ADOPTION OF OBA 98 MAIZE PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGIES BY FARMERS IN DELTA STATE, NIGERIA
This study was carried out to examine the adoption of Oba 98 maize production technologies by farmers in Delta State. Specifically, the study ascertained major sources of information on Oba 98 maize production technologies; determined the extent of adoption of Oba 98 maize production technologies; determined factors influencing the adoption of Oba 98 maize pro-duction technologies; and identified perceived constraints to adoption of Oba 98 maize pro-duction technologies. The study was carried out in Delta State. Multistage sampling tech-nique was used to select the sample size for the study. In the first stage, six (6) LGAs were purposively selected out of 25 LGAs based on their popularity on maize farming. In the second stage two (2) towns farming communities that are popular in maize production were randomly selected from the six (6) LGAs giving a total of twelve (12) town farming com-munities. In the third stage, ten (10) maize farmers were selected from a list of maize farmers from the twelve communities through simple random sampling technique, giving a total of one hundred and twenty (120) maize farmers. Data collected on socio economic characteris-tics were analyzed using descriptive statistics consisting of percentages, frequency and mean scores. Objectives 1 and 2 were analyzed using frequencies and percentages. Objective 3 was analyzed using multiple regression, while objective 4 was analyzed using mean score and standard deviations. The statistical products and service solutions (SPSS) version 20.0 consti-tuted the software package used for the analysis. The study revealed that greater proportion (27.5%) of the respondents were within the age range of 31-40 years. Majority (65.8%) were male. About 43% had household size of between 8-11 persons. Majority (72.5%) were mar-ried. About 35% had more than 10 years farming experience. Also, 30% acquired primary school education. Majority (91.7%) were Christians. Furthermore, 45.8% received between N 10,000 and N 100,000 as income realized from the sale of maize. Majority (95%) cultivated less than 3 ha of land. A greater proportion (65.8%) inherited their farmland. Majority (61.7%) did not have access to credit facilities, but 38.8% received credit from institutional sources. Greater proportion (29.7%) had thrift savings as non-institutional source of credit. Majority (69.2%) of the respondents used hired labour as their major source of labour for maize production. Also, majority (73.3%) had been visited by extension agents. Majority (87.5%) belonged to one or more social organizations. Data collected on sources of information revealed that majority (33.3%) received information from radio. Technologies mainly adopted included use of planting space of 75cm by 25cm with adoption mean score of 3.48, use of post emergence herbicides with adoption mean score of 2.45and use of insecticides to control pest with adoption mean score of 3.38. Major constraints to adoption of innovations were poor access to sources of agricultural information with a mean score of 2.87, poor accessibility to institutional credits with a mean score of 2.86, inadequate rural roads with a mean score of 2.84 , inadequate extension contact with a mean score of 2.81, in adequacy of modern storage and processing facilities with a mean score of 2.77, poor health status of rural farmers with a mean score of 2.71, weak market information with a mean score of 2.67, scar-city and high cost of inputs with a mean score of 2.62 and ignorance of usefulness of the technologies with a mean score of 2.53. Conclusively, mean age was 37 years, mean house-hold size was 10 family members, mean farming experience was 11 years and mean number of years spent in school was 12 years. The only personal characteristic that influenced adoption was annual income realized from the sale of maize. It is recommended that farmers should be encouraged to participate actively in farmers/social organizations and co-operative societies in order to strengthen their group action and as such act as effective channels for extension information delivery system to farmers, when maize farmers are in cooperative societies they take advantage of government policies and programmes and attract more funds to themselves. Also, farmers should be linked to sources of affordable credit so as to enable them purchase necessary inputs and their complementary need.