the operator had both primary education and trade test; 26.9% had primary education only. 19.3% had trade test certificate only and 9.2% had post-primary education and trade test certificate. All the respondents were licensed to operate machines. The mean age and year of experienced of the operators were 41.05 and 19.8 years respectively. The statutory result on the machines indicated that 64.9% of the available machines were functional, 21.9% were non-functional but serviceable while 14.5% were non-functional but unserviceable. 50.4 to 79.8% of the operators examined from both government and private agricultural organisations could competently handle preventive and corrective maintenances while 17 to 20% had little knowledge of maintenance and about 2 to 10% had no knowledge of maintenance. Result showed that the machine failures encountered during operations were as a result of poor management, inadequate maintenance practices, and lack of spare parts, obsoleteness, overloading, careless operations and poor storage of machine after use. Recommendations were therefore given to improve the operation and maintenance of machinery in the area.