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” Rather than apportion blames and to move agriculture forward in

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					     AUTHOR 1
  Name: Uwagboe Eghosa Osas.
  Professional background: M.Sc. (Extension and Rural Development) B.Agric. (Agric. Econs
  and Extension service). OND (Agric.),

  Job. Title: Research Officer

  Organisation: Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, P.M.B. 5244, Idi-Ayunre, Ibadan.

  Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria was established in 1964. The Institute has a mandate to
  carry out research on five tree crops namely, cocoa, kola, cashew, coffee and tea.

  The Institute has eight different programmes namely breeding, agronomy, soil and plant
  nutrition, pathology, entomology, extension services, economics and statistics, and crop
  processing.

  Address: Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, P. M. B. 5244, Idi-Ayunre, Ibadan.
     Tel. 08055447597 e-mail: eghecrin-2003 @ yahoo.co.uk.

  Information source: Dr. (Mrs.) S. O. Odebode
     University of Ibadan, Dept. of Extension and Rural Development Ibadan.

AUTHOR 2

  Name: Adeogun, S.O.
  Professional background: PhD. (in view) M.Sc. (Extension and Rural Development)
     BSc. (Agricultural. Extension Service).

  Job. Title: Research Officer

  Organisation: Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, P.M.B. 5244, Idi-Ayunre, Ibadan.

      Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria was established in 1964. The Institute has a mandate
      to carry out research on five tree crops namely, cocoa, kola, cashew, coffee and tea.

      The Institute has eight different programmes namely breeding, agronomy, soil and plant
      nutrition, pathology, entomology, extension services, economics and statistics, and crop
      processing.

   Address:Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, P. M. B. 5244, Idi-Ayunre, Ibadan.
    Tel. 08055137143e-mail: adeogun_lizzyste@yahoo.com

   Information source: Dr. (Mrs.) S. O. Odebode
     University of Ibadan, Dept. of Extension and Rural Development Ibadan.


TITLE: THE USE OF G.S.M.CELL PHONE IN RESEARCH –EXTENSION –FARMER –
LINKAGE AMONG CASHEW FARMERS IN NIGERIA.
OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT
1.To select ADP women extension agents in the project area.
2.To identify the villages with MTN network coverage.
3.To train the researchers, extension agents and farmers on the use of cell phone.
4.To disseminate the current CRIN developed technologies and marketing
  information to farmers through cell phone conference calls.
5.To monitor and evaluate the effect of the project on the beneficiaries.
6.To assess the impact of the project on the farmers through well structured questionnaire.
Background information
Information Communication Technology (ICT) can be defined as technologies that facilitate
communication and the processing and transmission of information by electronic means. These
include radio, television and telephone (land line and mobile cell phone). ICT offers the potential
to increase efficiency, productivity, competitiveness and growth in various business and social
sectors. The technology is so ubiquitous and the accompanying innovations qualify as a general-
purpose technology and there is hardly any field of human activity wherein ICT could not have
its profound influence (Helpman, 1998).
The ICT has been recognized as powerful tools for empowering poor women in various regions
across the globe. Many ICTs’ applications have played an important role in having been
instrumental in providing education and training, job opportunities, access to markets,
information related to economic activities such as agriculture and a range of citizens services.
Therefore, increasing the access to information and augmenting the process of information
exchange would minimize transaction cost.

THE NIGERIAN AGRICULTURAL SITUATION:
As with most sub-Saharan African countries, agriculture remains the main stay of the Nigerian
economy, employing about 70 – 80 percent of the population. It’s GDP contribution between 1980
– 85, averaged N34, 950.00 million and improved during the 1986 – 1996, moving from N40,
500.00 million in 1986 to 59,389.00 million in 1996. However “aggregate agricultural production
declined up to early 1980, (oil boom era), leading to a sharp decline in per capita real GDP in
agriculture. By 1985, the index per capita real GDP of agriculture was 35 percent points lower than
1970 (FOS, 1999).
According to Arokoyo (2003) Nigeria’s Agricultural Research and Extension System and the
farmers are often rightly or wrongly, held responsible for the poor performance of Nigeria’s
agriculture but the situation is much more complex than just the Research, Extension and the
farmer. He further stated that a nation’s Agricultural Research and Extension System (NARES) is
the most important single determinant of the level of its agricultural development hence the yard
stick of the quality of life of its people.

CASHEW PRODUCTION AND WOMEN INVOLVEMENT
        (Anacardium occidentale) is an economic crop in Nigeria and has long been grown in small
plantations in Anambra, Imo, Kwara, Oyo, Edo and Lagos States. It is also an important fact that
cashew production in Nigeria contributes in no small way towards the economic advancement of
Nigeria (Oduwole et al. 2001).
        In 1994, cashew nut accounted for N156.1m of non-oil export earnings in Nigeria, which
increased to N743m (U.S $7.43m) in 1995 (Central Bank of Nigeria Annual Report, 1997). The
mean annual production of cashew between 2000 and 2003 in Nigeria is 185,250 metric tons (FAO,
2004). The studies at Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria have established the possibilities of
utilizing the apple to produce juice, wine, vinegar, jam etc. while whole cashew kernels when
roasted plain or salted are consumed as desert fruit. However, ground cashew kernels are mixed
with cocoa to produce cashew chocolate and the broken kernels made into cashew butter (Olunloyo,
1999).
.Women have been known to participate in one form of agriculture or the other as well as community
and economic development (Odebode,S.O. and Akinsorotan, A.O.,2002). In a study carried out in
Nigeria Adeogun et al 2003,and Uwagboe, 2004
found out that women are directly involved in cashew production.
ICTs IN THE EXTENSION SERVICE TO DATE:

Several studies including the CTA-sponsored one on rural women’s access to public and private
extension services (Arokoyo, et al, 2002) have revealed that the village level extension agent is the
most effective source of information for farmers but certainly not the most efficient in terms of
cost and coverage. The women-in-agriculture program, which was found to have several extension
blocks expected to be filled by female extension agents, are vacant. It is therefore clear, that no
matter how effective, extension delivery through the village extension agent could be it can neither
be efficient nor cost-effective for a developing country like Nigeria, with a population of about
150.00 million, majority of who are involved in agriculture (70 – 80 percent) and are illiterate. The
Extension Service therefore must be appropriately supported with the use of ICTs.
At the inception of the state wide ADPs in 1980 the extension agent farmer ratio (EA: Farmer),
ranged “between” 1:2000 to 1:3000. This was expected to come down to “between” 1:800 to
1:1000 by the project completion date and the withdrawal of World Bank support. This target was
never achieved. A recent field survey by NAERLS and PCU (2002) showed that the EA: Farmer
ratio was “between” 1:848, in Ogun State in the South-West Ecological Zone to 1:1650 in Katsina
State in the North-West Ecological Zone. This is similar to the finding by Arokoyo et al (2002), of
ratio of “between” 1:1000 and 1:2000 in the public extension service.
Right from the inception of the ADP strategy, starting with the pilot/enclave ADPs and using the T
& V extension delivery, the development support communication component of the strategy has
made very significant contribution to the country’s agricultural development which started with the
mobile cinema vans going from village to village supported with minimum extension publications
in local languages, Then radio and mobile video vans and television were added with the world
bank assistance. The radio and the TV programs grew with the growth of the ADPs and the
creation of States in the country.
Despite the importance of these channels, it must be stated that the channels are still principally
owned and controlled by either the State or Federal governments. Unlike the case in several
Franco-phone West African countries, rural and/or community-based radio is virtually
unknown.Also the information content of these channels is more provider-driven than user-driven
and this has implications for extension delivery. Telephone use in extension delivery, even with
the recent launch and
explosion of the global system mobile (GSM) phone as a dividend of democracy in
Nigeria is non-existent to very insignificant (Arokoyo, 2003). The serious limitation of access to
reliable telephone lines makes even ordinary intra-and inter-organisational networking for
information exchange a harrowing and frustrating experience.
Although most of the NARES members now have computers for information and data
management, most of the computers have neither telephone nor Internet access. Even ordinary
email access becomes a big deal for a whole national Research Institute. The low computer literacy
level of the managers and staff makes the ICT-readiness of the system very low.
Other constraints militating against ICT’s Research –Extension-Farmers linkage are as follows;
Despite the worldwide ICT explosion, most of the research and extension
  organisations seem not to be fully “ICT-ready” (low rating).
Poor and erratic funding to the NARES.
High cost of power either through the national grid or stand-by generator 
Policy inconsistencies by government in both the telecommunication and
   agricultural sectors resulting in low-level private sector participation investment
   for development.
High-level rural poverty. 
High-level illiteracy of farmers and computer illiteracy among scientists and
   extensionsts.
7.Limited access to worldwide databases on CD-ROMs due to financial/foreign
    exchange constraints.
The limited coverage of States and National AM/FM broadcasts is compounded
    by the near absence of rural radio.
WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE AND LIMITATION TO ICT’s IN EXTENSION:
In a recent study of rural women’s access to public and private
extension services, no evidence was found that any of the services had
policies which limit women’s access to their services. Instead, the public and
some of the NGOs were found to have outreach programs for women
(Arokoyo, et al, 2002).
However, socio-cultural factors, which restrict contacts between the
genders in some communities, are important. With the very limited number of
female extension agents in the public service, coupled with the restrictions
between male agents and female farmers, access to extension for these
farmers could be severely limited. Appropriate use of ICTs in extension
delivery could significantly reduce or eliminate the barriers. Efforts must be
made to ensure that these disadvantaged women have full access to ICTs services.
 It can be concluded that the current ICTs use in extension delivery is extremely low especially as
it affects the information/ technology users, the farmers.
This project is an attempt to address some of the aforementioned constraints militating against
ICTs extension delivery and prospects in the use of GSM in extension delivery in Nigeria. Also to
identify the major actors, their roles and responsibilities in the project.
PROJECT AREA
Three local government areas of Oyo state, Nigeria
The local governments are, Ikoyi-Ile, Surulere and Ogbomoso North .
These local government areas were chosen based on their record of high cashew production out of
the sixteen cash producing local governments in the state couple with high coverage of MTN
network in the areas.
ACTIVITIES.
      Major Activities
         1st Month – Acquisition of handsets @N8000 and MTN line @ N1000for 15farmers, 3
         women extension agents and 3 researchers.

       2nd Month – 4th Month – Organise workshop on the use of the hand set for the ADP
       extension staff, Researcher and the farmer by MTN staff.

       5th Month – 6th Month – Registering and opening of MTN 4 u Royalty programme account
       to enhance conference calls for 6 months @ N6000/month for 3 Research officers’s, 3
       Women Extension Agents and 15 farmers (5 Farmers from each local government area).

       7th – 12th Month – Arrangement of meeting periods for various stakeholders in the project
       to ensure proper implementation.

Execution of the project
After the training and opening of MTN 4 u royalty programme account, the following activities
would be carried out;

   -   The researchers would initiate the first call,
   -    Place active call on hold,
   -   Initiate a new call
   -   Press and scroll to the option “Multiparty” which will show the sequence number assigned
       to each caller
   -    Press * to join all calls
   -    Discussion starts.

        Beneficiaries:
         Researchers : The initiators of the message from the Research Institute.
        (Message will also be obtained from Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources and
        National Export Promotion Commission).
        Extension Agents: The channel through which the message reaches the farmers they also
        act as interpreters.
        Farmers: the receiver who decodes or retranslate the meaning of the message on cashew
        production, processing and marketing.

   IMPACT ON THE BENEFICIARIES

        A. Impact on Government: (CRIN & ADP)
            (i)    Intensive application of ICT in substantive sectors
            (ii)   Cost saving in information dissemination
            (iii) Reduction of gaps between the rich and the poor rural farmers.
            (iv)   Improved communication and delivery services.

        B. Impact on Organisation (MTN):
           (i)    Improved customer/client relationships
           (ii)   Widening gap between those who act and those who lag

        C. Impact on Individuals: (Farmers)
           (i)    Greater and continuous empowerment of individuals access to ICTs
           (ii)   Improved desire for learning,
           (iii) Possibilities to participate in global lists
           (iv)   Opportunities of accessing large amounts of information

      Monitoring:
    The phone numbers would be given to Gen ARDIS coordinators who would be calling every
3 months to ascertain the progress report of the project.

     Evaluation:
 Use of questionnaire to assess the perception of the farmers on the use of GSM handset, in
respect of knowledge acquisition on cashew production, processing and marketing. Extension
agents’ knowledge of cashew production, processing, and marketing would also be evaluated.

 BUDGET
ACTIVITIES                             AMOUNT
Purchase of MTN line, Handset and           N207, 000.00
the MTN 4U royalty account
Workshop for the stakeholders                   N 100, 000.00
Execution of project                            N 350,000.00

Logistics                                        N 80,000.00
Report writing on Evaluation                     N 50,000.00

Total                                            N 787,000.00

				
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Description: ” Rather than apportion blames and to move agriculture forward in