Livestock Research for Rural Development 14 (5) 2002

Citation of this paper

Farmers feedback on pig production technology in Kwara State, Nigeria

O I Oladele

Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development,
 University of Ibadan , Nigeria.


The paper examines the provision of feedback on pig production technology by farmers in Kwara State.  A sample size technique of n > 30 was used to select samples. 

The result showed that prominent technologies adopted by farmers were control of mange and ectoparasite (75.8%), improved feeding (93.3%) and vaccination (83.3%).  On these same sets of technologies, feedback was regularly provided.

The paper concludes that through feedback provision, research-extension-farmer linkage would be strengthened.  

Keywords: Pigs, technology, farmers, feedback, Nigeria


Livestock technologies are an aspect of agrarian technologies, which are necessitated by population growth, changing climate, markets and needs.  This involves technological innovations (such as vaccination in poultry, artificial insemination in ruminants and non-ruminants alike, to mention but a few) on various classes of livestock, to improve their efficiency and the wellbeing of the end users.  The efficiency of the technologies generated and disseminated depends on effective communication which is a key process in information dissemination.

However, the development of agricultural technologies requires among other inputs, a timely and systematic transmission of useful and relevant agricultural information (messages) through relatively well educated technology dissemination  (Extension) from formal technology generation system (research) via various communication media (channels) to the intended audience (farmers).  It is expected that the message to the client  (effect) be passed back to the Source / Research (feedback) for the communication process to be completed.

The communication circuit is an important characteristic of the information sharing process by which individuals within the system are interconnected (Leonard 1990).  A circuit is a one-way link with two-way exchange of information which is a prerequisite for feedback.  Feedback is a control device and an important indicator of communication success and areas requiring modification or further enquiry.  

Traditionally, it is believed that sender control makes for more effective persuasion, while receiver control (feedback) is a more effective learning process (Wilbur 1973).  Feedback is an essential element for effective organizational functioning.  It plays a determinative role in how farmers perceive technological innovation being disseminated to them.  Farmers give and seek feedback about technologies to reduce risk and uncertainties that may result on adoption.  Adequate feedback has positive impacts on effort, goal setting performance, improvement and adjustment as well as goal attainment.  Feedback may occur through formal evaluation but more often occurs informally in day to day communication.  Feedback can be negative or positive and it should not be overlooked whatever the outcome. 

Extension and research are well organized systems which design and disseminate technological innovations to farmers.  Despite all the technological innovation transfer, the wide gap between the level of production which  research contends is attainable and that which farmers achieve suggests a missing link. Feedback is a critical part of effective communication. It is viewed as the farmers' reaction to technological innovation by the communicator.  Weak linkages between the farmer, extension and researcher mean that the farmers are not included in the planning of the innovation, despite the fact they are the end users (Oladele 1999).

There has not been any coordinated effort on the part of the extension and research agencies to promote farmer’s feedback, such that it becomes difficult to get feedback to the decision makers.  Studies on the dissemination process are limited to the adoption of technologies, reason for abandon or adoption and the strength of linkage between research, extension and farmers (Ogunfiditimi 1989). It is therefore important to examine the missing link in the dissemination process.  An attempt was made therefore to examine the degree of feedback on piggery technology with the aim of identifying possible gaps between the output from research stations and farmers' fields.

The general objective of this study was to determine the extent of feedback in piggery technologies by farmers in Kwara State.  Specifically the study aimed to examine the range of livestock technologies used by farmers and the degree to which there was feedback  from farmers.

Materials and methods

Kwara State lies in the West-central part of the country and covers an area of 74, 256 square kilometers or eight percent of the total area of Nigeria.  The prevailing agricultural system is a combination of brush fallow and mixed cropping with emphasis on subsistence crop cultivation.  The livestock sector consists mainly of poultry, pigs and cattle rearing. Kwara State is divided into four zones by the Agricultural Development Project for administrative purposes.  The zones comprise Kaioma, Lafiaji, Ilorin West, South and East and Igbaja areas. The two latter zones are known predominantly for rabbit, pig and poultry production.  The Ilorin West zone was purposely selected for the study.  There was no definite sampling frame so the procedure was to take a large sample ( n > 30) in selecting the respondents (Kerlinger 1973).   Primary data from thirty respondents were therefore  collected through an interview schedule. The data were then analysed and presented as frequencies and percentages.

Results and discussion

The control of mange and ectoparasites was the most widely adopted technology among pig farmers (Table 1).  This may be due to the fact that serious loss can result from the infestation by ectoparasites.  This was followed by the use of improved feeding practices. Feeding is a strong determinant of output in livestock systems and this could have been the reason for the adoption. Technologies on deworming and vaccination were also highly adopted by farmers.  In contrast, the upgrading of indigenous breeds to hybrids was the least adopted.  This may be due to the fact that many pig farmers started with hybrid stocks.  

Table 1. Uptake of technology among pig farmers (numbers in brackets are percentages)







Control of mange and ectoprasites

30 (90.9)

3 (9.1)

10 (30.3)

15 (45.5)

5 (15.2)

Upgrading of indigenous breed to Nigerian hybrids

15 (45.5)

18 (54.5 )

7 (21.2)

4 (12.1)

4 (12.1)


20 (75.7)

13 (39.4)

10 (30.3)

8 (24.2)

2 (6.1)


25 (75.7)

8 (24.2)

15 (45.5)

5 (15.2)

5 (15.2)

Improved feeding

31 (93.9)

2 (6.1)

20 (60.6)

6 (18.2)

5 (15.2)

Farmer feedback was intense and consistent for control of mange and ectoparasites, improved feeding and vaccination (Table 2).  Most of the feedback was to researchers and extension agents.

Table 2.  Feedback provision in piggery technology by farmers
Technology Yes No Research/ Extension agent Regularly Occasionally Rarely
Control of mange and ectoprarasites 25 (75.8) 5 (15.2) 13 (39.4) 20 (60.6) 5 (15.2) 0 (0)
Upgrading of indigenous breed to Nigerian hybrids 10 (30.3) 5 (15.2) 5 (15.2) 5 (15.2) 5 (15.2) 0 (0)
Deworming 18 (54.6) 2 (6.1) 0 (0) 10 (30.3) 6 (18.2) 2 (6.1)
Vaccination 25 (75.8) 0 (0) 5 (15.2) 20 (60.6) 3 (9.1) 2 (6.1)
Improved feeding 28 (84.9) 3 (9. 1) 14 (12.4) 20 (60.6) 8 (24.2) 0 (0)


The study has shown that technologies on pig production are well adopted by farmers in the study area and that for the improvement of the technologies the farmers provided adequate feedback to research and extension agents.  These findings indicate that the research-extension-farmer linkages were quite strong for the technologies that were monitored.


Kerlinger F N 1973 Foundation of behavioural research. Holt Rinehant and Winston Inc. 

Leonard D 1990 The political economy of development and transfer of agricultural technologies. In: making and link agriculture research technology transfer in developing countries, Kaimowitz (editor) Boulder Company, Westview press 40 pp 63 – 64. 

Ogunfiditimi T O 1989 Abandoned adoption of crop technologies. Journal of Extension. Volume 5, Number 3. 

Oladele O I 1999 Analysis of the institutional research-extension-farmers linkage system in South Western Nigeria.  An unpublished Ph.D thesis in the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. 

Wilbur S 1973 Channels and Audiences. In Handbook of communication. SolaPool I, Wilbur S,  Frey F, Maccoby N and Parlor E B (editors). Raw McNally College Publishing Company Chicago.

Received 20 April 2002

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