Journal of Dynamics in Agricultural Research
Available online at http://www.journaldynamics.org/jdar
Vol.4(2), pp.10-15, July 2017
Article ID: JDAR/JDYA21081701
Copyright © 2017
Original Research Paper
Perceived Roles of Extension Specialists in Helping Rural Farmer Entrepreneurs Develop a Successful Agro-food Business in Imo State, Nigeria
Chikaire J.U., Nnadi F.N. Anyoha N.O., Abdulsalam-Sagir P. and Orusha J.O.
1Dept. of Agricultural Extension, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.
2Dept. of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria.
3Dept. of Agricultural Science Education, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.
*Corresponding Author. E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Received 8 May, 2017; Accepted 13 June, 2017; Available on-line 14 July, 2017.
Planning a business is an important determinant of future business success, since it gives direction to the business. Extension specialists can be a catalyst in helping farmer entrepreneurs in developing a successful agro-food business. The study was conducted in Imo State, Nigeria. Purposive sampling technique was used to select 120 Agricultural Extension Advisory Services Providers (AEASPs) of the Imo Agricultural Development Programme (ADP). Structured questionnaire was used to collect data and analysed using frequency counts, percentage and mean. Of the 120 AEASPs, 88.3% were male, and 89.2% were married, with a mean (M) age of 45 years and 10 years of advisory service provision. The vital aspects of a good agro-food business were mission status. (80%), business description, financial plan among others. The various reasons for an agro-food business plan were provision of direction (M = 3.33); overcoming future business challenges (M=3.4); provision of insight into business operation (M = 3.54) and to identify challenges (M = 3.33) among others. The roles of AEASPs in developing a viable agro-food business were: stimulating entrepreneurship through information advisory services provisioning (M = 3.88); capacity building/strengthening (M = 3.39); linking farmers to market opportunities (M = 3.33); educating farmers on how to sell their produce (M = 3.44); strengthening managerial skills of farmers (M = 3.77); linking farmers to input sources (M = 3.34); assisting farmers in developing viable business plan (3.78) and the evaluation of business (M = 3.32) among others. The study recommended that AEASPs capacities should be strengthened periodically to be in tandem with the demand of their different clients in various fields such as rural agro-food entrepreneurs.
Keywords: Agro-food, business, specialists, planning, rural, entrepreneurs.