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1 STRATEGY AND PROCESS FOR CHANGING
2 AGRICULTURE IN RURAL NIGERIAI
,? THE BADEKU EXPERIENCE.1
s J. A. EKPERE
7 Agriculture is still a major sector of the Nigerian economy
a notwithstanding the present heavy reliance on petroleum as the primary
9 and most important source of foreign exchange earnings. Agriculture
10 provides gainful employment for over 70 percent of the population, food
it and raw materials for the nation as well as capital accumulation for
12 inVe5tment in the nOn-agricultural sector of the economy. For a number
13 of years, the emphasis of Niger-ia's agricultural policy makers
14 was focused on export cash crop production. Agricultural research
1s institutions also invested large sums of money and time in cash crop
16 improvement and production. In recent times however, several factors
17 including high cost of food, urban congestion and inflation has led to
is a reversal of this policy. A new dimension to the present situation
1.Paper presented at the Conference or! "Developing Economies in
20 Agrarian Regions: a Search for Methodology" held at the Rockefeller
Foundation Conference Centre, Bellagio, Italy, Aug. 4-6, 1976.
*Dr. J. A. Ekpere is Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Agricultural Extension
22 Services, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.
23 **The Expanded Pilot Project on Rural Development is organized and
supervised by the Department of Agricultural Extension Services
24 with aCtiVe participation of other departments in the Faculty of
Agriculture, University of Ibadan.
25 The Contribution of Dr. A. U. Patel, Co-chairman, Mrs.
C. E. Williams (Home Economics), Dr.(Mrs.) A. 0yemade (Health),
Dr. W. C. Weidemann (Marketing and Adaptive Trials) and Mr. R. C.
Matthewm~an (Livestock) in the preparation of this paper is highly
Professors S. 0. 01ayide and L. F. Miller have provided
A 7530-2 1 -OiY-4 746 guidance and support for this project.
iin Nigeria is a renewed concern for the rural areas and those who live
2 there. In the absence of proven research on how to do a better job of
a helping our rural population, it became necessary to initiate action research
4 programmes to try new strategies at getting the job done and accumulating
5 experience. The pilot; project on rural development is one attempt in this
7 General Description of Project
8 The "Pilot Project on Rural Development" is an expansion of the "Badeku
9 Village Development" supervised by the department of agricultural economics
io and extension(1) with the cooperation of other departments in the Faculty of
11 Agriculture and Forestry. The project was started in 1970 in one village,
12 Badeku, and expanded in 1973 to 18 villages, and 26 villages in 1974.~ This
13 year, there are 30 villages participating in the programme.
14 DUring the firSt three years of the project, it was reliably demonstrated
is that the strategy of operation has immense value for the rapid improvement in
is traditional agriculture. However, a programme for agricultural improvement
17 will have limited impact if it does not: cover a sufficiently extensive area.
is The project was therefore expanded in 1973 to test that the techniques and
19 procedures used successfully in Badeku can be reproduced with full confidence
20 through a normal extension approach in a group of villages.
21 Badeku, the original village in which the project was initiated is located
22 in a rUral COmmunity in the rain-forest area of 0yo State(1 in Nigeria, 17
23 mileS from the University of Ibadan campus. The expanded project, however,
24 COvers two ecological areas. The Egbeda (Badeku) unit of 19 villages is
(1) Now separate Departments of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural
1 located in the rain forest zone and the Fashola unit of 11 villages in the
2 derived Savannah zone.
3 The general objective of the project is.to enhance rural development by
4 using the concept of area and regional planning, community involvement, active
5 participation, and agriculture (primary production) as the medium for generating
6 rural awareness, commitment and action.
7 The specific objectives are:
8 1. To create an innovative area. The idea being that the villages should
9 serve as a testing ground to see how quickly and permanently
10 technological changes in agriculture, health, nutrition and women
1i welfare activities could be achieved, keeping in mind that these
12 ChangeS, institutional and organizationaT procedures are reproducible
13 in other parts of the country.
14 2.. To provide a laboratory type situation for concerned staff and
is students of the Faculty and University, in which~can study, observe
16 and participate in rural development.
17 3. To provide a link between concerned research workers of the University,
is other agencies and the rural people for whom they work. It is
19 anticipated that the project should make it possible for researchers
20 to COme into closer contact with rural people, enabling them to better
21 understand rural problems and reaction. This will aid in the
22 organization of more relevant research more directly applicable to the
23 problems of rural agriculture and development.
24 4. To provide a basis for promoting local initiative, self-reliance,
25 confidence, and participa-tive involvement in the planning and
implementation of rural development programmes.
1 The Plan of Action
2 The plan of action for achieving the specific objectives enunciated
3 above included:
4 1. Selection of the project area with due cognizance for
s (a) Size of village and population
6 (b) Nearness to the University of Ibadan campus
7 (c) All season accessibility by road
9 (d) Receptivity to change and extension staff by most of the
ii 2. Situation analysis through a bench mark survey to determine the
i2 socio-economic and agricultural status of the community
13 3. Formulating a development programme with the village representatives
is 4. Implementation of the programme through village commitment, local
16 OrganiZations and other government agencies.
17 The Situation
is The operationalization of an integrated rural development strategy in
iv this area was conceived on a thorough knowledge of the situation. This was
20 achieved through a socio-economic survey undertaken in Badeku in 1970 and
21 20 villages (including Badeku resurvey) in 1974. Almost all heads of
22 hOUSehold were interviewed using a structured pre-tested questionnaire.
23 In a few cases, an open-ended instrument was used to obtain in-depth data
24 On Some important issues.
25 The major emphasis in the survey was on
1. Demographic conditions and social organization
2 population, history, culture, socio-political structure, age,
3 male-female ratio, marital status, etc.
4 2. Natural environment location, climate, soil, water and
5 vegetation resources, land use patterns, ownership, etc.
6 3. Infra-structure water supply, roads, communication (postal )
7 systems, health, education, trade, industry (local and cottage),
9 4. Occupational structure employment, main and subsidiary sources
10 of income, etc.
11 5. Agriculture and related activities land and labour availability,
12 crops grown and cropping systems (sequence) and production, livestock,
13 USe of improved technology, markets, etc.
14 The population of the 20 villages surveyed was 6,367, of which 6,075
is (1,124 farm families) and 292 (60 families) were from the Egbeda and Fashola
is units respectively. The average family size was 5.40 in the Egbeda unit and
17 4.87 in the Fashola area. Of the total population, 22 percent in Egbeda and
is 18 percent in the Fashola area were non-resident, 52 percent of which were
19 sons. This was an indication that a large proportion of the young people were
20 migrating frOm the rural areas of this State.
21 The predominating religious belief in both areas~ is Islam, practiced by
22 78 percent Of the population. Christians make up 20 percent of the population
23 in Egbeda and 12 percent in Fashola.
24 In both areas, 24.5 percent of the heads of household have more than one
25 Wi fe In the FaShola area, 80 percent of the population have no formal
i education, and of the 20 percent that does, it was either of a religious nature
2 Or only a few years of primary education. In the Egbeda area, 60 percent of
a the population have no formal school education. The population is predominantly
4 Yoruba speaking and relatively more males than females have formal education.
5 Over 90 percent of the population in both areas are farmers (primary
6 occupation). Most of this proportion 60 percent and 42 percent in Fashola
7 and Egbeda areas respectively are full time farmers i.e., they derive all or
8 most of their income from agriculture. Important subsidiary occupation include
9 hunting, trading, carpentry masonry, palm wine tapping, tailoring, bicycle
io repairing and blacksmithing.
1i The vegetation in the Egbeda area is mostly rain forest with temperatures
12 ranging from 70oF 90oF ( OC- OC) most of thle year. The annual rainfall of
13 40"-60" peaks in June and October, The dry season is between December and
14 March. The major crops are (26%/ of cultivated area), oil palm (12%),
is Kola nuts (12%), citrus (12%), cassava(12%), yam (7%), maize (7%), cocoyam-
is (3%~), and beans (0.3%)() Mixed cropping is widely practiced in both food
17 and export/cash crop production.
1s The Fashola area, by contrast, is primarily a derived savannah vegetation
19 area with open woodland and tall perennial grasses. It experiences an annual
20 pafnfall Of about 45 inches within 78-100 rainy days between May and October.
21 The ared iS ecologically ideal for food crop production and most of the
22 COnventional export tree crops of the State are absent in this area. The major
23 CrOps are yam (40% of the cultivated area), cassava (30%) and maize (15%).(1)
24 Other minor food crops in this area include cocoyams, beans (cowpeas),
25 vegetables, etc. The average land holding in this area is 14.78 acres, half
Patel, A. U. and 01ayide, S. 0. "Report on the Badeku Expanded Project on
1 of which is usually under fallow with the other half carrying crops. Each
2 piece Of land is usually actively cropped for 3-4 years before reverting to
3 a 5-10 years fallow. Although most of the farmers may be classified as
4 Small Holders, 16 percent of the farmers own 42 percent of the cultivable
area. At the time of the survey, all farm operations are performed by human
8 In the Egbeda area, 80 percent of the households owned poultry, 60 percent
9 keep goats and 40% owned some sheep. The mean livestock size w~as 21 chickens,
10 6 goats and 4 sheep. In the Fashola area, 70 percent, 50 percent and 30
11 percent of the households owned poultry, goats and sheep with a mean of
12 22 chickens, 5 goats and 6 sheep per household. Most of the livestock is
is managed under the free-range system. About 4 percent of the household used
1J deep litter, 0.6 percent used pre-mixed feed and 1.0 percent have adopted
is improved poultry. Some farmers in the Fashola area owned cattle, but management
is and husbandry is done by fulani who are employed specifically for this purpose.
17 Cattle is reared mainly for meat, less for milk and rarely used as a source of
is farm power.
19 Farmer-Rural Development Worker Contact
20 The results of the bench mark survey showed that even though a large
21 proportion of those interviewed have heard of government programmes for rural
22 development, very few of them have actually had contact with government
23 functionaires or benefitted directly from their services.
241 The table below shows different levels of contact between respondents
25 and rural development workers.
Table 1. Farmer-Rural Development Waorker Contact
2 Farmer ResponSe
3 Category of Rural Gone to/Asked
Development Worker Know of Himi Met Him his Advice
1. Agric. Extension Worker 78 57 35
2. Agric. Credit Assistant 49 25 16
3. Rural Health Worker 68 50 25
4. Adult Education Teacher 51 36 25
5. Community Development Worker 28 12 8
1Source of Information
2 Even though radio ownership was low in the project area, radi-o
3 listenership and exposure was quite high. It was by far the most important
s source of information, used by 84 percent of the farmers in Egbeda and
5 60 percent of the respondents in the Fashola area. The next important
6 extension information transfer method was method demonstration to which
7 52 percent and 25 percent; of farmers respectively in the two areas have been
8 exposed. Agricultural shows and local language newspapers were minor sources
9 of agricultural information.
ro Group Identification and Participation
i Several farmers (75 percent of the population in Egbeda and 10 percent
2 in FaShola area) are members of cooperatives. ~But more important in thesE
3 villages is active participation in informal traditional groups. About
S60 percent of the farmers in Egbeda area and 46 percent of those in Fashola
s area belong to some kind of informal group either for mutual farm help or
i credit purposes. These groups were quite active and mnet very regularly to
2 assist members with their several problems.
3 Response to Agricultural Technology
4 The level of knowledge and use of new and improved agricultural technology
5 in both areas of the project is shown in Table 2. Farmers in Egbeda area have
6 heard and actually applied most of the on-going agricultural recommendations.
a Table 2. Response to Agricultural Technology 1973 Survey
o Percentage of Farmers Who
Have Heard of it Used it
2 Egbeda Fashola Egbeda Fashola
Unit Unit Unit Unit
4 Fertilizers 89 95 17 16
5 Improved Seed (maize) 95 94 22 14
6 Improved Cocoa Variety 97 -18
7 Chemical Spraying of Cocoa 97 -47
a Improved Oil Palm Variety 93 -3-
9 Improved Cassava Variety 90 22 2 0
o Improved Kolanut Variety 87 1
Improved Citrus Variety 78 3
Improved Cowpea Variety 75 13 13 1
Insecticide for farm storage 85 16 10 6
Ch-emical Sprvay Ejn Naize Farm 85 37 26 4
4 GOVt. Credit and Loan Utilization 90 67 2 4
5 Govt. Tractor Hire 69 62 1 2
Crop not grown in the Fasho'la area.
i Public Health and Environmental Sanitation
2 The result of a special health survey undertaken (in Badeku village
3 only) indicated that 6 percent of the households used sanitary pots, 10
4 percent used pit latrines and 84 percent deficated indiscriminately in the
bush, a practice considered hazardous to public health by only 8 percent of
b the population. About 5 percent knew that drinking water from highly
7 polluted sources could cause cholera. About 92 percent of the women
8 attend ante-natal clinic in the local health centre, but only 11 percent of
them were delivered of their babies there. The others had their babies at
io home attended mostly by traditional midwives. A high proportion of the
11 children have never been immunized against tuberculosis, poliomyelitis ,
12 measles, smallpox, diphtheria, whooping cough or tetanus. There is high
13 infantile mortality,; over 25 percent of the children dying before their
44 fourth birthday. Blood samples from farmers revealed incidence of malaria
is parasites and micro fl ora Stool specimen showed a high infection of both
is hookworm and ascaris. A detailed physical examination of 150 farmers showed
17 a high incidence of dental carries and gingivitis which occurred in 40 and
is 52 percent respectively within the sample.
19 Programme for Rural Intervention
2o The result of the bench mark survey provided basic information for a better
21 understanding of the limiting structures in Badeku and other project villages.
22 Through a process of continuous dialogue with the village leadership, a
23 programme of rural change and improvement was to be evolved, using
24 agriculture (farming)) as the medium for entry into the community. The emphasis
25 Wa 10' --- 0ugbile
1. 0yemade, A. and D. 0. / "Rural Health Activities" paper presented at
the workshop on Rural Development projects in N~igeria, Ibadan, April 26-30,
1 1. Improved maize seed utilization in the production process
2 2. Fertilizer campaign
3 3. Introduction of new crops adaptive biological technology
4 4. Labour saving devices
s 5. Expansion of farm loan and credit use
6 6. Improved maize storage and marketing
7 7. Livestock production management and improvement
a 8. Water supply other infra-structure and services
9 9. HUman nUtritiOn
io 10. Women welfare community centre and income generating activities
11 11. Public health and sanitation
12 12. Group action and
!a 13. Rural education consciousness raising and rural awareness
14 programme which was to span all the activities listed above.
15 Strategy for action
16 The success of any programnme depends on a well organized body of knowledge
17 and strategy of action. The basic theoretical formulation applied in this
1.a project derives from two major parameters: "Equilibrium-Disequilibrium and =SZ
19 Clientele Participation-Non participation" in programme decision and implementa-
20 tion. The parameter; equilibrium-disequilibrium is relevant in the context
21 Of rural Nigeria where communities have their systems and forces well7 balanced
22 and neutralized that a state of near perfect equilibrium exists. The rural
23 farmer endures a passive existence in a situation which he is incapable of
24 changing. Based on past experience, he is over-cautious of technological,
25 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.
,, Fig. 1. Parameters of The, Strategy for Rural Developm-fent*;
ia The second parameter of clientele participation non-participation
1, is even more important considering the bureaucratic nature of government
20 ministries having responsibility for agricultural development and rural
21 improvement in Nigeria. Burdened by the legacy of colonial rule, the
22 Nigerian agricultural administration is characterized by centralization or
23 clientele non-participation at different levels. Farmers as a client group
2j of government have probably received adequate attention in the conventional
2, public administration. The administrators have made very little effort to
*Based on A. U. Patel's conceptualization.
A284 7530-21 029-4746
1 identify themselves with rural people and their problems. Consequently,
2 the latter view their activities with distrust and suspicion.(1
3 Externally induced programmes of rural change have a higher chance of success
4 if a feeling of trust, openness and partnership is developed through
a participative involvement.
b Essentially, this model suggests that in a system at equilibrium,
7 clientele participation serves little purpose. It generates rhetorical
a effusions and ideological wranglings which are wasteful and result in mass
9 di ssati sfa cti on On the other hand, clientele non-participation in a state of
lo equilibrium results in fatalism, anomie and stagnation. Both cases suggest
IT the need for disequilibrium in the induced development process.
12 In a dynamic situation, clientele-non participation is indicative of
13 allienation and dictatorial behaviour on part of the leadership. Such a
1? system breeds resentment even though it could lead to progress. However,
is clientele participation within a system in disequilibrium enhances dialogue,
16 trust, confidence and understanding among all those involved in the development
17 process. Participation thus leads to progress and satisfaction.
is Operational Processes
19 Based on the general development strategy described above, a more
20 specific process for improvement in rural living through change in agriculture
21 was evolved. As illustrated in Figure 2, this process involved eight steps:
22 Problem identification
23 determination of solution
24 adaptive trials (CyAl's javen 3
25 extension education
(1) Op. Cit. Patel and 01ayide, P. 26
2 contractural services for trials by farmers
3 developing organization for planning and action
5 As mentioned earlier, the bench mark survey provided a basis for
G the identification of broad problems-through dialogue feith the
T village leadership. The determination of solution to technical
8 problems was however undertaken through consultation with and
9 visits by agricultural scientists of specialist institutes and the
10 faculty of agriculture at the University of Ibadan.
Problem Finding Adaptive Extension
12 *- -
Organization services fo
15 I vlain fIDvlpn -otatr4iLgtmto
for planning trial by
10 iiI and action I armers
17 Fig. 2 Paradigm of the process of change in agriculture.
18 Adaptive trial
19 Once a scientist thought that a solution based on sound research
20 was available to a problem, one or more adoptive trials were
21 conducted in a village on a small scale, The purpose of the adaptive
22 trials were to test:
23 1. the technical efficiency and ecological adaptability
24 of the research recommendation under village conditions.
25 2. assess the economic profitability of the new method.
1 3. Provide the extension assistant an opportunity
2 to leamn the new method and determine the reaction
3 of farmers.
4 4. Provide the scientist with an opportunity to
5 anticipate problems that could arise from the
6 application of the recommendations, and
r 5. demonstration to farmers.
8 The agricultural scientist had primary responsibility for organ-
'3 izing and establishing these adaptive trials with the project
10 extension assistants executing routine activities under his guidance.
11 So far, adaptive trials have been carried out on maize, sweet
12 potatoes, soybeans, cowpeas, adteueo ebcds
13 Extension Education
14 Farmers are educated using a variety of methods to convince
15 them of the superiority of innovations. The method used most often
is the village visit during which farmers are contacted individually.
17 The officials of indigenous village groups are educated in the
18 beginning and they in turn inform their members.
10 Beforeeach planting season, project assistants attend general
20 meetings of indigenous groups to discuss new recommendations and
21 their use. A two day training programme is arranged every alternate
22 year for leaders of village groups at the university campus. A
23 newsletter is published in Yoruba(1) every three months and
24 distributed free to farmers. Office calls by farmers are quite
25 important and representatives from three to five villages visit
ITi-T Yoruba is the predominant local language.
1 the project staff every month for discussions on credit, market-
2 ing or guidance on technical problems.
3 Each indigenous group is encouraged to grow maize and other
crops on group farms through group effort. These group farms are
supervised more intensively by the project staff. Thus the group
farms serve as an excellent training place for individual members.
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 sanction.
Also, adaptive trials are usually located on sites selected by the
group and/or village leader mad group members accept responsibility
10a for such decisions.
14 Contractual Services for trial by small farmers
15 It has been observed that even though farmers are convinced of
10the superiority of an innovation by observations on adaptive trials
17and further demonstrations, this did not: guarantee adoption. They
persisted with small scale trials on their farms and preferred
limited size purchase of essential inputs.
20 Under these conditions, the project arranged for the purchase
21 and distribution of inputs on a contractual basis on the understanding
22 that if the experiment succeeded, the villagers will sustain it
23 through their indigenous groups. The farmers willingly paid for
241 inputs and service charges. The process has been extremely useful
25 in helping the small farmers through a most critical stage in the
1 adoption decision process. Today the villages have major
2 responsibility for purchasing their inputs.
3 Developing organization for planning and action
41 The project had a very small staff and could hardly stretch
5 itself to satisfy the demands of the villages. It was therefore
6 necessary to develop organizations at village and area levels for
7 the purpose of coordination. At the village level were the
8 indigenous groups and at the area level, the area planning council.
Both organizations provided the framework for planning and review
10 of problems and programmes.
12 The progress so far made in the project is shown in Table I. Even
13 though it may be too early t-o measure the impact of the project in these
141 areas, one thing is certain, that the farmers in the project villages
15; have now developed a sense of pride and confidence in their indigenous
10 groups as a basis for rural development. They now see themselves
17 as active participants in the activities that shape their reality
18 rather than passive consumers of government programmes and directives.
19 This of course, is the foundation of real change and self development.
20 The Mvinistry of Agriculture and Natural Resources has, through
21 this project, become more aware of some problems of agricultural admin-
22 istration, fertilizer and input distribution and marketing.
23 The agricultural credit institutions in the state have benefitted
24 from experiences of the project and are currently experimenting with
25 new credit policies for the small farmer.
PROGRESS DTAB~ OF THE: BADEKU EXPANDED PROJECT
Egbeda Unit Fashola Unit
Items 1974 1975 1976*; 1974 1975 1976*
1.No. of villages 14 12 17 4 10 11
2. No. of indigenous groups 15 16 23 4 12 14
3. Maize acreage under group farms 107 72 87 63 147 169
4. Herbicides sprayed on maize
(acres) 0 0 0 0 0 60
5. Insecticides sprayed on
cowpeas (acres) 0 0 0 0 0 5
6. Use of fertilizers (in bags,
each of 50 kg.)
15-15-15 0 380 110 0 296 324
25-10-0 0 190 50 0 148 200
21-0-0 100 0 110 100 0 324
T.S.P. 4-5 0 0 34 0 0
7. Loan given by Credit 2/ 2/
Corporation in N 4074 6729 3940 1908 6035 9380
8.Loan due in N Nil 3440 -Nil 275-
9. No. of demonstrations in
Maize 1 1 10 0 1 10
Cowpeas 3 1 -3 2
Limabeans 1 1 -0 0-
Cassava 0 1 -0 1
Maize/Cassava 0 1 '1 0 0 1
pigeon peas 1 0 1 0
Sweet potatoes 2 0 -2 1-
Fertilizer application 13 16 -4 10-
*Till June, 1976
1/ Most of these dues are owed by only one group (Badeku) which received it: fo.r
on-lending to members. This group has invested most of this amount in buying
two vehicles, one for passenger pick-up and the other a truck. These vehicles
serve the entire village. It also buys fertilizer for villagers.
2/ This loan includes only first instalment.
Egbedla Unit Fashola Unit
Items 1974 1975 1976 1974 1975 1976
Herbicide 1 0 -0 -
10. No. of Women's Clubs 1 2 2 0 0 4
11. Women's cassava group farms 0 0 0 0 4
12. Construction of Community Hall
by Women 0 0 1 0 0
13. Health activities:
wound treatment 0 0 4 0 0 1
Boiling drinking water 1 0 10 0 0 5
Breast feeding 0 2 8 0 1 2
Teeth Cleaning 0 2 4 0 0 2
Weaning of infants 0 4 4 0 0 2
Environmental sanitation 2 2 6 0 0 4
Care of umbilical cord 0 6 0 0 2
Causes of malnutrition 0 0 12 0 0 4
14. Meetings with native midwives 0 0 4 0 0 1
S.P. O 150 0 0
T.B. O 360 -0 0
D.P.T. O 160 26 0 0-
Polio 0 166 26 0 0-
B.C.G. O 0 599 0 0
Measles 0 0 92 0 0
16. No. of villagers trained on
Farmers 46 5 -0 11
Youth 0 13 0-
17. No. of villagers on field-trip 188 55 -0 30
18. No. of youth clubs 1 4 4 0 1 1
19. No. of Area Planning Council
Meetings 11 12 5 11 12 5
Egbeda Unit Fashola Unit
Items 1974 1975 1976 1974 1975 1976
No. of Home Economics
1. Local Leadership:
The achievements of the project have not been without problems
and hardship. Perhaps the biggest problem was that of developing
local leadership and village level infra-structure and organization that
could take up the responsibility for farm supplies, credit and marketing.
2. Technological and physical constraints
The major crop of emphasis in both areas is maize. In the Egbeda
area land availability and level of fertility is a major problem -
particularly with minor elements such as zine, 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 a major problem. This is presently being
tackled with herbicide adaptive trials, demonstrations and use.
Rural wage structures are least attractive to rural labour if and
when such labour is ever available. It i~s now an 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 ploughing and use of herbicides are being re-
sorted to in order to solve the labour problem.
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
hazzard of insecticides applied to grains during storage. Not only does
the ministry of agriculture buy maize through contractors but offers very
low prices when it buys directly from farmers. Local maize users (feed
companies) are substituting 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 system of advisory committee, area planning council and village level
indigenous groups developed within the project has helped with providing
coordination and complementary support.
(e) 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 quantitities than the farmer needs or can afford. Tractor time
and production credit usually reach the farmer too late to have the desired
The project continues to work closer with the relevant agencies to
improve the input supply situation.
Summary and Conclusions
The pilot project on rural development discussed in this paper is
essentially an action research aind service programme designed primarily
to test how to plan and implement rural development programme 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
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 this project suggests that
this is possible.