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This study evaluates the role of Extension Agents in enhancing the performance of Farmers’ Multipurpose Cooperatives Societies (FMCS). The small scale farmers are grappling with numerous problems which have adversely affected their performance. They joined FMCS in order to solve those problems. Meanwhile, they still face some of those problems. A total of 50 FMCS were selected which 100 members were selected. The officers were purposively selected while members were randomly selected. Simple statistical analyses were utilized in the analysis. The results are follows. Most of the cooperators are males, married and no educational background. They aged 25 – 50 years, family size of between 5 and 8, they are on fulltime basis and produce mostly crops. They had their income when they joined the cooperatives because they obtained loan used in expanding the business. They obtained information from fellow cooperatives. They were also taught new skills. The ordinary least square simple regression shows that the number of visits by the Extension Agent determines the level of revenue. Therefore Extension Agent play major role in enhancing revenue through increased output. Among the problems that they faced was lack of agricultural machineries and implement, late arrivals of outputs, and high degree if illiteracy amongst them. This researcher recommends making available machineries and implement, early arrivals inputs and intensification of non-formal education for the cooperators to widen their scope of knowledge.


Title Page i
Certification ii
Dedication iii
Acknowledgement iv
Abstract v
Table of contents vi
Introduction 1
1.1 Background of the study 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem 7
1.3 Objective of the study 10
1.4 Hypothesis 11
1.5 Justification 12
1.6 Limitation of the study 13
2.1 Literature Review 15
2.2 The Origin of Extension 15
2.3 The Meaning and Scope of Agriculture Extension 17
2.4 Origin of Cooperative Movement 22
2.5 Meaning and Scope of Agricultural Cooperatives 24
2.6 History of cooperative in Nigeria 27
2.7 The Relationship between Agricultural Extension
Services and Farmers’ Multi-purpose Cooperatives
Societies 29
2.8 The Nigerian Small Farmers and their problems 31
2.9 The Role of Cooperatives and their contribution
to small scale farmers 33
3.1 Area of study 38
3.2 Sampling Procedure 38
3.3 Sources of Data 39
3.4 Analysis of Data 39
4.1 Result of Discussion 42
4.1 Distribution of farmers’ respondents according
to sex: 43
4.2 Distribution of respondents according to Marital
Status 44
4.3 Distribution of respondents according to Level
of education 45
4.4 Age Distribution of the respondent 46
4.5 Distribution of respondents according to family
Size 46
4.6 Distribution of respondent according to their
farming activities 47
4.7 Distribution of cooperators according to
farming activities 48
4.8 Distribution of farmers according to cultivated
land area before and after joining cooperatives 49
4.9 Distribution of Average annual income of a
Farmer before and after joining farmers’
Multi-purpose cooperative societies 50
4.10 Distribution of respondents according to reason
for joining cooperative farmers’ cooperative 52
4.11 Distribution of respondent according to
the amount of loan granted to them from FMCS 53
4.12 Distribution of respondent as when they normally
received the loans 54
4.13 Distribution of farmers cooperators on the
sources of information on improve agricultural
practices 55
4.14 Distribution of respondents as to source of
supply of planting materials and other farm input 57
4.15 Distribution of farmers as their knowledge of
Extension workers 58
4.16 Distribution of respondents as to sources of Linkage/
time of visit between the extension Staff and FMCS 59
4.17 Distribution of respondents as to the area they have
benefited from farmers’ cooperative societies 60
4.18 Distribution of respondents according to sex,
Academic duration of training school of Agriculture
present designation, experience and section
they belong 62
4.19 Perception of the respondents as to cooperators
aim over FMCS 63
4.20 Distribution of the respondent as to the times of
extension workers / cooperators meeting 64
4.21 Distribution of the respondent as to the aims of
Extension workers/cooperators meeting 65
4.22 Mean distribution of extension workers responses
over mobility in the study area 66
4.23 Responses obtained from extension workers
on the supply of input to cooperators 67
4.24 Responses obtained from extension workers
on customs and tradition of the cooperator 68
Distribution of responses obtain from extension
worker on evaluation. 69
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations 72
5.1 Summary 72
5.2 Conclusion 74
5.3 Recommendations 76
References 80
Questionnaires 85


1.1 Background of the Study
A major problem facing Nigeria today is how to produce
enough food for its geometrically increasing population. The level
of food production in the country is barely keeping pace with the
population growth. The general food situation in Nigeria has been
precarious since the early 1970s. The rate of growth in demand
for food in Nigeria in the 1970s was 3.7 percent per annum (Food
and Agriculture Organization rate (FAO) 2007.
In the past two decades the gap between demand and
supply of food in Nigeria increased considerably. According to
Enugu State blue print on Agricultural policy and program (2006)
the population growth in Enugu State is 4332750 persons, which
is out pacing food production. To increase production for the
increasing population, farmers decide to join cooperative
societies. According to Mgbada (2002) observed that the
formation of farmers cooperative societies has helped

members work together to solve their problems in respect of
inputs, credits and marketing of their products.
A look at the Nigerian agricultural sector shows that there is
every need for something to be done in the area of production for
meaningful development to be achieved. The technological
revolution has brought about several changes in the structure of
agriculture and that is why some agricultural development
programmes were initiated by successive government to boost
food production. They are:-
1. Agricultural Development Project (ADP) 1972
2. Federal Ministry of Agriculture which was created in 1973,
it was charged with developing agriculture.
3. National Accelerated Food Production Programme
(NAFPP) of 1973.
4. River Basin Development Authority (RBDA) 1974.
In 1976, Obasanjo administration launched operation
feed the Nation with the hope that food production would
increase. His successor Alhaji Shehu Shargari introduced the
Green Revolution in 1980, as at the end of February 1983, a


staggering sum of #1.2 million had been spent on the programme
without any visible increase in food production. Time international
Also launched were Directorate of Food Roads and Rural
Infrastructure (DFRRI) of 1987. The Nigerian Agricultural Land
Development Authority (NALDA) of 1992 and later was scrapped
Umebali (2004). The facilities such as 18 agricultural commodity
Research institutions, 44 agricultural input and services. Mention
should be made of Nigerian Agricultural and Cooperative Bank
Limited now Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative and Rural
Development Bank and that of rural banking known as Nigeria
Micro-Finance Banks. All with the hope that food production
would increase.
In Nigeria, farming activities are dominantly performed by
individual farmers or household farmers. There is no doubt that
the small scale farmers constitutes an important and in
invaluable sector on Nigeria economy. The small scale farmers
are very efficient in the utilization of the basic production
resources available to them. The Nigerian small scale farmers


do make significant and important contribution in National
Despite these obvious role played by the small farmers in
the economy, the issue of food production is fast into perennial
problem. Madu (2004) stated that the record in recent years in
many African countries with respect to agricultural production has
not been good. Ozowa (2004) observed that a country that is
self–sufficient in food production enjoys reasonable measure of
power status to certain degree in the work. This according to him
is because a country that produces enough food for domestic
consumption and excess for export enjoys economic advantages
and can utilize food effectively, as power weapon or foreign
policy. This self-sufficiency in food production can only be
achieved if Nigerian’s greater population that is made up of rural
dwellers is mobilized both men and women.
The FAO report of 2000 agreed that a nation of rural
people must spend most of its manpower and energy in the
endless quest for food, and that is only when men and women
could be released from its struggle for food its would be


possible to produce the other amenities. That result in high
standard of living.
Unfortunately, the farming conduction of the producers
the rural farmers has been made worse by the nature of their
faming implement and tools. “He at most always works to the
edge of poverty eking out a living as best he knows. Madu
Moreover, in spite of various scientific methods and
programmes involved in solving these individual farmers
problem in order to boost food production. It has been
discovered that the rate at which population growth was faster
than that if food production. Malthus (1992) argued that a stage
would come when food supply would not match population
growth. Although modern economist has proven Malthus theory
wrong especially in Europe and other advanced countries due to
development in technical knowledge and mechanization of
agriculture coupled with changes in social status attitude as
regards to the size of family, good supply has never exceed the
population size. However, Malthus theory cannot be said to be


anything less that true as far as developing countries like Nigeria,
Zambia and Niger Republic are concerned.
However, to solve the individual farmers problems
Agricultural Extension Agents has to come in. This Agency is
responsible for extending the scientific knowledge, improving the
skills, practices and changing the attitudes of rural farmer and
also increasing their incomes and standard of living by their own
efforts, using their own resources of manpower and material with
the minimum of assistance from government. By encouraging
local leadership and a spirit of self help, extension develops civil
pride and the progressive growth of the community. But the
ministry responsible for the extension of this noble idea has not
lived up to expectation with innovation and practices. Hence,
other agencies such as Farmers’ Multi-purpose cooperative have
be organized by the extension services to serve as channels
through which farmers could be helped to accept improved farm
technology on sustained basis. Farmers multi-purpose
cooperative society therefore not only serve the farmers interest
in their specific objectives such as

marketing, process, transport etc. But also the interest of
the community and the country by developing quantities of
leadership and organization in their members. Very often
problems that are common to a number of individuals farmers
can be solved by a group that is cooperatives. The over coming
of obstacles to improves living conditions of rural farmers
frequently depends on well organized joint actions
(cooperatives) in which the people (farmers) take part both in
the proposed action. A well organized cooperative society
representing a considerable body of people is able to bring its
vies to the notice of government thereby reducing the gap that
often exist between government and the farmers.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Agricultural production in Enugu State like in any other
state in the country is carried out mostly by smallholder farmers
who always use crude implement in performing their farming
activities. Because of this the performance of the food sub
sector has rather been poor. According to Agu (2007) this scale
farming consist of a small piece of land be cultivated, labour is
usually by manual and family. Only the farming family is catered
for the surpluses if any, sold, the total yield/out put is very low.
Obsolete technology or primitive tools are often used. Cost of
production is very low. The farming operations are usually
accomplished with minimum application of agro-chemical
(pesticides herbicides fertilizer etc.) Umebali (2002) pointed out
that resource use in small forms are very efficient with the frame
work of static technology and within the context of traditional tired
and sometimes tool proof farming system. Madu (2004) observed
that the farming system in African communities is predominately
traditional, involving daily struggle with primitive tools and
implements. Anyanwu (2004) critically observed that two out of
every three Nigerians work on the farm and that the Nigerian
farmer has only primitives tools, small land holding (0.5-4.0) area
infertile soil, poor crop varieties, low yield, unproductive livestock,
low incomes of improving and his family, poor nutrition and less
than desirable levels of family living.
However, it must be emphasized that peasant cooperator
with limited economic resources with which to work few area of
land, few inefficient hand tools and most importantly of all, little or
nor education and technical knowledge on how to improve his
agricultural practices cannot be solely held responsible for such
short comings in food production. There is no doubt that farmers
would lead to increase food production and income if he has
contracts with extension agents. These extension agents who
are suppose to impact agricultural knowledge to be farmers are
very few in numbers. Some of them are not knowledgeable
enough to carry out the duties assigned to them. There is no
mobility for them to go from one rural area to another etc.
The scientific agricultural information vendor, thus this work
tends to address the following questions:
i. Has the extension service been able to provide
adequate food production recommendations to
ii. Does the cooperator carry the right instructions given to
them by the extension agents?
iii. Did the cooperators perform the instructions at the right
time and place?
1.3 Objective of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to examine role of
agriculture extension services in enhancing Farmer’s
Multipurpose Cooperative societies.
The specific objectives of the study are to:
i. Determine the socio-economic characteristics of the
ii. Determine extension strategies in disseminating farm
information to farmers.
iii. Determine the linkages that exist between the extension
staff and farmers staff and farmers multi-purpose
cooperative societies.
iv. Determine the effect of extension visits on the farmers’
output per hectare.

v. Identify the problems facing farmers’ multi-purpose
cooperative societies in Ezeagu Local government Area
of Enugu State.
vi. Make policy recommendations based on the findings.
1.4 Hypothesis
H0: Number is a visit by the extension agents is
significant factor that determines the level of revenue
of FMCS.
H1: Number of visits by the extension agents is not a
significant factor that determines the level of revenue
1.5 Justification for the Study
There had been very high need by the various government
and World Bank to ensure that the socio-economic life of poor
farmers are improved. This is authenticated by Mgbada (2004)
who stated that over all objectives of the Agricultural
Development project (ADP) was to improve the socio-economic
status of the small scale farmer through increase in his farm

This study is relevant in that it will give extension workers
the opportunity of meeting many farmers at a time so that they
can discuss their problems and contributions can be made to
their problems. This has been the problem of extension
especially in Nigeria where the ratio of extension workers to
farmers is very low. Farmers will benefit by cooperation action
in the areas of use of scientific farming methods and improved
credit system, adoption of good marketing channels, the
contribution of individual farmers will help to improve their
resources and help them to adopt innovation which may require
some initial capital. Good leaders could be selected from the
cooperatives that can help their fellow members in the
introduction of new technologies. There are often easier to
accomplish through joining Agricultural cooperative society.
Government will use it as a base through which to
disseminate information to farmers. Cooperatives centre can
be used by government and other agencies as a storage
centers in the rural areas of the study area. The
recommendation if implemented would draw the cooperators
nearer to the extension staff, to the government and as a result
lead to increase in food production by increasing the agricultural
scientific knowledge of the cooperator who is the producers.
1.6 Limitation of the Study
The study was limited to cooperators in Ezeagu Local
Government Area. Although some problems were however,
encountered in the course of the data collection. It was mostly
financial constraint on the side of the researcher.
Another major limitation was time which inhibits the
researcher from reaching all the farmers especially those in the
most interior communities. Illiteracy of most of the farmers also
constitutes a serious constraint as the cooperators cannot read
or write on the questionnaire without assistance from the
The problem of bad roads in the Local Government Area
created a very terrible hindrance for this research work.
The researcher was demobilized because you hardly see
vehicle plying those sprouts, however, it was also not easy to
collect information on the income of the farmers. The cooperators
were unwilling to give information concerning their income
because of the fear that it might be used for tax purposes. The
cooperators’ low level of education and the lack of record
keeping constituted major problems in the task of collecting these
data. Although the fact those cooperators did not keep good
record made it difficult to collect accurate data. It is however,
assumed that the data collect is a fair representation of the


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