Funding of Agricultural Public Extension Service in a Deregulated Economy: A Study of Ebonyi State, Nigeria

Main Article Content

K. N. N. Ezike
E. N. Okeowata
V. A. Chukwu
Ogonna O. Osuafor

Abstract

Funding of Ebonyi State Nigeria Agricultural Public Extension Service in a deregulated economy was studied. The specific objectives were to describe the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents; identify the major recommended packages/technologies and services extended to the farmers and examine the trend in the funding of agricultural extension services from 2001 to 2010. A total of 240 contact farmers were selected using a multistage random sampling technique. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The study found that majority (65.42%) of the respondents were males; had a mean age of 49 years, married; had a relatively large household size of 8 persons; and relatively low educational status. Average farm holding was 0.90 ha and personal savings were the major sources of farm finance. Government funding of the agricultural public extension dwindled throughout the period with budget estimate at the peak of N220.4 m recorded in 2013 and the lowest of about N69.3 m in 2001, whereas the highest actual expenditure was about N99.5 m in 2010 and the lowest amount of about N37.1 m was also recorded in 2009. A big difference between the budget estimate and actual expenditure was observed in 2009 with a budget deficit of about 46.5%. The amount farmers were willing to pay for extension services was not also stable with the highest amount of about N9.2 m in 2005 and least amount of N800,000.00 in 2003. The amount expended by government was higher than the amount farmers are willing to pay with 98.2% difference in 2004. The study indicated that the proportion of farmers willing to pay for extension services is low. This could lead to reduced adoption and utilization of improved technologies and decline in farmers’ and farm productivity in a deregulated economy. Recommendations such as educating farmers on cost of extension services and the need for their contribution, backing up extension services with interest free loans, deregulating extension services in a gradual process and in phases, and improving the country’s educational system were made among others.

Keywords:
Funding, extension services, deregulated economy.

Article Details

How to Cite
N. Ezike, K. N., Okeowata, E. N., A. Chukwu, V., & O. Osuafor, O. (2020). Funding of Agricultural Public Extension Service in a Deregulated Economy: A Study of Ebonyi State, Nigeria. Asian Research Journal of Agriculture, 12(1), 24-35. https://doi.org/10.9734/arja/2020/v12i130075
Section
Review Article

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