Socio-Economic Factors and Integrated Pest Management Utilisation Among Cocoa Farmers in Edo State
Pests and diseases have largely contributed to decline the productivity of cocoa in Nigeria. For example, about 25-30% loss in yield of cocoa has been attributed to the cocoa mirid, Sahlbergella singularis while about 17% is lost through the feeding of the cocoa pod borer Characoma strictigrapta. Losses attributable to the major disease of cocoa - the black pod disease caused by Phytophtora megakarya range from 30-90%. Cocoa farmers have been trained on the use of Integrated Pest Management to control pests. The main objective of this study was to determine the effect of socio-economic factors on Integrated pest Management (IPM) utilisation. Information was collected on farmers’ personal characteristics and IPM utilisation. This study was carried out in Edo state and 60 cocoa farmers were randomly selected with systematic random sampling technique from the list of 100 trained farmers picking every respondent at interval of 3, 4 and 5. Questionnaire was administered to elicit information from the farmers. The obtained results revealed that 90.0% of the farmers were males who were in their prime age and 73.3% had formal education. Utilisation of IPM was high (75.0%) which signifies that most of the farmers have adopted the technique. There was significant relationship between sex (X2=5.4545, p<0.05), education (X2=11.4190, p<0.05), cocoa farmers membership of association (X2=7.2163, p<0.05) and IPM utilisation. This shows that sex, education and membership of association contributes to farmers’ high utilisation of IPM. Cocoa farmers in the study area need to be organized into an active and functional association/cooperative, to encourage the use of IPM technique. Education of young farmers can also be facilitated through this association/cooperative while female farmers should also be sensitized through training as agent of change in dissemination of information on the use of IPM.