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Missing Link in Research Development and Technology Transfer in Nigeria

5162 words (21 pages) Essay in Technology

18/05/20 Technology Reference this

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Abstract

The existing of agricultural policies and strategies in Nigeria has fixed on agricultural research development and technology transfer. Governments and Non- Governmental Organisations focussed more on funding of Research but neglect transfer of technologies to end users. Some of these technology include.  Unfortunately, most of these technologies invented end up on book shelves which might be as a result of missing linkage that exist between the researchers and extension genetics (improved varieties or hybrids), crop management practices, plant protection (e.g,IPM), cropping systems, farm mechanization, Post-harvest technology and forage or range management personnel. Furthermore, lack of a close working relationship between agricultural research and extension organizations, and with different categories of farmers and farm organizations is one of the most difficult institutional problems confronting agriculture development in Nigeria. Therefore the study focussed on factors associated with the missing link among researchers, extension workers and farmers in technology transfer in Nigeria. Specifically the study was carried in south-western part of Nigeria where some of these research institutes located. The study employed the use of interview schedule for farmers and questionnaire for extension personnel and researchers. Data collected were analysed with frequency distribution, percentage, mean and standard deviation, while correlation coefficient and factor analysis were used to make inferences and isolate cogent factors that are associated with the linkage.  The mean age of the farmers was 48.5± 18.2years, extension personnel 42± 9.8years and researchers was 44y± 10.2years. Majority of the farmers were married and had primary education, extension had Higher National Diploma or  first university degree education while majority of the researchers had PhD. The finding further revealed that most (61%) of the selected technologies developed by research institutions were not known to the farmers, but remained with the researchers.  Less than 21% out of 39% farmers that are aware of the technologies are still using improved technologies while 18% had discontinued the usage. Major source of information include other farmers and extension agents. Constraints associated with Research-Extension-Farmers linkage include inappropriate technology, time lag between the availability of the research findings and their application by the farmers, gap between the level of education of researchers and extension worker, wages and salary differential, poor inter-organisational relationship, attitudinal problem, inadequate funds to conduct field work and training, administrative distinction between researchers and extension personnel. The linkage strength could be influenced by personal and psychological factor of personnel involved in research and dissemination. Significant relationship existed between researchers and extension personnel contacts and education, length of service, and experience on the job.  Conclusively, gap that exists between the technologies invented and those been accepted by farmers has to be bridged by developing stronger links between researchers, extension personnel and the farmers.

Keywords: Technology transfer, Linkage, Research development, Extension, Farmers

 

INTRODUCTION

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Give a man a fishing rod, and he feeds himself and his family for as long as the rod lasts. Help a man develop the knowledge and means to improve the fishing rod and to design and produce new ones, and he may feed himself and his society for years to come. (World Intellectual Property Organisation(WIPO),2008)

Agriculture remains the bedrock of Nigeria’s economic and nutritional development with an approximated 70% of the country’s over 180 million populace living in rural areas and engaging in agricultural–related activities. However, despite the involvement of large percentage of the population in agriculture, the country continues to experience perpetual food shortage and continue to spend the lean foreign reserve on importation of food. The perpetual food shortage is often blamed on ineffective agricultural research policies; lack of continuity in agricultural policies and programmes, poor implementations by administrators, low quality of extension system and poor linkage system of research, extension and farmers.

The IPCC defines technology transfer as a broad set of processes covering the flows of know-how, experience and equipment (IPCC 2000). Technology transfer is the movement of relevant specialized knowledge or innovations from research institutes to farmers for adoption with the help of extension agents and providing feedback to researchers in order to achieve the intended objectives.

Technology transfer (TT) is clearly defined by Grosse Robert,(1996) as the process of transferring skills, knowledge, technologies, methods, samples of manufacturing and facilities among governments or universities and other institutions to ensure that scientific and technological developments are accessible to a wider range of users for further development.

Technology transfer  can be classified into two major categories: (1) material technology transfer, where knowledge is embodied into a technological product such as tools, equipment, agrochemicals. (2) knowledge-based technology transfer such as the technical knowledge, management skills.

Technologies transfer (TT), or transfer of technology (TOT), is an integral part of the extension process involving the transfer and spread of technical innovation and know-how to the farming population. The objective of any technology process as indicated by Wang (2003) is the successful adoption of innovation or research findings by a significant majority of clients. Technology transfer requires research stations to disseminate information through extension agents and others to ensure that target audience receive the innovation through media and other.

In Nigeria, the last two decades have witnessed food insecurity, a problem that has been significantly linked with low levels of technology widely applied in food production by majority of farmers. The existing agricultural policies and strategies in Nigeria have focussed on agricultural research findings and technology transfer. Governments and non- governmental organisations focussed more on funding of research but neglect transfer of technologies to end users. Some of these technology include genetics (improved varieties or hybrids), crop management practices, plant protection (e.g,IPM), cropping systems, farm mechanization, Post-harvest technology and forage or range management.

Unfortunately, most of these technologies invented end up on book shelves which might be as a result of missing linkage that exist between the researchers and extension personnel. The lack of close working relationship between national agricultural research and extension organizations, and with different categories of farmers and farm organizations is one of the most difficult institutional problems confronting ministries of agriculture in many developing nations (Swanson, 1998).

Despite the fact that the linkage institutions are heavily invested in by the government, the problem of weak linkages, existing gaps and poor inter-organisational relation still exist. The poor coordination and linkage mechanisms in innovation and adoption have become a recurrent problem(Madukwe, 2008). Ifeanyieze  etal (2017) advanced reasons for weak linkage between research and extension. The authors reported that research and extension organizations generally compete over the same scarce government resources and, frequently, leaders of these institutions do not see themselves as part of a broader system in  the agricultural technology system (ATS). Instead, they try to increase the flow of resources coming to their respective institutions and to solve day-to-day management problems, rather than ensuring that their respective organizations contribute to the broader goal of getting improved agricultural technology to all major categories of farmers(Adesoji and Aratunde,2012).  So, effective interaction of agricultural research scientist, extension agents and farmers as key components of agricultural technology transfer. For agro-technologies to be relevant to local needs, researchers, extension workers and farmers must play crucial roles in identifying research problems, adapting the recommendations to local conditions and providing feedback to researchers about innovations that have been developed (Faborode and Laogun, 2008.)

This paper examines missing link in research development and technology transfer in Nigeria. Specific objectives of the study include to assess the farmers’awareness and usage of the technologies developed by researchers; examine the linkage that exist between the research, extension and farmers; Identify constraints to the effective linkage and  recommend factors that can strengthen the linkage for agricultural development. There is no is a significant difference in participationresearchers, extension agents and farmers in the technology transfer

Methodology

The study population consists of researchers in agricultural research institutes, extension personnel in extension agencies and farmers in two States. Four, research institutes: Institute of Agricultural Research and Training; (IAR&T), National Institute for Horticultural Research; (NIHORT), Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) and Forestry Research Institute were randomly selected from the existing nine research institutes in the study area because their mandate covers agricultural activities.  Simple random sampling technique was used to select 398 respondents which include 80 researchers;  extension agents (95) from the four ADP zones in Ikole-Ekiti and Ibadan, Nigeria along side with extension agents of National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services. (NAERLS) office; 233 farmers were selected from 40 farmers groups in the study areas.

Questionnaire was employed in obtaining information from the Researchers and Extension workers. Interview schedule was employed in obtaining information from Farmer. The data generated were subjected to frequency counts, percentages, mean and standard deviation.

Results and Discussion

Result from the analysis so that majority (67.2%) of the farmers were male,79.4% of extension agents were male, while 58.4% of researchers were male. The implication of this is that men were more involved in some of these activities than  women. Women need to be encouraged since literature as shown that number of women involve in farming   outnumber men especially in developing countries of the world. This results conformed with Adesoji and Aratunde(2012) that male sex is the dominant  in Research-Extension-Farmers-Input Linkage System (REFILS) in their study. Furthermore, majority (66.5%) of the farmers, extension agents(96.6) and researchers (92.5%)  were between the ages of 30-60years of age.  This implies that majority of the respondents are energetic and at a productive age in which they can still contribute to the development of agriculture in the nation. The study results  also showed that almost half  of the farmers attended primary. While above average (52.2%) were Higher National Diploma holders and majority of researchers were Masters Degree holders. The results of investigation show that the major source of information were the other farmers(77.7%). This was followed by extension workers and radio. In the present dispensation the major source of information on the new technologies invented by researchers ought to be extension works. Taking over of their job by the other farmers mighty be as a result of the fact most of the extension work were not well equipped in the hard and software of most of the technologies.

 Table Distribution of respondents showing their socio-economic characteristics

Farmers 233

Extension workers(95)

Researchers(80)

Variable

%

%

%

Age

< 30

6.0

3.4

7.5

30-60

66.5

96.6

92.5

> 60

27.5

0

0

Sex

Male

67.2

79.4

58.4

Female

33.8

21.6

41.9

Educational level

Never attended school

25.4

0

0

Primary school

48

0

0

Secondary school

21

0

0

OND

4.2

10.5

0

HND

1.4

52.2

6.2

BSc

0

30.7

12.5

MSc/ M.Ph

0

6.2

60.0

PhD

0

0.4

22.3

Sources of information

Other farmers

77.7

Extension personnel

56.7

Researchers

21.5

Sale agents

34.3

Radio

40.3

Television

25.8

News paper and bulletin

17.6

 

Farmers ‘awareness of the selected researches developed by research stations in Nigeria

Results  in table 2 show that majority of the farmers were not aware of improved technology such as genetics (improved varieties or hybrids)( 61%) , crop management practices 56.3%, plant protection (e.g,IPM) 58.4, cropping systems 60.1%, , Post-harvest technology(72.7%) and forage or range management(82.1%).  However, majority of farmers were aware of farm mechanization( 64.3%). It can be deduced from the finding that majority of the farmers were not aware of the recent technologies invented by researchers.

Table 2:  Awareness of improved  technologies among farmers

Improved technology

Aware%

Not aware

Genetics (improved varieties or hybrids)

39.0

61

cropping systems

34.1

65.1

farm mechanization

64.3

35.7

Post-harvest technology

27.

72.7

forage or range management

17.1

82.1

Usage of the research results

Despite claimed by some of the farmers of awareness of selected technologies only factional part ( 27%)  were using   genetics modified seeds,  farm mechanization(25.7%) cropping systems(26.2%), plant protection(IPM)(27.3%)  and improved  crop management practice(31.3%) (Table 3). This might be as a result of inadequate knowledge of these improved technologies usage on the part of farmers.

Table 3 usage of improved  technologies among farmers

Improved technology

Used %

Not used %

Genetics (improved varieties or hybrids)

27.0

73.0

cropping systems

26.2

73.8

farm mechanization

25.7

74.3

Post-harvest technology

16.3

73.7

forage or range management

10.3

89.7

Participationresearchers, extension agents and farmers in the technology transfer

Researchers in Technology Transfer

Table 4 depicts comparative analysis of participation of   researchers, extension workers and farmers in technology transfer. Researchers had high participation in identification of problems (73%); visitation to research institutes (68 %) and evaluation of technology (67%). However, researchers had low participation   in Small Plot Adaptive Technology(SPAT) (31%)  which might be as a result of  limited involvement of researchers in demonstration trials but more concerned with on-station research as reported  by Oladele  and Toriyama(2006) . 

Extension agents

Result in Table 4 show that majority of Extension agents participated in  the linkage activities  such as Small plot adoption technique(84.7%), group meeting with farmers(63.2) and joint field day with farmers (72.3). The findings might be as a result of the closeness with the farmers.

Farmers

Three linkage activities in which the  farmers majorly participated in include  SPAT (85.0%) and group meeting (63.9%) and joint field day( 65.6). Farmers were less involved in On-farm adaptive research(43.0%),  meeting with researchers(20%), problem identification training (20.7%)  and  evaluation of technology (17.2%).They were not involved in joint-report writing and technical committee.

These findings showed weak linkage in some of the major activities that could strength technology transfer. The collaborated the findings of by Oladele  and Toriyama(2006) that weak linkage existed among researchers, extension workers in dissemination of innovations to farmers and that activities that are to foster close relationship among them have been shown to have varying degrees of involvement a step that undermines the importance of these activities and weakening the whole system. 

Table4:Participationresearchers, extension agents and farmers in the linkage

Frequency of researchers, extension agents and farmers involvement in linkage activities

Researchers%

N=80

Extension workers%

N=95

Farmers%

N=233

  Training of farmers by extension agents and researchers

35.2

56

37.8

Group meeting with farmers

22.7

63.2

63.9

Meeting with researchers

65.3

36.9

20.7

On-farm adaptive research

93.4

42.1

43.0

 Evaluation of technology

67.6

32.2

17.2

 Problem identification

73.4

45.6

20.7

Visit to research institutes

68.3

39.2

6.0

Small plot adoption technique

31.2

84.7

85.0

Joint field days

42,6

72.3

65.6

Joint report

32.7

23.1

0

Technical committee meeting

43.1

41.5

0

Factors affecting Research-extension-farmers’ linkage

According to results in the table 5  majority of the researchers claimed  lack of a close working relationship between national agricultural research , extension organizations and farmers(95.7%), corruption(83..3%), research and extension organizations generally compete over the same scarce government resources(81.6%) inconsistence in Government policy(74.5%) were the most severe factors that affect linkage which in return have negative effect on  transfer of technology to the end users. In the same vain extension workers cited all the key factors as the main mechanism that causes missing link in technology transfer in Nigeria. Furthermore,  Farmers  indicated factors such as  lack of a close working relationship between national agricultural research , extension organizations and farmers(95.1%), Inadequate knowledge on the usage of the technologies(92.1%) the package of recommendations may not be suitable for farmers(88.2%), time lag between the availability of the research findings and their application by the farmers(80.0%), corruption(95.5%). However, farmers claimed that factors such research and extension organizations generally compete over the same scarce government resources , gap between the level of education of researchers and extension worker, inadequate funds to conduct field work and training and administrative distinction between researchers and extension personnel have no effect on the research-extension-farmers’ linkage and transfer of technology. The mighty as a result of the fact that factors mentioned were administration functions of the research and extension unit. The findings of the study is in line with the findings of Ifeanyieze etal (2017)  that poor linkage existed between researchers, extension personnel and farmers dues to poor collaboration altitudes and a top-down, centralized, linear, and inaccessible structure.

Table 5: Perceived factors associated with missing link in technology transfer in Nigeria

Factors associated with missing link

Researchers %

Extension work s%

Farmers %

Lack of a close working relationship between national agricultural research , extension organizations and farmers

95.7

84.3

95.1

Research and extension organizations generally compete over the same scarce government resources

81.6

88.5

0.0

Inconsistence in Government policy

74.3

79.5

54.3

The package of recommendations may not be suitable for farmers

56.7

76.4

88.2

 Inadequate knowledge of the usage of the technologies

45

69.2

92.1

Corruption

83..3

96.6

95.5

Attitudinal problem to work

48.1

56.0

60.3

Time lag between the availability of the research findings and their application by the farmers

64.2

73.2

80.0

Gap between the level of education of researchers and extension worker

75.4

86.2

0.0

Wages and salary differential among researchers and extension

65.4

78.3

0.0

Inadequate funds to conduct field work and training

90.0

95.3

0.0

Administrative distinction between researchers and extension personnel

66.5

87.2

0.0

Strategies for strengthening research extension farmer’s linkage in transfer of technology

Analysis of the results in Table 6 shown that for effective transfer of technology strong linkage must exist through the following ways. Researchers perceived  that for linkage to be strengthen, strategies such as increased wages and incentives for researchers and extension staff(96.0%),  improved coordination at all levels(86.2%) establishment and strengthening of liaison units at all states of federation(86.1%) and training on adaptive technologies and in value addition.

Extension workers shared the same opinion with researcher by submitting that all the strategies contributed to the strengthening of the linkage which will in turn promote transfer of technology among farmers for sustainable development.

In the farmers point view strategies such as establishment and strengthening of liaison units at state of federation, increased wages and incentives for researchers and extension staff were not so paramount to farmers so just above average indicated positive response to the statement of the opinion. On the other hand farmers were in support other strategies as contributing factor to strengthening research extension farmer’s linkage in transfer of technology. The corroborated the findings of

Figure 2 show strategies for strengthening Transfer of technology

IF=Increased funding for linkage activities

TA=Training on adaptive technologies and in value addition

TE=Training and employment of extension staff and their facilitation

CM=Change of mindsets among researchers towards extension workers and farmers

IC=Improved coordination at all levels

ES=Establishment and strengthening of liaison units at state of Federation

IW=Increased wages and incentives for researchers and extension staff

FS=Form and strengthen farmers’ organisations

Table 6: Perceived strategies for strengthening Transfer of technology

Strategies for  strengthening Transfer of technology

Researchers

Extension workers

Farmers

Increased funding for linkage activities

88.9

90.2

95.4

Training on adaptive Tech

76.6

92.1

63.2

Employment of extension staff and researchers

88.2

97.3

70.2

Change of mindsets

65

87

00

Improved coordination at all levels

86.2

72.5

100

Establishment and strengthening of liaison units at state of Federation

86.1

84.1

50.0

Increased wages and incentives

96

97.4

52.2

Strengthen farmers’ organisation.

51.2

77.2

91.4

Hypothesis testing

The results in table 6 show that is a significant difference in participationresearchers, extension agents and farmers in the technology transfer(F=8.23, P<0.05). The mean participation score indicated that extension personnel (64.4) participated in the linkage activities of technology transfer whereas low number of researchers(42.2)  and farmers 33.5participated in the linkage activity. The participation in the linkage will strengthen the technology transfer which is not strong among the three components. This finding is in line with the corroborates the finding of Oladele and Toriyama(2006) that gap exist in the transferable technology among the components in that facilities involved in transfer and usage of technology developed by researchers.

Table 7 One-way analysis of variance showing differences in the participation of researchers, extension personnel in the linkage activities of strategies for technology transfer

ANOVA model

Duncan Multiple Range Test

Sum of squares

df

Mean square

p

f

Group

Mean

Between the group

6122.342

2

3550.289

8.23

0.000

Farmers

33.486 a

Within the group

17421.547

38

386.397

Researcher

42.243a

Total

2435.166

40

Extension personnel

64.438 b

Conclusion and Recommendations

Linkage is essential element in agricultural development which is lacking in transfer of technology to the end users. Based on the findings, lack of a close working relationship between national agricultural research, extension organizations and farmers, administrative distinction between researchers and extension personnel, inadequate knowledge of the usage of the technologies, inconsistence in government policy, the package of recommendations may not be suitable for farmers and other related factors were causes of the missing link in the transfer of technology.  

The study thus recommends need to invest not only in the research that generates this knowledge, but also in high-quality and effective delivery channels, process mechanisms, and organizations/stakeholders that will use the knowledge once it emerges along the value chain. Furthermore, linkage strength among researchers, extension agents and farmers be improved upon so that farmers could relate freely with researchers and extension agents, thereby improve the bottom-top approach system of communication.

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