Information Needs of Kenaf Farmers in Ogbomoso Zone of Oyo State, Nigeria
The constraints to kenaf production are extensive because farmers lack the information to mitigate them. This study determined the information needs of kenaf farmers. The study was carried out in Ogbomoso Agricultural Zone of Oyo State, in the year 2013. Multistage sampling technique was used to select 120 kenaf farmers. Information was collected using focus group discussion and structured interview schedule. Frequencies, percentages and means were used to summarise the data, while chi-square and Pearson Product Moment Correlation was used to analyze the data. Result of analysis showed that kenaf production in the zone is male dominated. The mean age of the farmers was 45 years and the mean household size was five. The mean years of experience in kenaf production was 18years and the mean land area under kenaf plants was 1.4 acres. Many of the farmers either had vocational education or primary education, with an average monthly income of N27, 000. The kenaf farmers unanimously chose agricultural extension agents as their primary source of information on kenaf’s cultivation, agrochemical use, processing, utilisation, packaging, storage and marketing. Inadequate market information is the highest ranking constraint, implying that kenaf farmers do not have information on how to access markets to sell their kenaf products. The farmers also did not have a good knowledge of the economic and industrial values of kenaf. Their knowledge of kenaf production was a function of their sex, marital status, educational level, income and constraints in kenaf production. It is recommended that agricultural extension services should be involved all through the value chain of kenaf, especially marketing and not only at the cultivation level.
Kenaf; agricultural market; agricultural extension; agro-allied industry; fibre.