Evaluation of The Community Leader’s Access And Utilization Of Agricultural Technologies.Community leaders are indispensable set in any community.Therefore, technologies are important factors in agricultural development practices, poverty alleviation, rural-urban drift unemployment reduction.This research work deals on accessing the utilization of agricultural techologies by the community leaders in nigeria.
1.1 Background information of Evaluation of The Community Leader’s Access And Utilization Of Agricultural Technologies.
Community leaders are those categories of persons who influence the behaviour of others to work towards a desirable goal. These are group of people whose idea and action influences the thought and behaviour of others (Ani, 2007).
According to Bernard (2011), community leaders are set of persons who are efficient in carrying psychological stimuli to others and are thus effective in conditioning collective response.
He further opined that, leaders must possess prestige and must know what stimuli will condition adequate responses for they purpose and develop techniques for presenting those stimuli.
The concept of leadership is very crucial to the survival of any society. Even with established norms, leaders are still needed to ensure compliance with such norms for societal orderliness and health being. Therefore, community leader play key roles in the society through incorporation of developmental plans which will bring progress to the society.
Hence, in any government sponsored project, the local leaders serve as liaison between the government and the people in their domain. And, leaders play significant roles in enumerating the advantages; the society is likely to have through the use of technology provided by policy made on agricultural development (Udo, 2011).
Therefore community leaders are those whose interest center on the community development through acquisition of technologies for production increment and elaborate network of personal relationship (Agwu, 2012).
In addition access to agricultural technologies is the acquisition and importation of desired agricultural machineries necessary for farm expansion and product development (Aboyade, 1997; Agwu, 2012).
Hence, it is the means of getting farm tools such as tractors, harvesters, bush hog and so on, for farm work.
Then, Onyekami and Nwite, (2008) showed that the access to agricultural technology and appropriate utilization practice should lead to substantial yield increase in agricultural production.
This invariably underscores the significant role technology stand to play in attaining the much needed growth in agricultural sector.
Kebede (2010) however, predicated such growth on farm productivity through greater technical and allocative efficiencies of the utilization in response to the changing in technological and production environment.
This nonetheless depends on appreciable access of the agricultural technology at all farm level.
Agricultural technologies in general can be accessed by community leaders through purchase of technologies, and supply them to farmers, hiring technology to farmers and as well by local leader controlling the farmers to pull their resources together as a group to buy agricultural machineries (Nwite, 2008).
Invariably, community leader can access agricultural technologies through request to agricultural supporting sectors like government and non government organizations with the target to increase production and sustainability of agriculture in rural area, states, nations and globally.
However, rural social scientists have long maintained that accessed to improved technology and market integration are predicted on the differential possession of economic resources like land, labour and capital (Erbungh, 2004).
This is in addition to socio-economic and institutional factors as well as the physical attribute of the technology itself.
Furthermore, acquisition and utilization of agricultural technologies by the leaders describe the manufacturers, selection, application, utilization, proper adjustment and other operations as well as maintenance of tools, implement machine and equipment for agricultural land development, farm work, animal and crop production including processing, preservation, storage and distribution (Odigboh, 1990 ; Fortier, 2002).
Hence, accesses to technologies made by leaders are proposed for agricultural improvement and its implementation to the farming operation based on method before achieving the high yield (Van, 2000; Fortier, 2002).
These methods are ways through which information acquired about technologies have been understood and effectively utilized.
This means that access and utilization of agricultural technologies are the major engine for rural development, since must of rural people are farmer and the application of technologies such as machine, implement, irrigation system and equipment together with other related innovation in farm practices will result to standard of living to farmer (Odigbog, 1990; Kebede, 2010).
Utilization of agricultural technologies are the application of practices that help to facilitate agricultural production, storage, distribution and marketing of agricultural produce (Kebede, 2010).
According to Aboyade (1985) utilization of agricultural technologies is taking place on two broad categories such as material technologies and knowledge technologies.
Materials technologies are major scheme of improvement inspired by the economic planner of government or private organization such as Agricultural Cooperative Association (ACA) to produce hardware technologies to the farmer in a rural area.
Then knowledge technologies involve the use of knowledge embedded in material technologies to facilitate diffusion of innovation and distribution processes.
Ania (2007), deduced that utilization of agricultural technologies in agricultural operation would be beneficial globally, if technologies are distributed to farmer in rural area as the support to the sector.
The success of any technology depends on its dissemination among the potential users, which ultimately is measured by the level of accessed and utilization of that technology (Reddy and Reddy, 2012).
It is measured that notable improvements can take place in agriculture, if technologies are acquired and utilized by the farmer as the process of agricultural production increase and control of crop growth, harvesting of animal andvegetable produce.
1.2 Problem Statement of Evaluation of The Community Leader’s Access And Utilization Of Agricultural Technologies.
Nigeria agriculture is characterized by low productivity, low farm income and low level of technologies adoption and use of inefficient production techniques which can be attributed to inability of farming households to access and utilized agricultural technologies in production (Okpukpara, 2010; ATAI, 2011).
Therefore, there is need to replace the traditional method of agricultural practices with improved practices in order to boost output level of the farmer (Daramola, 1987).
However, sustained development of the country in a situation of accelerated social change must depend, to a large extent, upon expanding food production. At this level, agricultural production can be increased through the introduction of technologies to both subsistence and commercial agriculture who hold the key to the nations foods supply (Federal Ministry of Agriculture, 2001).
Fortunately, agricultural technologies are being developed but it seems they are not diffused among the Nigeria farming population (Jibowo, 2000).
The use of farming technologies was embodied in the country’s agricultural programs such as National Accelerated Food Programs in 1972, the World Bank Assisted Agricultural Development Projects in 1975, River basin Development Authorities in 1976, Operation Feed the Nation 1976, the Green Revolution in 1980, the National Agricultural Land Development Authority in 1941.
Despite the agricultural programs, accesses to agricultural technologies, production improvement are still insufficient because technologies are not made available to the rural farmers who are major source of agricultural produce supplier to the nation (Daramola, 2005).
Farmers are expected to used accessed technologies in agricultural practices to improve their production.
However, contemporary observations show that while some use improved practices, a reasonable number still use traditional methods thereby subjecting the farmers to unbearable low yield in the sector, all over.
Reasons adduced for this includes lack of knowledge of improve practices as well as scarcity and cost of the necessary farm supporting input (Okpukpara, 2010).
This problem they thus have contend with very significantly affects that they achieving vary degree of output level.
This then affects the nation drive toward achieving the whole sufficiency in agricultural productivity (Ani, 2007 and Nwite, 2008).
Therefore, technologies are important factors in agricultural development practices, poverty alleviation, rural-urban drift unemployment reduction (Okpukparu, 2006). Lack of technology available in farm practice has scared numerous abled youth from farm practice to urban in search of white-collar job.
This has decline the contribution of agriculture in national development (Otozi, 2013). Nevertheless, Nigeria still has high percentage of farmers who are in exploration of farm product (Adegeye, 1996).
Then, this will be more actualized through value addition in agricultural practice to attract the youth back in agriculture.
A general look at existing studies has indeed showed that proper information seems to be lacking on all these point highlighted above; as it related to the analysis of community leaders on access and utilization of agricultural technologies in Ohaukwu Local Government Area and the state in general.
However, a study of this sort is considered vital in bridging this identified gap in knowledge.
Therefore, the research will attempt to generate relevant answers to the following research questions to fill the knowledge gap:
• What are the socio-economic characteristics of the community leaders?
• What type of agricultural technologies are accessed and utilized by the community leaders in agricultural production?
• What are the factors that influence community leaders in accessing and utilization of agricultural technologies?
• What are the strategies adopted by the community leaders in diffusing the accessed technologies to smallholders farmer in the area?
• What are the constraints to community leaders in accessing and utilizing agricultural technologies?
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1.5 Justification for the Study
Technology involvement is an important aspect of economic activities, since no production can be maximum using little time input energy, in any enterprise in the absence of organized and functional mechanized assistant.
This study will be great benefit to those who made farming their occupation in Ebonyi state especially those who have not accessed technologies before since it is intended to boost their productivity from it, farmers in Ebonyi state will be able to understand easier package of practices that can result increased productivity and thereby make necessary adjustment in their current tradition practice in order to achieve the desired increased output.
This also will help state to achieve the most desired millennium development goal of eliminating extreme poverty and hunger.
Also it expected that resource wasted in farm production will be minimized because the study will unveil adequate resources combination measures that would lead to maximum output.
Community leader as well as agricultural professional will understand appropriate input combination in their effort to increase agricultural productivity in Ebonyi state and beyond.
Policy makers will derive great benefit from the study because the result of this will enable them to formulate favourable policies through which farm production could be increased in Ebonyi state in particular and Nigeria at large.
This study will serve as a resource of information to all who are interested in farm production especially now that the Federal government of Nigeria is striving to ensure food sufficiency through her on-going Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA).
Students and postgraduates researchers are the field of agriculture as well as the general public will discover necessary gaps in knowledge which would necessitate further research.
This chapter will be reviewed in line with the following subheading:
2.1 Concept of community leader
2.2 Types of agricultural technologies accessed and utilized in agricultural production.
2.3 Factors influences access to technologies.
2.4 Agricultural technologies
2.5 Strategies adopted by community leader to access agricultural technologies
2.6 Roles of technologies utilization in agro based society.
2.7 Impact of technologies to small holder farmer
2.8 Constraints to access and utilization of agricultural technologies.
2.1 Concept of Community Leader
Community leaders are indispensable set in any community. Where such leaders are dedicated, honest and hardworking, the community tends to develop rapidly amidst living in peace (Ajayi, 2006).
Therefore community leaders are those categories of persons in the societies who influence the behaviour of other to work towards a desirable goal. These are group of people whose idea and action influences the thought and behaviour of others (Ani, 2007).
According to Bernard (2001), community leaders are set of persons who are efficient in carrying psychological motivation to others and are thus effective in conditioning collective response.
He further post-sit that, leaders must posses prestige and must know motivating factors that will condition adequate responses for they purpose and develop technologies for presenting those factors.
In must rural communities, community leaders are normally democratically selected by election, appointment or even by volunteering to represent different sects in the community. From the investigation, it has been shown that effective community leaders are those who volunteer for the job.
This is because leader works in service to the people and attracts no payment and a such volunteer method are more likely to be of use than elected or appointed leaders (Ozor and Nwankwo, 2008).
In addition, most of the community development projects in the community were initiated by the community leaders who also educate the people on the consequences and impacts of projects before they are implemented.
The leaders are were able to play this roles because of their high level of intelligence, being cosmopolitan, good level of education, good connections, among other.
Hence community leaders galvanize mass participation of community people and adoption of innovation in rural communities because of the high influence on people. Thus through hand-in-hand with extension workers, community leader provides more information for rural community development (Otuya and Ajayi, 2006; Ozor, 2008).
The concept of leadership is very crucial to the survival of any society.
Even with established norms, leaders are still needed to ensure compliance with such norms for societal orderliness and health being.
Therefore, community leaders play key roles in the society through incorporation of developmental plans which brings progress to the society.
Hence, in any government sponsored project for community development, the community leaders serve as liaison between the government and the people in their domain.
And, leaders play significant roles in enumerating the advantages, the community is likely to have through the adoption of provide policy made on rural development agricultural transformation (Udo, 2011).
Therefore, community leaders are those whose interest center on the community development through acquisition of technologies for production increment and elaborate network of personal relationship (Agwu, 2012).
This implies that community leader provide basis for improving the quality of life in rural community (Kuponiyi, 2008).
2.2 Types of Agricultural Technology Accessed and Utilized in Agriculture Production
Agricultural technologies are acquired and use in agricultural production, some form of appropriate technologies (improved practices) in this context are defined as the latest scientific and technological that has been adjusted degree (FAO, 1996, Oladele and Fawole, 2007).
Therefore adjusted degree includes improved crops, animals and agrochemical and mechanics such as tractors thresher, plows, irrigation and so on for effective agricultural production enhancement, less of human drudgery.
In this regard, farmers involvement in technology development has generate a lot of model through several studies (Byerlee, 1989).
Technologies have been defined as all the method of production which developed in the basis ofexisting state of scientific knowledge (Oladele et al, 2007).
Various studies have demonstrated that the issue of technology access is a complex one, as acquiring of a particular technology depend on a main factors of its utilization which will contribute to the success or failure of innovation accessed in organization (Liac et al, 2000).
Prospective and targeted users may reject the new technologies for several factors includes user involvement, lack of an understanding, technical difficulties, lack of training and insufficient support from top management and perceived complexity are considered as the main causes of user resistance.
Technology accessed is the process through which an organization/group or individual acquired an innovation for their daily business operation; Roger opined in (Mohammed et al, 2010).
Roger differentiates accessing of technology from diffusion process of innovation in that diffusion process occur within society as a group process where as the access process pertain to an individual.
However attitude can be a very powerful enable or barrier towards the access of now technology. It is pertinent to state that no matter how technical efficient a given technologies is, a farmer may not access innovation unit it is otherwise proven to be economically viable. Finally, access and utilization of agricultural technologies can only attain top of the practice when the technologies are proved to be technical efficient, economically beneficial and socially acceptable (Atsi, 2011).
2.3 Factors Influencing Access to Technology
According to (Meinzen et al, 2004). The main factors affecting technology access among community leaders and farmer in Nigeria are Assets, vulnerability, institution, and cost effectiveness;
(i) Assets: Deals with whether farmers or community leader have requisite physical material and abstract possession like finance and education essentials for technology accessing.
A lack of assets will limit technology access (Meinzen et al, 2004).
Researcher, policy makers and development practitioners therefore need to put more emphasis on the development technologies little requirement for such material and abstract possession. Policy makers and development practitioners should also promote technological with low assets requirement as they are likely to have higher access rate among small scale farmer (Meinzen et al, 2004).
(ii) Vulnerability: Are factors that deal with the impact of technologies on the level of exposure of famers and leaders to economic and social risk. Those technologies that have lower risk have a greater appeal to those of leaders and farmer who are naturally risk averse (Meinzen et al, 2004).
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it has been conceded that some farmers have their reasons for not accessing untried technologies, most of the time reasons are quite rational (Mazonde, 1993). These farmers are will aware for instance, that a sudden up swing in the productivity of their fields likely to deplete the production field which would result in much lower returns in the following agricultural season (Mazonde, 1993).
(iii) Institutional: Institutional factors deals with the extend to which institutions impacts on technology adoption by small scale farmer and leader of less educational status (Meinzen et al, 2004). Institutions include all the services to agricultural development, such as insurance and information dissemination.
They also include facilities and mechanizes that enhance farmer access to productive input and product market researchers and development practitioner should also consider issue that relate to the farmers exposure to economic agro-meteorological and social shocks in designing technologies for small scale farmers.
(iv) Cost Effectiveness: In certain scenarios of different agro-ecological, input and product market conditions, it has been shown in profitability analysis that there is no economic advantage of growing hybrid without either minimum floor price guarantee after harvest. The evidence underscores that needs for government intervention in promoting, post harvest technologies, credit, marketing and gain price strategies.
(v) Other Factors Influencing Accessing of Agricultural Technology: According to food and agricultural organization of the united nations (FAO, 2001) are large investment cost, the perceived risk of a technology long gestation period for the benefit of the technology to materialize access to information and extension services, land tenure and culture and recent history.
The socio economic status such as family income, parental educational levels, parental occupation and social status all affect technological acquisition (Demarest et al, 1993).
The characteristics of an innovation can also create a problem for the farmers. Innovation that are simple and relatively easy to understand are more likely to be accessed by the farmers than those that farmer prefer to adopt innovation that satisfied their security needs (Alarim, 2011).
2.4 Agricultural Technology
In general agricultural technology is the knowledge applied by man to improve production or marketing processes, it is seen in hybrid seed, improved crops and animal species, pesticides, machinery, fertilizer etc; the objectives of technology is to produce more output from a given bundle of production inputs.
(Esther, 2014). Its vital in the economizing process and is related to a specific activity, it connotes a way of completing task (Subba, 2004).
Hence it is the way agriculture is down, it includes method by which hand is cultivated and crops are harvested and also the way livestock is caused for. It includes the seed, fertilizer, pesticides, medicine and folder for livestock, tools and implements the farmers use, and their source of power are included.
More so, field and john (2007), opened that agricultural technology is among the most revolutionary and impact area of modern technology, driven by the fundamental need for food and for feeding an ever growing population.
It has opened an era in which powered machinery does the work formerly performed by people and animal (such as Oxen and horses), these machine have massively increase farm output and dramatically changed the way people are employed and produce food world wide.
Agricultural technologies are quite broad and general. This study contextualizes technologies from two classifications.
(i) Hard ware technology (embodied in the green revolution model which promote hybridization, use of pesticides, insecticides, herbicides etc, the use of farm input and equipment), and
(ii) Software technology (extension and farming system research).
A similar classification was done by the Zimbabwe national situation analysis report (ZNASR, 2007; john 2014). Hence they classified technology as tangible (hard ware) and intangible (Software).
Tangible (hardware) technology is something physical and can be felt with hand, like a treadle pump used for delivering water from source to the irrigated land, they are chemical (herbicides, pesticides, insecticides etc).
Mechanic (thresher, tractor, irrigator etc). While intangible (Software) technology on the other hand refers to the approach or extension model used to impact the knowledge and skill to the farmer on the use of hard ware technology.
Finally, both tangible and intangible technologies play significant roles in the food production cycle among rural communities are dependent on managing the environment for the livelihood.
The technologies are applied in production, harvesting, processing and marketing of crops and livestock etc (ZNSAR, 2007).
In addition biotechnology is the aspect of agricultural technology that deals with the application of scientific techniques to modify and improve plant, animals and micro-organism to enhance their value. Thus develop of disease resistant varieties.
2.5 Strategies Adopted by Community Leader to Access Agricultural Technologies
According to Nwite (2008), community leaders accessed agricultural technologies through different techniques. Those methods are purchase method, hiring method and group secure method.
(i) Purchase Method: Agricultural technologies are acquired from the researchers, manufactures, dealers or distributor using market value or buyer assets in exchange to balance the owner (Nwite et al, 2008).
The rate of exchange (amount to pay) is charged by the researcher, manufacture, dealer or distributor for the technology needed.
(ii) Hiring Method: Nwite (2008) deduced that agricultural technologies can be acquired by leader for temporary purpose with a defined duration and monetary value in a balance to the lender for the period stayed.
(iii) Group secure method: In this method, agricultural technologies are acquired when the group of persons pull their resources together and buy the technologies needed for their operation (Nwite, 200; Parvan, 2011).
The process of contributing resource are initiated and controlled by the leaders.
In addition local leader can access agricultural technologies through request from agricultural supporting agencies such as government sectors and non governmental organizations for agricultural development.
2.6 The Role of Technology Utilization in Agro Based Society
There is a large gap between what a farmer who not employed agricultural technology get and what is feasible with the available technology in sub-Saharan Africa including Nigeria (Washington et al, 2012).
In looking at what had gone wrong, a fundamental issue is concern relates to the technology and institutional region to increase agricultural productivity seen only possible through the implementation of agricultural technologies in production practice (Wirimayi and shepherd, 2012).
The use of agricultural technologies affects the rate of increase in agricultural output. It also determines how the increase in agricultural output impact on poverty reduction levels, environmental degradation and industrial development (Meinzen et al, 2012).
Therefore the focus of recent research has been to find agricultural practices. New strain of crop and animal has been discovered. The research has also been on improvement of the field of production and management of land, soil and water enhancement.
However, the only way for farmers to benefit from these research station technologies is if, they perceive them to be appropriate and proceed to implement them on their farm (Meinzen et al, 2002).
Increase agricultural productivity, technology adoption and household, food security and nutritional can be achieved through proved agricultural practices, expansion of rural financial markets, increased capital and equipment ownership by rural households and development of research and extension linkages (Vanbraun, 1999).
Increased technology development and adoption can raise agricultural output, hence improve household food intake can also improve the functioning of the human body and the performance of a healthy, normal life which will increase workout.
In all the experience and evidence from countries within and around the sub-Saharan African region indicates that return to agro based society who employed agricultural technology in farming activities could be very high and far reaching. This would transform not, only the farming sectors of the society but also the entire national economics of countries in the region (Washington et al, 2012).
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