Over the years, provision of extension and advisory services has been the main thrust of both the public and private extension services in Nigeria. Meanwhile, the lead farmer extension approach has been deployed for cost effectiveness, broader reach and sustainability. The utility value of this approach needs to be empirically established. This study therefore examined the extent to which the approach has achieved the intended objectives among randomly sampled maize farmers in Iseyin and Saki-West Local Government Areas (LGAs). Interview schedule and focus group discussion among farmer groups were used for the study. Lead farmer extension approach was cost and time effective vis-a-vis the number of farmers reached and the achieved outcome. Almost 70% of the lead farmers encountered late arrivals and impatience from group members during step-down training activities while all of them complained of insufficient funds for refreshment. About 65% of the farmers engaged in selective adoption of the training items owing to various reasons. There was also a significant difference between the knowledge level of the lead farmers and their respective group members while the group members’ assessment of their respective lead farmers’ performance was high. The study concluded that this extension approach was effective and could serve to complement the efforts of extension workers in the state.
ADEBAYO, K.: Private sector participation in agricultural extension services in Nigeria. Paper prepared for presentation at the Farm Management Association of Nigeria Conference, Abuja, Nigeria. October 19-21, pp: 6-11, 2004.
BIRNER, R., K., DAVIS, J., PENDER, E., NKONYA, P., ANANDAJAYASEKERAM, J., EKBOIR, A., MBABU, D., SPIELMAN, D., HORNA BENIN, S.: From best practice to best fit: A framework for analyzing agricultural advisory services worldwide. Development strategy and governance division, Discussion paper No. 39. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington, D.C., 2006.
DAVIS, K.: Extension in Sub-Saharan Africa: Overview and Assessment of Past and Current Models and Future Prospects. J. Int. Agric. and Ext. Educ., 15 (3), 15-28, 2008.
EBEWORE S. O.: Participatory nature of Farmer Field School Extension Approach as compared with other Approaches in Edo and Ondo States, Nig. J. Biol. Agric. & Healthcare 3 (1), 123 – 132, 2013.
FRANZEL S., SINJA J., SIMPSON B.: Farmer-to-farmer Extension in Kenya: the perspectives of organizations using the approach. ICRAF Working Paper. No. 181. Nairobi, World Agroforestry Centre, 2014.
GFRAS: Fact Sheet on Extension Services. Position paper; June 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2016 From Global-Forum-for-Rural-Advisory-services_Fact-Sheet-on-Extension-Services, 2012.
KAILA, S. TCHUWA, F. FRANZEL, S. SIMPSON, S.: The Farmer-to-farmer Extension Approach in Malawi: A Survey of Lead Farmers. ICRAF Working Paper No. 189. Nairobi, World Agroforestry Centre. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5716/WP14200.PDF, 2015.