Farmers’ Perception of Factors Affecting Productivity in Yau Irrigation Scheme, Nigeria.

C. J. Ejieji, M F. Amodu


A survey of the farmers in the Yau irrigation scheme, Borno State, Nigeria was conducted in
the 2005/2006 irrigation season on their views concerning the factors contributing to the
declining productivity of the scheme. A structured questionnaire was used to interview 256
randomly selected farmers to obtain information on demography, cropping and farmers’
scoring of six categories of factors on a 0 to 3 Likert-type scale denoting no effect, small, big,
and very big effect respectively. The factors were grouped into climatic/ecological, sociocultural,
economic, competition, management/administrative and technological categories.
The frequencies of the scores were subjected to chi-square analysis. The factors in the
management/administrative category; high price of inputs in the economic category;
unexpected drying up of the river water in the climatological/ecological category, and
damming of the river upstream in the competition category were the most adversely rated by
the farmers with over 80% of the respondents in each case considering them as having big to
very big effects. They expressed willingness to pay economic rates for services if provided in
a timely manner. Despite their low level of formal education the farmers demonstrated good
understanding of their operation environment and most possess considerable experience on
the scheme. Their views should therefore form valuable input into formulation and
implementation of any irrigation-agency-farmer joint management programme. Such
management option which includes farmer-participation is suggested in this study as an
improved and sustainable management option to meet the expectation of the farmers and
encourage their commitment.

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