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Prospects of Rural Youths Participation in Family Farming in Benue State, Nigeria: Implications for Policy

Mbah, E.N

,

Amah, N.E

,

Onwusika, A.I

Mbah, E.N 1 ,

Amah, N.E 1 Onwusika, A.I 3

  1. Department of Agricultural Extension and Communication, University of Agriculture Makurdi, Nigeria 1

  2. Department of Agricultural Technology, Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra state, Nigeria 3

Pages: 77-86

DOI: 10.18488/journal.70.2017.43.77.86

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Article History:

Received: 20 March, 2017
Revised: 13 June, 2017
Accepted: 05 July, 2017
Published: 28 July, 2017


Abstract:

The study was conducted in Benue State, Nigeria to assess prospects of rural youths participation in family farming. Data were collected from a sample of eighty (80) respondents using questionnaire/interview schedule. Frequency, percentage, mean score, standard deviation and factor analysis were used for analyzing data. Majority (75%) of the respondents were males, not married (63.70%), about 99% had formal education, having a mean age of 24 years. Major activities engaged by rural youths in family farming were clearing of farm lands (M = 2.62), harvesting of crops (M = 2.61), irrigating of farm lands (M = 2.39), staking of crops (M = 2.35), sorting/grading of farm produce (M = 2.35), gathering of fruits (M = 2.34) and applying fertilizer to crops (M = 2.33). Results also indicate prospects of rural youths participation in family farming which include proper farm record keeping (M = 2.66), increase in household food security (M = 2.60), increase in farm labour (M = 2.58), provision of market information for sales of farm produce (M = 2.58), increase in household income (M = 2.55), proper preservation of seeds and seedling/planting materials (M = 2.54), increase on the use of modern farming techniques (M = 2.53), increase in farm yields (M = 2.50, among others. The study thus recommends that rural youths should be supported to remain in family farming through adequate provision of labour-saving technologies and modern farm implements to ease operations and ensure optimum productivity. It also highlights that efforts of service providers are needed in providing youths in rural areas with necessary infrastructure such as electricity in order to discourage them from migrating to urban areas.

Contribution/ Originality
This study contributes in the existing literature to indicate that rural youths in family farming were mostly engaged in clearing of farm lands, harvesting of crops, irrigating of farm lands, staking of crops, sorting/grading of farm produce, among others. They should be provided with necessary farm inputs for optimum productivity.

Keywords:

Prospects, Participation, Rural youths, Family, Farming, Nigeria.

Reference:


Statistics:

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Funding:

This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Acknowledgement:

All authors contributed equally to the conception and design of the study.

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