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PROSPECTS OF COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES INTERVENTION IN EXTENSION SERVICE DELIVERY IN DELTA STATE, NIGERIA
The study assessed the prospects of cooperative societies in extension service intervention in Delta State, Nigeria. Specific issues examined were the socio-economic characteristic of the agricultural co-operators (farmers)in the study area, in which agricultural co-operatives can promote agricultural extension delivery and the constraints that might militate against the co-operative’s involvement in extension delivery. Multi- stage sampling technique was used to select 382 respondents from two of the three agricultural zones in the state (Delta North and Delta Central). Descriptive statistical tools; mean frequency and inferential statistical tools; Anova and Freidman test were used for Data analysis. The result showed that the major areas cooperatives can play vital roles in extension delivery include, providing information about improved farming practices (mean =3.56), providing members with market information (mean =3.56), getting information from research institute to solve members farming challenges (mean=3.37), organizing farm trainings for members (mean=3.32), informing development/government agencies about members farming challenges (mean=3.32) and linking members to input supplies (mean=3.24). Possible constraints to cooperatives engagement in agricultural extension delivery include inadequate capital or fund (mean =3.68), inadequate trained personnel (3.41), lack of co-operation among members (3.48) and members not having time to engage in extension service delivery (2.52). It was therefore recommended that cooperatives should be trained to improve their potentials in extension service delivery.
Keywords: cooperative, societies, extension, service, delivery