Farmers' participation in vegetable innovation platforms in Southwest Nigeria

B.O. Lawal, O.I. Akintayo, O.T. Ayoola, M.O. Oyedokun, L.B. Taiwo, D.J. Oyedele, O.C. Adebooye
Innovation Platforms (IPs) are established to facilitate communication among actors along commodity value chain. Its use as entry point for dissemination of agricultural innovations has received attention in recent years. The paper presents the experience of using IPs to scale up micro-dosing innovations in Southwest Nigeria. It examined farmers' participation in IP activities, benefits derived from such participation and constraints to participation. The multistage sampling procedure was used to select 160 farmers for the study. Structured interview schedule was used to collect data from farmers. Only 148 of the interview guides were certified as containing enough information for analysis. Data collected were collated and analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Data collected were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings reveal high participation of farmers in decision making regarding the activities on the platforms. Majority of the farmers also participated in IP meetings (71.6%), capacity building/training sessions (90.5%), demonstration trials (83.1%), and business relationship meetings (81.1%). There was a low participation of farmers in leadership (10.8%), consultation (4.7%) and marketing (16.2%). Benefits derived include knowledge and skills in vegetable production using micro-dosing innovations, face to face interaction with other stakeholders, improved productivity and timely access to information. Insufficient market for produce during the wet season, credit to expand production during the dry season, lack of trust among actors on the platforms and lack of commitment of members were major constraints identified by farmers on the platforms. Income of vegetable farmers (r=0.173) and household size (r= -0.167) had significant relationships with participation at p≤0.05. Based on the findings, it is concluded that membership of IPs has benefited farmers. However, the project should improve on the linkage of IPs with the market and training on group dynamics among IP actors as ways of reducing obstacles to effective functioning of the IPs. This will facilitate effective dissemination, adoption of micro-dosing innovations and food security of farm families and further ensure sustainability of the IPs.
Lawal, B.O., Akintayo, O.I., Ayoola, O.T., Oyedokun, M.O., Taiwo, L.B., Oyedele, D.J. and Adebooye, O.C. (2019). Farmers' participation in vegetable innovation platforms in Southwest Nigeria. Acta Hortic. 1238, 157-164
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1238.16
multi-stakeholders, micro-dosing innovations, actors, MicroVeg, benefits

Acta Horticulturae