RICE FARMERS’ PERCEPTION TOWARDS EFFECTIVENESS OF EXTENSION SERVICE IN NIGER OFFICE, MALI
Keywords:perceived effectiveness, extension services, rice farmers, Niger office
The study examines farmers’ perception of the effectiveness of extension services among rice producers in the Niger Office, Mali. A multistage random sampling procedure was used to select 189 rice farmers used for the study. Interview schedule was used to elicit information on respondents’ socio-economic characteristics, farm enterprise characteristics, access to extension services, benefit derived and constraints to rice production. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics (Chi-square and Pearson Product Moment Correlation) at α 0.05. Results shows that Farmers’ age was 44.3±13 years, household size was 13±2 persons and majority were male (99.5%), married (94.2%), Muslim (97.4%) and 81.0% cultivated 2.53±1.91 hectares. Access to extension service indicated use of group contact (49.0%), technical advice (51.0%), provision of advice on marketing situations (51.0%) and Radio/Television extension programmes (79.0%) services were sometime accessed. However, respondents’ benefit derived from extension services was low (58.7%). The result reveals a significant relationship between farmers’ secondary occupation (χ2= 4.100), source of input (χ2= 22.008), access to credit (χ2=5.574) and perceived effectiveness of extension services. A significant relationship also exists between farmers’ farm size (r=0.211), total income in years (r=0.853), methods used for extension services (r=0.204) and perceived effectiveness of extension services. However, there was a negative significant relationship (r=-0.535) between constraints faced by rice farmers and their perceived effectiveness of extension services. Effectiveness of extension services was low among rice farmers in the study area, and thus the need to scale up farmers’ access to extension services, by enhancing access to land and credit, and ameliorating infrastructural facilities.