Comparative Analysis of Cooperative and Non-cooperative Farmers’ access to Farm Inputs in Abuja, Nigeria
Access to farm inputs is one of the major challenges facing rural farmers in Nigeria. To alleviate this problem, government at different levels strongly recommended the formation of cooperative societies to farmers. Against this background, a study was conducted to determine if differential access to farm inputs exists between cooperative and non-cooperative farmers in Abuja, Nigeria. A multi-stage technique was used for sample selection while semi-structured questionnaires were used for data collection. A total of 360 farmers were randomly interviewed in four agricultural zones (180 cooperative and 180 non-cooperative farmers). Data were analyzed using two-way factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) and mean separation was done at 5% probability level. Results revealed that there was significant difference (P < 0.01) in cooperative and non-cooperative farmers’ access to farm inputs. Comparatively, the mean perceptions indicated that the cooperative farmers had more access to labour, loan, herbicide, insecticide, rodenticide, fertilizer, tractor services, storage equipment and processing equipment while the non-cooperative farmers had more access to land. The results also indicated that the most accessible farm input to both cooperative and non-cooperative farmers was land while the least accessible farm inputs were loan and tractor services. Based on the findings, the paper concluded that differential access to farm inputs existed between cooperative and non-cooperative farmers in the study area. It was recommended that government and non-governmental agencies should encourage farmers to form and/or join viable cooperative societies.
Key words: cooperative societies, least accessible farm inputs, mean perception, most accessible farm input, small-scale farmers,