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This study analysed the adoption of recommended agrochemical practices (RAPs) among crop farmers in Kaduna and Ondo States of Nigeria. A total of 260 crop farmers who had sustained the use of agrochemicals for at least five years were selected for the study by using a multi-stage sampling technique. Data were collected by using a structured, pretested interview schedule. Descriptive statistics (mean and percentages) and inferential statistics (Multiple regression and Z-test) were used for data analysis. Findings revealed that majority (93%) of the crop farmers were male with about 25 years of farming experience, and belonged to more than one association. The mean age of crop farmers was 44 (for Kaduna) and 51 (for Ondo), while the mean farm size was 3.01 and 4.08, respectively. Extension visit to crop farmers recorded a mean of 9 and 12 per annum in Kaduna and Ondo States, respectively. Also, majority (62.7%) of the crop farmers perceived that the efficacy of agrochemical was fair. Similarly, many (43.5%) perceived agrochemical as inaccessible. The results obtained revealed that crop farmers had high level of knowledge (M=2.12 and 2.16 in Kaduna and Ondo State, respectively) of RAPs while the level of adoption was low (M=1.43 and 1.66 in Kaduna and Ondo State, respectively).Non-adoption of RAPs had negative consequences on human safety (53.5%), and the environment (84.2%) of respondents in the two States. The most statistically influential socio-economic variables on adoption of RAPs in order of importance were level of education (0.058, P<0.05), farming experience (0.017, P<0.05), social participation (0.806, P<0.10) and cosmopoliteness (0.057, P<0.10) in Kaduna State. For Ondo State, the variables were level of education (0.015, P<0.01), farming experience (0.032, P<0.05), social participation (0.300, P<0.01), and cosmopoliteness (0.004, P<0.05). The most important institutional factors on adoption of RAPs were access to training (0.103, P<0.01) and accessibility of agrochemicals (0.113, P<0.10) in Kaduna State. Similarly, in Ondo State, the variables were access to training (0.113, P<0.05) and accessibility of agrochemicals (0.022, P<0.05).The most important technological factors on adoption of RAPs were observability (0.081, P<0.1), complexity ((-0.043, P<0.05) and compatibility (0.060, P<0.05) in Kaduna State. For Ondo State, the variables were observability (0.092, P<0.01), complexity (-0.043, P<0.05), and compatibility (0.004, P<0.05).There were significant differences in the yield, output as well as income, and adoption of RAPs between the two States. Most serious constraints to adoption of RAPs were adulteration (94.2%) high cost of agrochemicals (93.1%), and inadequate technical know-how (91.2%). This study concluded that despite high level of knowledge of RAPs, there was low level of adoption among farmers, which was caused by inadequate skill and nonchalant attitude about the health implications of no-adoption of RAPs. This study therefore, recommends that regular training on the use of agrochemicals should be organized for farmers by extension agencies in collaboration with relevant stakeholders. Public orientation using the media and other public enlightenment strategies in order to engender attitudinal change among crop farmers should be pursued by extension agencies. In order to prevent adulteration, fake and banned agrochemicals, the regulatory policies should be revised and adequately enforced.




1.1       Background to the Study

Promoting agricultural development requires the introduction of innovations that rely on

a reasonable use of science and technology embodied in crop protection chemicals

(CPCs) for improved crop production. The introduction of these innovations into the

agricultural economy of any nation holds the key to the development of the sector. The

ability of small-scale farmers to adopt these innovations becomes very crucial if the

sector must continue to contribute to national earnings. However, the adoption of

agrochemicals is one issue; adopting the recommended practices is another, while

availability of the chemicals at the right time, in the right quantity and quality and at

affordable prices is also another issue. However, it is important to note that different

types of technologies have both hardware and softwarecomponents (Swanson, 1997).

For example, a new crop variety, as a type of material technology, cannot be fully

exploited without having a complementary set of agronomic or crop management

practices, including pest management. Likewise, the use of agrochemicals generally

requires some practices embodied in a package of recommendations. Therefore, the

functional relationship or linkage between the hardware and software must be carefully

examined and followed in order to realize the full advantage inherent in the adoption of

such technology/practices.

While population is rising and creating the need for more food, many diseases, pests and

other inhibitors of crop growth contribute to reducing crop production. However, many

types of chemicals have been developed to fight these plant diseases and pests and

manage the effects of inhibitors in crop production. The introduction of these chemicals

is, therefore, an important farm innovation which when used by farmers can


significantly improve crop production. The CPCs particularly useful to farmers consist

of different types of insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, rodenticides and nematicides

available in the market. The other group consists of growth regulators, which are mainly

chemicals that eliminate the effect of inhibitors. In Nigeria, the strategy has always been

to encourage the establishment of private agrochemical plants in the country or the

importation of the chemicals by interested investors. However, the existing plants only

re-formulate and package CPCs for sale.

The use of agrochemicals is very beneficial in crop production. According to Lomborg

(2001),the lives to be saved if pesticides were abolished, would be outnumbered by a

factor of around 1000 by the lives lost due to poorer diets to be caused by the associated

poor crop yields. The secondary penalties would be massive environmental damage due

to the land needs of less productive farming, and a financial cost of around 20 billion

US Dollars. Denis Avery (1999),who was Director of the Centre for Global Food Issues

at the Hudson Institute in the US wrote in the Wall Street Journal that ―Humanity in the

21st century can banish hunger, end nutritional deficits in its children, and save virtually

all of the remaining wild lands in the process. But there are only two ways to do it:

You either get what you want or your money back. T&C Apply

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