Evaluating the role of public agricultural extension and advisory services in promoting agro-ecology transition in Southeast Nigeria

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Abstract

Agroecological farming approaches sustain food production with zero or reduced dependence on agro-chemicals. This study investigated the impact of the public agricultural extension activities in enhancing the transition to agroecological approaches, in particular organic farming, in south-eastern Nigeria. Data were collected from 30 farmers and 20 extension personnel using in-depth interviews. The respondents were selected using a purposeful random sampling technique. The results show that extension and advisory activities are influenced by current agricultural policy. Extension personnel currently focus almost exclusively on intensive agricultural practices because of the agricultural transformation agenda which surprisingly ignores the principles of organic farming. Factors such as policy, social, environmental, research, and extension management were observed to impede organic farming transition. It is concluded that there is need for a clearly enunciated organic agriculture policy that supports farmers, organic agricultural research, and information dissemination. A participatory approach in policy formulation and information dissemination that incorporates farmers’ traditional knowledge with capacity to strengthen the agricultural information dissemination structure is recommended to improve agroecological transition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-144
Number of pages22
JournalAgroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
Volume43
Issue number2
Early online date14 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2019

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agroecology
organic farming
agricultural extension
Information dissemination
Ecology
information dissemination
organic production
Nigeria
ecology
farmer
personnel
farmers
Personnel
human resources
environmental research
agricultural policy
Agriculture
participatory approach
indigenous knowledge
public policy

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in
Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems on 14/9/18, available
online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/21683565.2018.1509410

Keywords

  • Agroecology transition
  • extension and advisory services
  • Nigeria
  • organic agriculture development
  • smallholder farmers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Development
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

Cite this

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title = "Evaluating the role of public agricultural extension and advisory services in promoting agro-ecology transition in Southeast Nigeria",
abstract = "Agroecological farming approaches sustain food production with zero or reduced dependence on agro-chemicals. This study investigated the impact of the public agricultural extension activities in enhancing the transition to agroecological approaches, in particular organic farming, in south-eastern Nigeria. Data were collected from 30 farmers and 20 extension personnel using in-depth interviews. The respondents were selected using a purposeful random sampling technique. The results show that extension and advisory activities are influenced by current agricultural policy. Extension personnel currently focus almost exclusively on intensive agricultural practices because of the agricultural transformation agenda which surprisingly ignores the principles of organic farming. Factors such as policy, social, environmental, research, and extension management were observed to impede organic farming transition. It is concluded that there is need for a clearly enunciated organic agriculture policy that supports farmers, organic agricultural research, and information dissemination. A participatory approach in policy formulation and information dissemination that incorporates farmers’ traditional knowledge with capacity to strengthen the agricultural information dissemination structure is recommended to improve agroecological transition.",
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author = "Emeana, {Ezinne Merianchris} and Liz Trenchard and Katharina Dehnen-Schmutz and Siraj Shaikh",
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