19 September 2021
Farmers Empowerment Programmes, Agricultural Productivity, Effects, Kwande, Farmers, The Knowledge Gap Theory, Theory of Planned Behavior/Reasoned Action, National Accelerated Food Production Programme (NAFPP), National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), River Basin Development Authority (RBDA)
The study examined the effect of farmers' empowerment programmes on agricultural productivity in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State. The specific objectives were to; examine the socio-economic characteristics of the farmers; determine the effect of farmers empowerment programme on farm inputs accessibility; determine the effect of farmers empowerment programme on productive asset acquisition; determine the effect of farmers empowerment programme on the income of the farmers; and examine the problems encountered by farmers in farmers empowerment programmes. Data for the study were collected using questionnaire administered to farmers. Frequency distribution, percentage, and chi-square statistics were used for data analysis. The major findings of the study showed that the male gender participated in the programme more than the females (59.1%), and most of the farmers were above 40 years (59.5%). Majority (59.1%) had a household size of more than six persons, cultivating 3-4.99 hectares of land (50%) and had farming experience of more than 7 years (59.1%). There was discrimination in distribution of agricultural incentives, subsidies and credit facilities (59.1%). Poor awareness of the scheme was an obstacle to capturing farmers on the scheme (59.1%). There was high positive effect of farmers' empowerment programmes on farm inputs accessibility (t-tab.0.995; t-cal.4.585), productive asset acquisition (t-tab.0.479; t-cal.8.557) and income of farmers (t-tab.0.349; t-cal.16.515). The study recommended that the government, individuals and non-governmental organizations should join hands to adequately finance farmers' empowerment programmes of the rural dwellers. The agencies and government officials' in-charge of the empowerment programmes should avoid discrimination against farmers in the distribution of agricultural programme packages. The government and empowerment agencies should ensure that awareness is created about the existence of the programme so that more farmers will be captured on the scheme through frequent seminars; workshop and enlightenment campaigns.