Open Access Minireview Article

The Potential and Challenges of Using ICT as a Vehicle for Rural Communication as Characterised by Smallholder Farmers

Mbuyazwe M. Dlamini, Steven Worth

Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/ajaees/2019/v34i330202

Agricultural extension is a communication network linking different stakeholders in agriculture to improve their productivity and Information Communication Technology (ICT) has been utilised as an extension tool for enhancing information flow between agricultural extension services and their clients. The application of ICT in agricultural extension and rural development has significantly increased in several countries where it has provided an adequate access to agricultural information. Efforts are, therefore, needed to scale up investments in physical ICT infrastructure and services across developing country. This could be realised through the implementation of interventions aimed at speeding up assimilation and adoption of improved agricultural technology and management practices of the less productive smallholder farmers. Drawing on relevant published works, this paper argues that agricultural knowledge and information management within an extension system can improve productivity of smallholder farmers. The role of ICTs in agricultural extension is discussed together with its challenges towards the improvement of productivity among smallholder farmers. Smallholder farmers need to develop and utilize ICT based knowledge management techniques to implement strategies and interventions to transform the agricultural sector and improve their productivity. Agricultural extension is the ideal mechanism that can facilitate the introduction and subsequent adoption of ICTs for effective knowledge and information management.

Open Access Original Research Article

Economics of Plantain Production in Calabar Agricultural Zone, Cross River State, Nigeria

P. C. Uke, D. C. Ochiaka, M. N. Mgbakor

Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, Page 1-6
DOI: 10.9734/ajaees/2019/v34i330199

This project work dealt with the Economics of Plantain Production in Calabar Agricultural zone, Cross River State. The specific objectives of the research were to examine the socio economic characteristics of plantain farmers, identify the different farming practices in the area, analyze cost and returns relationship of plantain farming, and problems militating against plantain production in the zone. A multistage random sampling technique and purposive sampling technique were used to administer structured questionnaire to 90 respondents. Data collected were analyzed using frequency, percentage and mean, while budgetary analysis was used to determine the profitability of plantain farming. The results showed that majority (94.4%) of the respondents were male with the age bracket of 51-60 years with mean of 56 years. The finding also shows that 44.44% of the respondents have 6-10 years of farming experience with a mean of 9 years. The result further shows that many of the respondents do not have good qualification, rather majority have primary education representing 61.11%. Most of the farmers’ savings were personal savings as only source of capital. Most of the farmers have <360 plantain produce annually. The results of the budgetary analysis showed that the calculated gross margin is N191,400 and benefit cost ratio of 1.7, so plantain production is profitable. The result also shows that net profit is estimated at N123,415 and a gross ratio of 0.7. The major problems confronting the farmers in the zone is land tenure, lack of inputs and poor storage facilities. To improve p-lantain production in the study area, it is recommended that government should establish various research centres, provision of farm inputs, provision of low or no interest rates loans for the procurement of required inputs.

Open Access Original Research Article

Identify Attitude and Perception of Farmers on Mobile Based Agriculture: Reuters’ Market Light (RML)

P. Anbarasan

Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, Page 1-4
DOI: 10.9734/ajaees/2019/v34i330200

Farmers need dynamic information relating to agriculture and rural development. Therefore, to satisfy the need of information and knowledge, Reuters Market Light (RML) offers highly customized and localized agricultural related information service. RML provides information services via mobile phone-based Short Message Service (SMS) primarily aimed at farmers. The study was carried out in the Erode district of Tamil Nadu state. The results revealed that majority of the respondents had a strong positive attitude towards market and the respondents had a high level positive perception towards mobile phone with regard to farm information and technology transfer.

Open Access Original Research Article

Contribution of Home Gardening to Household Dietary Intake among Peri-urban Households of Imo State, Nigeria

Uzoamaka N. Akwiwu, Chinwe N. Obichere

Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/ajaees/2019/v34i330201

Rapid urbanization, industralization, land grabbing and dwindling land resources is fast eroding the practice of home gardening in peri-urban areas. This has altered the dietary intake pattern of peri-urban households who hitherto could augment their meals from products of gardens around their homes. The study assessed home gardening contribution to dietary intake among households in peri-urban areas of Imo State. Specifically, the study sought to ascertain the types of home gardening practiced, the contribution of home garden to the household dietary intake and identify the constraints of peri-urban households in practicing home gardening. Multistage sampling procedure was adopted in the selection of sample. Okigwe, Orlu and Owerri-West Local Government Areas (LGAs) were purposively selected from each of the agricultural zones in Imo State for their peri-urban nature. Four communities were purposively selected from the three LGAs were home gardening was mostly practiced. A survey was conducted to find out households which practiced home gardening. Ten households each were then randomly selected from these communities, making a total of one hundred and twenty (120) respondents for the study. Data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics (mean, frequency and percentage). The result showed that majority (54.2%) of the respondents practiced mixed crop home gardening while 43.3% practiced mixed farm home gardening. The level of contribution of home gardening to dietary intake among households was (53.3%). A fairly high number (47.5%) of peri-urban households expressed experiencing high constraints to practicing home gardening. It is recommended that peri-urban households should be educated on other methods of  home gardening where land is in limited supply to improve household dietary intake.

Open Access Original Research Article

Role of Custom Hiring Centers in Implementation of In-situ Crop Residue Management Scheme in Ambala District (Haryana)

Guru Prem, Ramesh Kumar, Amit Kumar, Anurag ., Upasana Singh, H. N. Meena

Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/ajaees/2019/v34i330203

The farmers generally burn the rice residue to vacate their fields for the timely sowing of wheat, because residues interfere with tillage and seeding operations. In Haryana, approximated 27.83 million tons of agricultural residues are produced and out of which 11.22 million ton is surplus every year. The residue of crop can play an important role in the cycling of nutrients as rice straw at harvest contains significant amount of nutrients. Government of India initiated Central Sector Scheme on “Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue” in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi during the year 2018 to curb the residue burning. In this scheme, farmers were appraised to set up Custom Hiring Centers (CHCs) at subsidized rates. The subsidy on the selected crop residue management related machinery/ implements were directly deposited to the accounts of farmers. Information about the scheme was spread via latest ICT tools among the farmers of Ambala district. Hands on training programmes were imparted to CHC owners by Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) for the efficient operation of the machinery/implements during sowing of next crop by mulching or incorporation of the residue.