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INFLUENCE OF FARMERS’ COOPERATIVES MEMBERSHIP ON INPUTS ACCESS AND LAND MANAGEMENT IN OSUN STATE, NIGERIA
The study investigated the influence of farmers’ cooperatives on inputs access and land management practices in the study area. Data collected through a multi-stage sampling procedure were subjected to descriptive, Pearson correlation and t-test analyses. The study revealed among others that: respondents were in their active ages (40.4years, members and 48 years, non-members) and mostly married (88.7% members and 73% non-members). Cooperative members had higher level of education (10 years) with higher farm and off-farm income (N342, 388 and N 281,941 respectively). Larger proportions (78%, 72%, 59%, 62%, 81% and 61%) of members received fertilizer application, agroforestry practice, pests’ management, storage techniques, climate change adaption and agro-chemical utilization trainings. The result of the Correlation analysis showed positive and significant relationship between farmers’ membership of cooperatives and access to improved seeds/planting materials (r=0.661), fertilizer (r=0.832), agro-chemicals (r=0.701) and credit (r=0.637) at P≤0.05 level of significance. Correlation analysis also showed positive and significant relationships between farmers’ membership of cooperatives and inorganic fertilizer application (r=0.755), agroforestry practices (r=0.693) and cover cropping (r=0.820) at P≤0.05 level of significance. Also, the results of the t-test showed significant differences between the socio-economic characteristics of cooperatives and non-cooperative members at P≤0.05. The study concluded that cooperative members had better socioeconomic characteristics and access to inputs and adopted land management practices better than their non-cooperatives members. Government and her agencies should put in place fiscal, economical and agricultural policies that would encourage the establishment of cooperatives as well as encourage farmers to participate in cooperatives.
Keywords: Farmers cooperatives, inputs access, land management, Nigeria