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JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VOLUME 5 NO 2, DECEMBER, 2007

TRANSFER AND ADOPTION OF LABOUR SAVING TECHNOLOGIES

E.E. Idu  and G.O. Ogwola 
Department of Agricultural Extension and Communication
and J.A. Idoko
Department of Agriculture Education
 University of Agriculture, Makurdi

Abstract
The study was carried out to assess the transfer and adoption of labour saving technologies in Apa Local Government area of BenueState. A total sample size One Hundred and Twenty was used in the study. Interview schedule was used to collect the data from respondents. The results revealed that herbicide was adopted most (86%) among the technologies considered. There is no significant difference in output of farmers before and after adoption with respect to cereals / legumes (tcal 0.051 < ttab = 2.42) and tubers significant difference in income levels of farmer before and after adoption (tcal = 0.10 < ttab = 2.31) of labour saving technologies at 0.05 level of significance. Majority (60.83%) of farmers in Apa Local Government fund labour saving technologies from personal savings. It was recommended that research be made into locally adapted technologies that will better tackle the production constraints of farmers in other to yield or have a significant increase in output and income levels of farmer.
Keywords:      Assessment, transfer, adoption, labour, technologies.


Introduction
            In order to improve the socio – economic conditions of the rural dwellers, agricultural technologies that are relevant, highly productive, socially desirable, cultural compatible and economically feasible within the cultural realities of the rural dwellers trhough an extension organization or delivery system to the farmers (Farinde, 1991). According to Vengara and Mc Ducken (1990), even technologies that can enhance socio – economic welfare by improving productivity or rising income levels are of no value if they are not relevant to peopl’s high priority problems and needs, and as a consequence are neither adopted nor applied by those for whom the advantages are intended.
            Market (1993) defined technology transfer to include the transfer item itself, the developer of the technology, various channels to accomplish the transfer, and the technology recipient. It does not matter whether the developer or recipient of the technology is a government organization or private organization or an individual he added. The important point is that a technology that exists in one setting is transferred in some way to a user in another setting who accepts and uses the technology. Technology transfer, according to Johnson et al., (1997), beings with the development of a new technology or the modification of an existing one as a result of perceived want or need for a product which results in technological activity. A series of transfer process is employed to take this technology from the researcher to the end users through diffusion of innovation. The transfer process is however complicated by various barriers such as culture, complexity, compatibility, economics, and trainability and so on.
            The transfer of improved farm technologies to Nigerian small scale farmers is vital towards increasing agricultural production. Omokere and Ifere (1987) opined that adoption of improved farm technologies is a panacea to low agricultural productivity in Nigeria. These improved farm technologies, according to them, are valueless until they can be put to some practical use for economic and social well being of the people.



The Problem
            The potential of new technology can not be fully realized without the successful movement of technology out of a development laboratory to the user’s environment and ultimately its adoption (Johnson et al,. (1997), further stressed that curriculum in technology oriented programmes has traditionally emphasized technological development and its applications with little emphasis on issues of transfer and end user acceptance.
            A search through the literature revealed that the transfer and adoption of labour saving technologies have not been assessed in Apa Local Government Areas in terms of the types of labour saving technologies transferred to farmers, the rate of adoption of the technologies and the factors responsible for their adoption rate. These need to be studied in a systematic research if any meaningful transfer and adoption of labour saving technology is to be achieved.

Objectives
This study  seeks to evaluate the transfer and adoption of technology in Apa local government area of Benue State, with the aim of making policy recommendations for both the Government and Extension organization to enhance effective transfer and adoption of labour saving technologies. The specific objectives include:

      1. To determine the farmer’s awareness and source of information on labour saving technologies in the study area.
      2. To determine the source of fund for labour saving technologies.
      3. To determine the source of fund for labour saving technologies by farmers in the study area.
      4. To determine the difference between outputs of farmers before and after adoption of labour saving technologies in the study area.
      5. To determine the difference between farmers’ income level before and after adoption of labour saving technologies in the study area.
      6.  

 Hypothesis
i.          There is no significant difference between output of farmers before and after adoption of labour saving technologies.
ii.          There is no significant differences between farmers income level before and after adoption of labour saving technologies.

Methodology
            Apa Local Government Area the study area, is located in the North – Western part of Benue State (Ocholi, 2006). It is bounded in the North by Agatu Local Government, in the South by Otukpo Local Government in the East by Gwer – west and in the West by Olamaboro Local Govenrment of Kogi State. The local government has its headquarters at Ugbokpo and it consists of 11 council wards. The Local Govenrment has a population of about 250, 000 people and a land area of about 1300km2 (Ocholi, 2006). Apa Local Government Area is called “the green land” of Benus State because of its huge agricultaural potential. The area is endowed with rich fertile land, which encourages variety of arable crios such as yam, rice, cassava, guinea corn, maize, groundnuts, beniseed, pepper, cowpea, soyabean etc. Crops such as vegetables are produced on smaller scale during the dry season.
            It has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons – rainy and dry seasons respectively. The wet season is from April to October, while the dry season is from Novermber to March. There are two perennial streams (Okpokwu and Ochekwu streams) and several seasonal ones that run through the local government. Farmers in the study area  are about 150,000. this accounted for about 60% of the population of the area.
            This study involves the use of primary data. Interview schedule was used to illicit information from the respondents. The population for the study is the 150, 000 farmers in the study area. Six wards were randomly selected from the 11 council wards that make up the population of the study area. Twenty farmers were randomly selected from each of the six wards. Thus the total sample size was 120 respondents.
            Labour saving technologies under investigations include: herbicides, tractor, rice milling technology and irrigation technology. Data generated were analyzed by simple percentages and t-test. The statistical technique is given by:

ffyf 



                        t           =          X1        -           X2
dhdg 

                                                S2/n1     +          S2/n1

fhdh 



Where    X1      and       X2 are means of two inependent samples,
S2 is the pooled variance of the sample,
n1 = n2 equal number of observation
n1 + n2 – 2 is the degree of freedom.

Results and Discussion
Farmers’ awareness and source of information on labour saving technologies in Apa Local Govenrment Area
            Table 1 shows that 100% of respondents were aware of the existence of labour saving technologies in the study area. Yusuf (1998) also reported high level of awareness of improved farm technologies by farmers in the Northern Zone of BNARDA (Benue State Agricultural and Rural Development authority). The data in Table 1 shows that 47.50% of respondents got information from friends / neighbours. This is followed by the media (36.66%) as a source of information. It is important to note here that extension workers did not do tehri best in the transfer and adoption of labour saving technologies in the study areas as only 11.67% respondents were informed by extension personnel about the existence of labour saving technologies.

Table 1:          Farmers Awareness and Source of Information on Labour Saving Technologies in Apa Local Government
dgd 



Variable                                                          Frequency (f)                          Percentage

gAwareness
I am aware of labour Saving
Technologies                                                    120.00                                     100.00
I am not  aware of Labour Saving
Techologies                                                      0.00                                         0.00
Source of Information
            Friends                                     57                                            47.50
            Extension                                              14                                            11.67
            Media                                                  44                                            36.66
            Others                                                  5                                              4.17
dSource: Field Survey (2006)


Farmers’ soruce of fund for adoption of labour saving technologies:
            The majority (60.80%) of respondents fund their adoption of labour saving technologies trhough personal saving as seen in Table 2. only few people has access to loan (13.34%). This implies that most farmers in the study area have limited access to loans and hence carry out their farming activities through personal savings. The low rate of adoption of some relatively high cost technologies could be explained partly by this limited access to loan funds, hence the low income farmers can not adopt such high – cost technologies.


Table 2: Source of Funding for Labour Saving Technologies in Apa Local Government Area.
g 



Source                                                 Number of Farmers                           Percentage
g 

Loan                                                    16.00                                                   13.34
Personal Saving                                    73.00                                                   60.83
Borrowing from friends             9.00                                                     7.50
Others                                                  22.00                                                   18.33
dgd 

Source: Field Survey (2006).

Farmers’ adoption score for labour saving technologies in Apa Local Government:
            The data in Table 2 show that there was 86% adoption of the herbicide technology. The findings in this study agree with Idu (2003) who found a higher adoption rate of soil fertility technologies among resource – poor men and women farmers in Benue State. Obinna (1989) observed that the specificity of the innovation and its attribute of satisfying the needs and interest of the farmers could explain the adoption level of small – scale farmers. The findings in this study contradicted the report of Ajala (1987) and Onweagba (1989) that the adoption of improved production techniques among small – scale farmers has often been found to be low.
            The extent to which other technologies have been adopted is quite low: tractor (0.5%), irrigation technology scores for essential technologies such as tractor and irrigation are very low. This adoption score may be the factor that seriously impeded large – scale production and irrigation farming in the area.


Table 3:          Farmers’ Adoption Score of Labour Saving Technologies in Apa Local Government Area:
g 



Techology                                           Total Adoption                       Average Adoption
dg 

Tractor                                                             6                                              0.05
Irrigation Technology                                        20                                            0.17
Herbicide                                                         103                                          0.86
Rice Milling Engine                                           17                                            0.14
d 

Source: Field Survey (2006).

Analysis of the difference of mean between output of farmers before and after adoption of labour saving technologies
            Results in Table 4 shows that there is no sifnificant difference in output of farmers before and aftere adoption of labour saving

 technologies with respect to cereal / legume (t = 0.051) and tuber (t = 0.020) at 0.05 level of significance. These finding do not agree with Eje (2006) who reported that adopters of improved cassava technologies had higher output than non – adopters. Fujisaka et al. (1993) reported in their study of farmers that adopters enjoyed economy of scale given their larger rice per ha than non – adopters. However the low adoption rates of most of the technologies under investigations in this study reduce the benefit of economy of scale, which could be attributed to the no significant difference of mean before and after adoption.


Table 4:          T – Test Analysis Showing the Difference of Mean between Output of Farmers before and after Adoption of Labour Saving Technologies
d 



Mean Value
g 

Crop output                            Before Adoption                     After Adoption           t – value
g 

Cereal / Legumes (kg)              571.43                                     630.95                         0.051
Tubers (tons)                            0.58                                         0.63                             0.020
d 

t  is not significant at 0.05

Analysis of the difference of mean between income of farmers before and after adoption of labour saving technologies
            Results in Table 5 shows that there is no sifnificant difference in income of farmers before and after adoption of labour saving technologies (t = 0.10) at 0.05 level of signigicance. These findings agree Eje (2006) in a related study of the level of adoption of improved cassava production technologies among Benue farmers, who reported tha there was no significant difference in income of adopters and non – adopters. It appears rural farmers could not give objective measure of the contribution of labour saving technologies to farm income.


Table 5:          T – Test Analysis showing the Difference of Mean between Income of Farmers before and after Adoption of Labour Saving Technologies.
dgd 



Mean Value
d 

Variable                      Before Adoption                     After Adoption                       t – value
g 

Income (N000)                        37.47                                       54.42                           0.10
gd 

t  is significant at 0.05

Conclusion
            New or improved agricultural technologies are of little value until they can be put to some practical use for economics and social well – being of the farmers. Government, through extension, as well as non – governmental organizations should ensure continuous transfer of improved production technologies, if the small scale farmers are to increase their farming activities and produce agricultural products for the teaming population. Extension work should be intensified on the transfer of labour saving technologies in the stidy area. Government and other financial institutions should give soft loans to farmers to enable fund adoption of labour saving technologies.

Reference
Ajala, A. A. (1987). The Adoption of Herbicides among Farmers in Nsukka Agricultiral Zone in Anambra State. Paper Presented at the 7th Annual Coneference of the Nigeria Society for Plant Protection, held at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. 1 – 6.
 
Eje, Z. S. (2006). A Comparative Analysis of the Socio – Economic Characterisitics of Adopters and Non – Adopters of Improved Cassava Production Technologies in Benue State. M. Sc. Thesis. Department of Agricultural Extension and Communication. University of Agriculture, Makurdi. 61 pp.

Fujisaka, S. Jayson, E. and Dapusala, A. (1993). Recommendation Domain and a Farmers’ Upland Rice Technology. Manilla: International Rice Insitute, Manila Press, The Philippines. 1 – 6.

Farinde, A. J. (1991). Effectiveness of Extension Teaching Methods Used in Disseminating Improved Agricultural Technologies in Lagos State. M. Phil. Thesis, Obafemi Awolowo University. Iie – Ife, Nigeria.

Johson, S. D. Galz, E. F. and Hicks, D. (1997). Expanding the Content Base of Technology Education: Technology Transfer as a Topic of Study. Journal of Technology Education 8 (2). 1- 10.

Idu E. E. (2003) Assement of the Impact of Improved Farmers’ Participation in Research and Extension in Benue on Resource – Poor Men and Women Farmers. M. Sc. Thesis. Department of Agricultural Extension and Communication, University of Agriculture, Makurdi. 57pp.
Market, L. R. (1993). Contemporary Technology: Innovations, Issues and Perspectives. South Holland, Illinois: Good Heart – Willcox. 18 – 23.

Obinne C. P.O. (1989). Communication and Adoption of Improved Cassava Production Technologies among Small – Scale Farmers in Bendel State. Ph. D. Thesis. Department of Agricultural Extension, Unveristy of Nigeria Nsukka, Nigeria. 70 – 151.

Ocholi, S. Y. (2006). Apa Local Government at a Glance pp. 3.

Omeke, D. F. and Ifere, M. O. (1987). Adoption of Improved Farm Technologies among Maize Growers in four Selected Villages in Kaduna State. Samaru Journal of Agricultural Education 1 (2). 24.

Onweagba, A. E. (1989). The Influence of Information Source use on knowledge level and Adoption Behaviour of Farmers in Imo State. Thesis. Department of Agricultural Extension, Unveristy of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria. 89pp.

Vengara N. T. and MC Ducken, K. G. (1990). Extension and Agro – Forestry Technology Delivery of Farmers in McDucken, K. G. and Vengara N. T. (eds), Agro – Forestry Classification and Management. Bankok: Thailand. 16 – 19.

Yusuf, H. O. (1998). Technological Transfer to Farmers: Evaluation of Small Plot Adoption Technique (SPAT) in Selected Blocks of the Northern Zone of BNARDA. A Project Submitted to the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extesnion. University of Agriculture, Makukurdi, Nigeria. 33 – 60.