Discourse Journal of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Volume 5 Issue 4 Page 44 - 52. July 2017

Copyright 2017 Discourse Journals


Competency Improvement Needs of Farmers in Melon (Citrullus colocynthis) Production for Sustainable Agriculture in North Central, Nigeria

Ochani Nicodemus Agbulu.,  James Towo Aguma  and  Amonjenu Anthony

Department of Vocational Agriculture and Technology Education, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi Benue State, Nigeria


Abstract

This study was carried out to determine competency improvement needs of Farmers in Melon Production for sustainable agriculture in North Central, Nigeria. Three objectives guided the study while three research questions were answered and one null hypothesis was formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance. Survey research design was adopted for the study. The population of the study was 1,256,168 consisting of 1,254,818 registered farmers and 1,350 agricultural extension agents in North Central, Nigeria. The sample for the study was 708 consisting of 400 registered melon farmers and 308 agricultural extension agents. Taro Yamane formula was used to determine the sample size for the study. The instrument used for data collection was a 25-items structured questionnaire developed by the researchers from literature reviewed for the study. The questionnaire items were grouped into three sub-groups, each of the items in all the sub-groups had response categories of needed and performance. The instrument was face and content validated by five experts. Cronbach Alpha method of estimating reliability was used to determine the internal consistency of the competency items and reliability coefficients obtained were 0.80 and 0.75 for needed and performance categories respectively. The data collected were analyzed using weighted mean and Improvement Needs Index (INI) to answer the research questions and students’t-test was used to test the null hypothesis. The findings showed that melon farmers needed competency improvement in 7 items for pre-planting of melon, 7 items for planting of melon and 11 items for harvesting of melon fruits. It was recommended that agricultural extension agents should utilize the identified competency improvement needs in melon production to train melon farmers in order to improve in melon production, the identified competency improvement needs should be utilized by skill acquisition centers to train melon farmers and those who may be interested in melon production and policy makers in education should ensure that the teachers of agriculture in secondary schools and schools of agriculture should use the identified competency needs to train their students on step-by-step activities in melon production among others.

Keywords: Melon, Production, Farmer, Competency and Sustainable Agriculture

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