Farm Labour Groups among Igala and Ebira Ethnic Groups in Kogi State : Current School News

Assessment of Farm Labour Groups among Igala and Ebira Ethnic Groups in Kogi State, Nigeria



Assessment of Farm Labour Groups among Igala and Ebira Ethnic Groups in Kogi State, Nigeria. 


The study assessed farm labour groups in Igala and Ebira ethnic groups of Kogi State, Nigeria. Specifically, the study examined the characteristics of farmers’ labour groups in the two ethnic groups; ascertained the perceived benefits of farmers’ labour group; found out farmers’ level of awareness and use of farm labour laws; determined group potentials for farmer-to-farmer extension; assessed the effectiveness of farmers’ labour groups in carrying out farm and non-farm operations; and identified constraints to labour group formation and productivity.

A total of 114 farm labour groups were randomly selected from the two ethnic groups (89 from Igala ethnic group and 25 from Ebira ethnic group). From each of the farmers’ labour groups, 3 members were randomly selected making a total of 342 respondents for the study. Structured interview schedule was administered to the selected farmers for data collection. Data collected were anaysed using percentage, mean score, standard deviation, student t-test, ChiSquare and factor analysis.

Results showed that majority (92.2%) of members of farmers’ labour groups from both ethnic groups were males with mean age of 52.2 years. The overall results showed that most (60.5%) of these farmers had farm sizes between 1-4 hectares. Majority (48.2%) of farmers’ labour groups from both Igala and Ebira ethnic groups were formed before 1990, having a mean group size of 11 persons.

Dearth of farm labour (86.3%); rural-urban migration (74.8%); and assisting one another and joint problem solving (44.7% respectively) were some of the major reasons for farmers’ labour group formation by farmers from both ethnic groups. While promotion of deep interpersonal relationships (M=3.84 SD=0.433); assisting indigent members in times of needs (M=3.37 SD=0.682) and increased in income (M=2.99 SD=0.815 were some of the benefits of farmers’ labour group. 


Title page ——————————————————————- i
Declaration —————————————————————– ii
Certification —————————————————————- iii
Dedication —————————————————————— iv
Acknowledgement ——————————————————– v
Abstract ——————————————————————— vi
Table of content ———————————————————– vii-xi
List of tables —————————————————————- xii-xiii
List of figures ————————————————————– xiv

Chapter one
1.0 Introduction ——————————————————— 2
1.1 Background information ——————————————— 2-9
1.2 Problem statement —————————————————- 9-12
1.3 Purpose of the study ————————————————– 12
1.4 Hypotheses ————————————————————- 12
1.5 Significance of the study ——————————————— 13

Chapter Two
2.0 Literature review —————————————————- 14
2.1 Smallholder farmers and the rural environment —————— 14-20
2.2 Formation of farm labour groups (structure and organization) — 20-27
2.3 Types of labour groups ———————————————- 27-31
2.4 Perceived benefits of farmers’ labour groups ——————– 31-39
2.5 Constraints to effective performance of farmers’ labour groups 39-47
2.6 Labour laws and rural labour groups —————————— 48-54
2.7 Group potentials for farmer-to-farmer extension —————- 54-60
2.8 Theoretical models for labour groups —————————– 60-64
2.9 Conceptual framework ———————————————- 64-66

Chapter Three
3.0 Methodology ——————————————————— 67
3.1 The study area ——————————————————– 67-69
3.2 Population and sampling procedure ——————————- 70-71
3.3 Method of data collection —————————————— 71
3.4 Measurement of variables —————————————— 72-75
3.5 Data analysis ——————————————————— 75

Chapter Four
4.0 Results and Discussion ——————————————- 76
4.1 Socio-economic characteristics ———————————- 76-82
4.2 Sources of farmlands and major crops grown —————– 83-84
4.3 Description of farmers’ labour groups ————————– 84-87
4.4 Reasons for farmers’ labour group formation —————— 87-89
4.5 Organisational structure and roles of farmers’ labour group – 89-91
4.6 Group composition and participation —————————- 91-94
4.7 Assistance and type of assistance received from government –
and donor agencies ————————————————– 95

4.8 Sources of fund ——————————————————- 95-97
4.9 Changing/enterprising roles of farmers’ labour groups ———- 97-99
4.10 Sources of agro-information —————————————- 99-101
4.11 Benefits of farmers’ labour groups ——————————– 101-104
4.12 First hypothesis testing ——————————————— 104-105
4.13 Constraints to farmers’ labour group formation and producti-
vity ——————————————————————- 106-109
4.14 Second hypothesis testing —————————————- 110-111
4.15 Factor analysis of constraints to farmers’ labour group
formation and productivity ————————————– 111-114
4.16 Awareness and use of farm labour laws ———————– 115-116
4.17 Farmers’ labour groups and farmer-to-farmer extension — 117-118
4.18 Effectiveness of farmers’ labour groups in some selected
farm and non-farm activities ———————————- 119-120
4.19 Third hypothesis testing ————————————— 120-121

Chapter Five
5.0 Summary, conclusion and recommendations ————- 122
5.1 Summary ———————————————————- 122-125
5.2 Conclusion ——————————————————– 125-126
5.3 Recommendations ———————————————– 126-127
References ———————————————————— 128-138


In Nigeria and most developing nations of the world, agriculture plays a vital role in economic transformation and food security. A review of the nation’s economic indices shows that the agriculture sector’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) was put at 60-65% in the sixties, 30-37% in the seventies, 36-37% in the eighties and 45% in the year 2000 (Mohammed, Achem, Omisore and Abdulquadiri, 2009).

The contribution later dropped to 40.1% in 2001 (Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, 2011; Muhammed, et al., 2009; Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in Koyenikan, 2008). Presently, the contribution stands at 41.8% (Opaluwa, 2013). This decline could be attributed to factors such as migration of young and energetic youth to urban centers (Ekong, 2010), old age and health-related problems of rural farmers, limited/lack of farm labour, among others.

The bulk of the food consumed in most cities in Nigeria come from rural farmers who employ indigenous techniques and family labour for most of their farm operations. Rural people are mostly smallholder farmers whose farmlands are small and scattered. Smallholders make a contribution not only to agricultural productivity but also to overall economic growth, by providing labour, capital, food, foreign exchange, and a consumer good market (Biggs and Biggs, 2001).

The adoption of family labour does not really bring about the much-needed economies of scale in food production. Before the advent of civilization, the extended family system played significant roles in the lives of the people. Members of the extended family lived and worked together and reinforced each other against the difficulties they had to contend with, especially farm tasks. 


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