Title: Strategy and process for changing agriculture in rural Nigeria: the Badeku experience
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00096271/00001
 Material Information
Title: Strategy and process for changing agriculture in rural Nigeria: the Badeku experience
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Ekpere, J. A.
Publisher: University of Ibadan
Place of Publication: Nigeria
Publication Date: 1976
Copyright Date: 1976
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00096271
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text
21, -5





J. A. Ekpere

19.1. Introduction

Agriculture is still a major sector of the Nigerian economy

notwithstanding the present heavy reliance on petroleum as the

primary and. most important source of foreign exchange earnings.

Agriculture provides, gainful employment for over 70 percent of

the population, food and raw materials for the nation as well as

capital accumulation.for investment in the nonagricultural sector

of the economy. For a number of years, the emphasis of Nigeria's

agricultural policy makers was focused on export cash crop

production, .Agricultural research institutions also invested

large sum of money and time in cash.crop improvement and production.

In recent times however, several, factors including high cost of

food-, urban congestion and inflation.have led to a reversal-of

this policy, A new dimension to the present situation in Nigeria

is a renewed.concern for the rural areas and those who live there.

In the absence of proven research on how to do a better job of

helping our rural population, it became necessary to initiate

action research programmes to try new strategies at getting the

job done and accumulating experience. The pilot project on rural

development .is one attempt in this direction,


19.2, General Description of Project

The "Pilot Project on Rural Development" is an expansion

of the "Badeku Village Development" supervised by the Department

of Agricultural Economics and Extension with the cooperation of

other departments in the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.

The project was started in 197b in one village, Badeku, and expanded

in 1973 to 18 villages, and 26 villages in 1974. In 1976, there

were 50 villages participating in the programme.

During the first three years of the project, it was reliably

demonstrated that the strategy of operation has immense value for

the rapid improvement in traditional agriculture. However, a

programme for agricultural improvement will have limited impact

if-it does not cover a sufficiently extensive area. The project

was therefore expanded in 1973 to test if the techniques and

procedures used successfully in Badeku can be reproduced with full

confidence through a normal .extension approach in a group of villages.

Badeku, the original village in which the project was

initiated is located in a rural community in the rain forest area

of Oyo State in Nigeria, 17 miles from the University of Ibadan

campus. The expanded project, however, covers two ecological

areas. The Egbeda (Badeku) unit of 19 villages is located in

rain forest zone and the Fashola unit of 11 villages in &the derived

Savannah ,zones.

The general objective of the project is to enhance rural

development by using the 'concept of area and regional planning,

community involvement, active participation, and agriculture

(primary production) as the medium for generating rural awareness

commitment and action.

The specific objectives are:

1. To create an innovative area. The idea being that the

villages should serve as a testing ground to see how

quickly and permanently technological changes in

agriculture, health, nutrition and women welfare

activities could be achieved, keeping in mind that

these changes, institutional and organizational

procedures are reproducible in other parts of the


2. To provide a laboratory type situation for concerned

staff and students of the Faculty and University, in

which they can study, observe and participate in rural


3. To provide a link between concerned research workers

of the University, other agencies and the rural people

for whom they work, It is anticipated that the project

should make it possible-for researchers to come into

closer contact with rural people, enabling them to

better understand rural problems and reaction.

This will aid in,the organization of more relevant

research more directly applicable to the problems of

rural agriculture and development.

4. To provide a basis for promoting local initiative,

selforeliance, confidence, and participative

involvement in the planning and implementation of rural

development programmes.

1935. The Plan of Action

The plan of, action for achieving the specific objectives

enunciated above included.

1. Selection of the ,project area-with due cognizance for

(a) Size of village population

(b) Nearness to the University of Ibadan campus

(c) All season accessibility by road and

(d) Receptivity to .change and extension staff by

most of the villagers.,

2. Situation analysis through .a bench mark survey to

determine the socio-economic and agricultural status

of the community.

5. Formulating a development programme.with the village

representatives and

4. Implementation of the programme, through village

commitment, local organizations and other government



19.5.1. The Situation

The operationalization of an integrated rural development

strategy in this area was conceived on a thorough knowledge of

the situation. This was achieved through a socio-economic survey

undertaken in Badeku in 1970 and 20 villages (including Badeku

resurvey) in 1974. Almost all heads of household were interviewed

using a structured pre-tested questionnaire. In a few cases, an

open-ended instrument was used to obtain in-depth socio-economic


The predominant religious belief in both area is Islam,

practiced by 78 percent of the population. Christians make up

20 percent of the population in Egbeda and 12 percent in Fashola.

In both areas, 24.5 percent of the heads of household have

more than one wife. In the Fashola area, 80 percent of the

population have no formal education, and of the 20 percent that

does, it was either of a religious nature or only a few years of

primary education. In the Egbeda area, 60 percent of the

population have no formal school education. The population is

predominantly Yoruba speaking and relatively more males than

females have formal education.

Over 90 percent of the population in both areas are farmers

(primary occupation). Most of this proportion-60 percent and 42

percent in Fashola and Egbeda areas respectively are full time

farmers- i. e., they derive all or most of their income from


agriculture. Important subsidiary occupation include: hunting,

trading, carpentry, masonry, palm wine. tapping, tailoring, bicycle

repairing and blacksmithing.

The vegetation in the Egbeda area is mostly,rain forest

with temperatures ranging from .70 F 90oF( oC *C)* most of the

year. The annual rainfall of 40" 60" peaks in June. and October.

The dry season is between December and March.. The.major crops

are Cocoa (26% of cultivated area), oil palm (12%),,kola nuts

(12%), citrus (120), cassava (12), yam (7?), maize (7'),

cocoyam (5%), and beans (0.5%) (Patel and Olayide, 1977).

Mixed cropping is widely practised in both food andr export/cash

crop production.

The Fashola area, by contrast, is primarily a derived

savannah vegetation area with open woodland and tall perennial

grasses. It ,experiences an annual rainfall of about 45 inches

within: 78 100 rainy days between May and October... .The area is

ecologically ideal for food crop production and mos't'-of the

conventional export tree crops of the State are absent in this

area. The major crops are yam (40% of the cultivated--area),

cassava (30%) and maize (15%). Other minor food. crops in this

area include cocoyams, beans (cowpeas), vegetable s, etc. The

average land holding in this area is 14.78 acres, half of which

is *ually under fallow with other half. carrying. crops. Each

piece of land is usually actively cropped for 5-4 yea=s before


reverting to a 5-10 years fallow. Although most of the farmers

may be classified as small Holders, 16 percent of the farmers

own.42 percent of the cultivable area. At'ftho time of the survey,

all farm operations are performed by human labour.
S..... ........... ... t.. Ig the eoa a~re, 80 peceno~T The -ouFeholdT-owned

poultry, 60 -percent keep- goats and 40%. owned some sheep. The mean

livestock.sizewas 21 chickens, 6 goats and 4 sheep. Ii the

Fashola area, 70 percent, :50 percent and 30 percent of the house-

holds owned poultry, goats and sheep with a mean of 22 chickens,

5 goats and 6 sheep per household. Most of the livestock is

managed under the free-raiige system. About 4 percent of the

household used deep litter, 0.6 percent used pre-mixed feed and

1.0 percent have adopted Improved poultry. Some farmers in the

Fashol. area owned cattle' but management and husbandry! is done

by Fulani who are employee( specifically for this purpose.

Cattle; is reared mainly f(r meat, less for milk and rarely used

as a source of farm power.

19.3.2. Farmer-Rural Development Worker Contact

The results of the bench mark survey showed that even

though a large proportion of those interviewed have heard of

government programmes for rural development, very few of them

have actually had contact with government functionaries or

benefitted directly from their services.

The table 19.1 shows different levels of contact between

respondents and rural development workers.


Table 19.1:Farmer-Rural Development Worker Contact

Category of Rural Farmer Response
Development Worker
Know of Met Gone to/
Him -Him Asked his

1. Agric. Extension Worker 78 57 55

2. Agric. Credit Assistant 49 25 16

3. Rural Health Worker 68 50 25

4. Adult Education Teacher 51 56 25

5. Community Development
Worker. 28. 12. 8

Total 274 180 109

Even though radio.ownership was low in.th: jgspjct area,

radio listenership and exposure was quite high. It was by far

the most important source: of information, used by 84 percent of

' the farmers in Egbeda and 60 percent of the respondents in the

Fashola' area. Th next i portant extension information transfer

method wajs methodI demonst ration. Agricultural shows ..g. local

language newspapers were pinor sources of agricultural information.

19.3.4. broup Idlentifica ion and Patrticipition

SSeve ralfarmers (75; percent of the population in Egbeda

Said 1'Opeircent in Fasholai area) are members of cooperative But

more .important in these villages is active participation in informal

traditional groups. About 60 percent of the farmers in Egbeda

area and |46 percent of thbse in Fashola area belong to some! kind

of infornial group; either for mutual farm help or credit purposes.

These groups were quite active and met very regularly to assist

members jith thei- several problems.

19.3.5. Response! to AgriCultural Technol'ogy

The! level or knowle ge and use of new and improved

agricultural technology i both areas of the project- is shown

in Table 19.2. Farmers in Egbeda area have heard and actually

applied most of the on-going agricultural recommendations.

Table,,19.2:,Response ,to Agricultural Techn6logy-1973 Survey

Percentage of Farmers Who
P..ractice Have Heard of 'Used it
Egbeda Fashola Egbeda Fashola
Unit Unit Unit Unit

Fertilizers.. 89 95 17 16

Improved Seed (maize) 95 .. ... 22; 14

Improved Cocoa Variety 97 -* 18 -*

Chemical Spraying of Cocoa 97 -* 47 -*

Improved Oil Palm Variety 95 -* 3 -*

Improved Cassava Variety 90 22 2; 0

.Improved Kolanut Variety 87 -* -*

Improved Citrus Variety 78 -* 3 -

Improved Cowpea Variety f 75 13 15 1

Insecticide for farm storage 85 16 10 6

Chemical Spray- on. Maize Farm 85 37 26 4

Govt. .Credit.& Loan Utilization 90 67 2 4

Govt. Tractor Hire 69 62 1 2

* Crop not grown in the Fashola area.


19.3.6. Programme for Rural Intervention....

The result of the benchmark survey provided basic

information for a better understanding of the limiting

,structures in Badeku and other project villages. Through a process

of continuous dialogue with the village leadership, a programme

of rural change and improvement was to be evolved, using

agriculture (farming) as the medium for entry into the community.

The,emphasis was. in

1. Improved maize seed utilization in theproduction process.

2. Fertilizer campaign

3. Introduction of new crops-adaptive biological technology

4, Labour saving devices

5. Expansion of farm loan and credit use

6.. Improved maize storage and marketing"

7. Live-stock production-management and improvement

p.. Water .supply-other infra-structure and services

9.. Human nutrition

10. Women welfare-community centre and income genera'tihg


S.. 11. Public health and: sanitation

12. Group action: and

13., Rural.,educatign-consciousness!:raising and rural Awareness

programme .which was to. span all the *activities'listed above.


19.4. Strategy-+for nation

The success of any programme depends on a well organized

body of knowledge and strategy of action. The basic theoretical

formulation applied in this project derives from two major

parameters: "Equilibrium-Disequilibrium and Clientele Participation-

Non participation" in programme decision and implementation.

The parameter; .equilibrium disequilibrium is relevant in the

context of rural Nigeria where communities have their systems

and forceswell balanced and neutralized that a state-of near

perfect equilibrium exists. The rural farmer endures.a.passive

existence in a situation which he is incapable of changing.

Based on past experience, he is over-cautious of technological

structural and institutional innovations from external sources.

Under such conditions, programmes of rural intervention are more

likely to succeed if a state of guided disequilibrium is created.

The second'parameter-of clientele participation-non-

participation is even more important considering the bureaucratic

nature of government ministries having responsibility for

agricultural development and rural improvement in Nigeria.

Burdened by the legacy of colonial rule, the Nigerian agricultural

administration is characterized by centralization or clientele

non-participation at different levels. Farmers as a client

group of government have probably not received adequate attention

in the conventional public administration. The administrators








Fig. 19.1: Parameters of The Strategy. for.-Iural Development

Source -based on Patel's C.oneptualization.


have made very little effort to identify themselves with rural

people and their problems. Consequently, the latter view their

activities with distrust and suspicion (Patel and Olayide, 1977).

Externally induced programmes of rural change have a higher chance

of success if a feeling of trust, openness and partnership is

developed through participative involvement.

Essentially, this model suggests that in a system at

equilibrium, clientele participation serves little purpose.

It generates rhetorical effusions and ideological wranglings

which are wasteful and result in mass dissatisfaction. On the

other hand, clientele non-participation in a state of equilibrium
':-:'results in fatalism, anomie and stagnation. Both cases suggest

the need for disequilibrium in the induced development proCess .

In a dynamic situation, clientele-non participation is

indicative of allienation and dictatorial behaviour on part of

the leadership. Such a system breeds resentment even though it

could lead, to progress. However, clientele participation within

a system in disequilibrium enhances dialogue, trust, confidence

and understanding amang all those involved in the development

process. Participation thus leads to progress and satisfaction.

19.5. Operational Processes ,

Based on the general development strategy-.described above,

a more specific process for improvement in rural living through


change in agriculture was evolved as shown in Figure. 19.2.

As mentioned earlier, the bench mark survey provided a basis for

the identification of broad problems through dialogue with the

village leadership. The determination of solution to technical

problems was however undertaken through consultation with and

visits by agricultural scientists of specialist institutes and

the faculty of agriculture at the University of Ibadan.

Al A

-I J

~: *-'*] I


Problem Finding Adaptive Exten
Identification Solutioni E atio
Trial Education

Evaluation Developing Contractura' Legitimationi
Organization services fon
for planning trial by
and action Farmers

Fig. 19.2. Paradigm of the process of change in agriculture.

19.5.1. Adaptive trial

Once a scientist thought that a solution based on sound

research was available to a problem, one or more adoptive trials

were conducted in a.village on a small scale. The purpose of

the. adaptive trials were to test:

1. the technical efficiency and ecological adaptability

of the research recommendation under village conditions.

2. assess the economic profitability of the new method.

3. Provide the extension assistant. an opportunity to

learn the.new method ~nd determine the reaction of


4.. Provide the scientist.with an.opportunity to anticipate

problems that could arise from the application of the

recommendations, and

5. demonstration to farmers.

The; agricultural scientists had. primary responsibility for

organizing and establishing these adaptive trials with the project

extension assistants, executing routine activities under his

guidance. So far, adaptive trials have been carried out on maize,

sweet potatoes, soybeans,cowpeas, and the, use of herbicidese.
r . .


19.5.2. Extension Education

Farmers are educated using a variety of methods to convince

. t.''em of the superiority of innovations. The method used most

often is the village visit duringtwhich farmers are contacted

individually. The officials of indigenous village' groups are

educated in the beginningand they in turn inform their members.

Before each planting season, project assistants attend

general' meetings of indigenous groups to discuss new recommend-

'ations'and their use. A two day training programme is arranged

every alternate year at the University campus, for village groups

leaders. A newsletter is published in Yoruba every three months

and distributed free to farmers.. Office calls by farmers are

quite important and representatives from three to five villages

visit the project staff every month for-.discussion on credit,

marketing or guidance on technical-problems.

Each indigenous group is encouraged to grow maize and other

crops on' group' farms through group effort.. .These .group farms

Share supervised more intensively by the project staff. Thus the

group -farms serve as -an excellent training, place. for..

.individual members.

19.5.5. Legitimation

Legitimation is achieved through indigenous groups at

village level and the area planning councils at area level.

Decisions taken at both levels seem to have group approval and

'snction.'- Also, adaptive trials are usually located on sites

selected by the group and/or village leader and group members

accept responsibility for such decisions.

19.5.4. Contractual Services for trial by small farmers

It has been observed that even though farmers are

convinced of the superiority of an innovation by observations

on adaptive trials and further demonstrations, this did not

guarantee adoption. They persisted with small scale trials on

their farms and preferred limited size purchase of essential


Under these conditions, the project arranged for the

.purchase and distribution of inputs on a contractual basis on

the understanding that if the .experiment succeeded, the

villagers will. sustain it through their indigenous groups.

iThe.:.farmers willingly paid for inputs and service charges. The

process has been extremely useful in helping the small farmers

through a most critical -stago in.the adoption decision process.

To the villages have major responsibility for.purchasing

their inputs.


19.5.5. Developing organization for -plannTingand action

The project'had a very small staff and could hardly

stretch itself to satisfy the demands of the villages. It was

therefore necessary to develop organizations at village and area

levels for the purpose of coordination. At the village level

were the indigenous groups and at the area level, the area planning

council. Both organizations provided the framework for planning

and -review-& f- -prob1eirs a"and- programm-es-;-

19.5.6. Evaluation

The'progress so far made in the project shown in Table 19.3.

Even though it may-be too early to measure the impact of the

project in these areas, one thing is certain, that the farmers

in the project villages have now developed a sense of pride and

confidence in their indigenous groups as a basis for rural

development." They now see themselves as active participants in

the activities that shape their reality rather than passive

consumers of government programmes and directives. This of

course, is the foundation of real change and self development.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources has,

through this project, become more aware of some problems of

agricultural administration, fertilizer and input distribution

and marketing.


-':-The agricultural credit institutions in the state have

enei'ted' from experiences of. the project and are currently

experimenting with new credit policies for the small farmer.

19.6. Problems Encountered

19.6.1. Local Leadership,

The achievements of the project have not been without

problems and hardship. ,Perhaps the biggest problem was that of

developing local leadershipand village level infra-structure

and organization that could take up the responsibility for farm

supplies, credit and marketing.

- 19.6.2. Technological and physical constraints

The major crop of .emphasis in.both areas is maizeb In

the Egbeda area land availability and level of fertility is a

major problem-particularly with minor elements such as zinc,

sulphur and magnesium. The land problem is being contained

through continuous maize cropping and high corrective doses of

fertilizer. In the Fashola area, weeds (Imperata cylinderica)

is major problem. This is presently being tackled with herbicide

adaptive trials, demonstrations and use.

19.6.3. Labour

Rural-wage structures are least attractive to rural labour

if and when such labour is ever available. It is now observable

phenomenon for migrant labour to bye pass farm work in favour of


unskilled urban jobs even where the associated real wages are

less than rural wages. Measures such as tractor pl'u Ti and

use of herbicides are being resorted to in order to solve the

labour problem.

19.6.4. Institutional Constraints .. ..... .. ..

(a) Maize marketing has been a major-source of concern.

Usually, there is no'ready market for new varieties of

maize which rural home makers say is'not suitable for
the preparation of local diets. Those who are willing

to try new varieties are usually prevented by perceived

hazard o-f-.a-eekieidee-fpplied- -to- g-i-a during storage. Not

only does the ministry of agriculture buy maize"

through contractors but 'it offers very low prices when

it buys directly from farmers. Local maize users'

(feed companies) are substuting millet, sorghum and

wheat bran for maize in their feed, consequently, there

& :- .,- is..-low 'demand.

(b) Inter-Agency Co-ordination

The field and divisional staff of different development

ministries usually do not meet to..plan- and .implement

a coordinated approach to rural development. Usually,

government functionaries tend to work in isolation.

'The systeti of advisory committee,-area planning council

and village level indigenous groups developed within


the "project has helped with providing coordination and

Complementary support.

(c) Supply of farm inputs

The supply of fertilizer and other agricultural

chemicals 'by accredited government agents continues to

be a source of problem with specific reference to timely

farm operations. Sometimes, fertilizers are sold in

too large quantities than the farmer needs or can afford.

Tractor time and production credit usually reach the

farmer too late 'to have' the desired effect.

The project continues to work' closer with the relevant

agencies to improve the input supply situation.

19.7. Summary and Conclusions

The pilot project on rural development discussed in this

paper is essentially an action research and service programme

designed primarily to test how to plan and implement rural

development with those affected cooperating. So far, the project

has demonstrated that with the right type of leadership and

ecologically adaptable technology, scientists, farmers and

rural development workers will participate in the planning and

execution of programmes for rural improvement.

It is important that such a programme should be based on

a thorough knowledge of the local situation and needs of the


people. These should be a deliberate attempt to develop local

organizations and institutions that could assume responsibility

for further programming and action as. the project winds up and

moves on to duplicate its activities somewhere else.

Problems will continue to arise, but a good project should

anticipate such constraints and plan appropriate solutions as

they occur. An essential philosophical premise of this approach

to agrarian development in third world nations is that its

successful replication around the country is necessary for the

realization of its full benefit. Preliminary results from its

project suggests that this is possible.

Table 19.3


S Ebeda Unit

S1975 1976* 1974 1975 1976*

1. No--of Villages

14 12 17

2. No. of indigenous groups 15 16 23

3. Maize acreage under group farms 107 72 87

4. Herbicides sprayed on maize

5. Insecticides sprayed on
cowpeas (acres)

6. Use of fertilizer (in bags,
each of 50 kg.)





7. Loan given by'.0redit
Corporation in ff

8, Loan due in .
9. No. of demonstrations in
pigeon peas
Sweet potatoes
Fertilizer application

4 12 14

63 147 169

0 0 0

0 0 0

o 380

0 190

0 110

0 60

0 5

0 296 324

0 148 200


0 324

45 0 0 34 0 0

4074 6729 3940

1908 6035 9380

Nil 3440
Nil 3440

1 10


0 1 10

0 1 -
.0 0 1
1 0 -

Till June,- 1976

1/ Most of these dues are owed by
it for on-lending .to members.
amount in buying two vehicles,
other a truck. These vehicles
buys fertilizer for villagers.

only one group (Badeku). which received
This group has invested most of this
one for passenger pick-up and the
serve the entire village. It also

2/ This loan includes only first instalment.

4 10

Fashola Unit


A.. - -, f t, .J1 .4 U i

Items 1974 1975 1976 1974 1975 1976


10. No. of Women's Clubs

11. Women's cassava group farms

12. Construction of Community Hall
by Women

13. Health activities:

Demonstrations/lectures on-
wound treatment

Boiling drinking water

Breast feeding

Teeth Cleaning

Weaning of infants

Environmental sanitation

Care of umbilical cord

Causes of-malnutrition

14. Meetings with native midwives

15. Vaccination:

S. P.

T. B.

D. P. T.


B. C. G.


16. No. of villagers trained on
University campus:
17. No. of villagers on field-trip
18. No* of youth clubs
19. No. of.Area Planning Council

0 0








2 0


0 0



26 0

26 0

599 0

92 0


11 12 5 11 12 5

E b d U t

Tashola Unit

Egbeda Unit

Fashola Unit

Items 1974 1975 1976 1974 1975 1976

20. No. of Home Economics

Maize recipe

Cowpea recipe

Gbegiri Soup






.... .... R f e r e n c e.

.......te.....2L..and Olayide, S. 0. "Report on the Badekni Expanded
Pr object on Ruraal e-eT-_-,_eri.--n--ublished_.aper, 1977.

9; -

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