Training Needs of Melon (citrillus colocynthis (l.) schrad) Farmers in Okigwe Agricultural Zones of Imo state, Nigeria
Abstract; Introduction; Results and Discussion; Conclusion and Recommendation; References
AbstractThis study examined the agricultural extension needs of ‘egusi’ (Citrillus Colocynthis (L.) Schrad) farmers in Imo State, Nigeria. Multi-stage sampling procedure involving purposive technique was used to select 100 melon farmers from 5 communities in the selected rural households. Data were collected through structured questionnaire and analyzed with descriptive statistics. On the whole 98 respondents that returned their questionnaire copies formed the sample size. About 39.8% of the respondents were between the ages of 40 – 49 years with mean of 44.5 years, 54.1% males, 43.9% married, 45.9% attained secondary education and 37.9% practiced farming as primary occupation. Majority 52.0% of the respondents were between household size of 1-5 persons, 41.8% had farm size (ha) of less than 1hectare. Main channel of communication among farmers was sales agents (hawkers) and marketers of egusi products (= 3.06). The farmers most extension needs in melon production among others were: information on planting and harvesting techniques on melon production (=3.65), need to boost the value and market demand of melon production (=3.58) and sourcing/training on fertilizer application (=3.50). The major constraints to melon production were: lack of frequent extension contact (=3.24), poor sales of processed melon (= 3.15), low shelf life of processed melon products (= 3.11) and small sized farmlands for melon production (=3.01). There is need for increase in extension services to farmer, especially in the area of input supply. Training of farmers by extension agents would assist reduce limiting constraints in melon production.
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