The broad objective of the study was to evaluate the cocoa resuscitation programmes (CRPs) in south west Nigeria. Specifically, the study was designed to: determine the adoption levels of the various improved cocoa technologies introduced to cocoa farmers by government and non-governmental agencies; ascertain the beneficiaries’ perception of the helpfulness of the agencies in the adoption of the improved cocoa technologies; determine the impact of the programmes on cocoa production and socio-economic life of the farmers; ascertain the perceived constraints to the adoption of improved cocoa technologies by the farmers; identify the perceived constraints to the implementation of CRPs; identify strategies to improve on the programmes; and determine farmers’ attitude towards the programmes. Three hypotheses and a conceptual framework were developed for the study. The study was carried out in South west Nigeria. The zone comprises Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Ekiti, Osun and Oyo states. Presently, 5 out of the 6 states in South west Nigeria produce cocoa and they are grouped into high producing (Ondo and Osun) and medium producing (Ogun, Oyo and Ekiti) States. The 2 high cocoa producing States (Ondo and Osun) were purposively selected for the study because of their significant contributions to cocoa production in Nigeria, while Ekiti State was randomly selected from the medium producing states. Hence, a total of 3 cocoa producing states (Ondo, Osun and Ekiti) were selected for the study. A multi-stage sampling technique was used in the selection of the respondents. A total of 120 government beneficiary cocoa farmers (GBCFs), 120 non-government beneficiary cocoa farmers (NGBCFs), 120 non-beneficiary cocoa farmers (NBCFs), 30 Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) and 6 Olam extension staff were randomly selected. Hence a total of 396 respondents were involved in the study. Data for the study were collected through the use of questionnaire and interview schedules. The data were analysed, using frequency, percentage, charts, mean statistic, t-test, analysis of variance, factor analysis and multiple regression. The findings showed that the mean age values of the government beneficiary cocoa farmers (GBCFs), non-governmental beneficiary farmers (NGBCFs) and non beneficiary cocoa farmers (NBCFs) were 57.1 years, 56.3 years and 56.8 years, respectively. Their mean cocoa farming experiences were 23.7 years, 28.1 years and 22.9 years, respectively. The grand mean adoption scores of planting young cocoa seedlings under old cocoa trees by the GBCFs and NGBCFs were 5.0 and 5.0, respectively. Cocoa development unit (CDU) (M=1.54) and the Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) (M=2.80) were the most helpful agencies to GBCFs in their consideration and adoption of the improved cocoa technologies. Olam Nigeria Limited (ONL) (M=2.52) and Saro Agro-Allied Limited (SAL) (M=2.00) were the most helpful agencies to the NGBCFs in their consideration and adoption of the improved cocoa technologies. The programmes had positive impact on the yield and quality of cocoa beans and the socio-economic life of the participating farmers. The major constraints to effective implementation of the programmes in the study area included inadequate and untimely release of funds (ADP=93.3%; ONLs=66.7%), poor agricultural pricing policies (ADP=100.0%; ONLs=83.3%) and poor logistic supports for field staff (ADPs=96.7%; ONLs=83.3%). Factors that were responsible for poor adoption of the improved cocoa technologies by the beneficiary farmers were grouped into organizational-related constraints, input-related constraints and financial-related constraints. The perceived solutions to implementation constraints as opined by the extension staff included timely disbursement of funds meant for CRPs (86.1%) and increase in the number of extension staff (83.3%), while the perceived strategies of improving CRPs as indicated by the cocoa farmers included strengthening of the existing farmers’ organizations through proper coordination and monitoring (85.0%), and decentralisation of training on CRPs (76.0%). The findings further revealed that majority (77.0%) of the beneficiary farmers were favourably disposed to CRPs. The regression analysis showed that some socio-economic characteristics of the beneficiary farmers significantly influenced (F = 10.849; F ≤ 0.05) the adoption of improved cocoa technologies. The study recommended that to improve the level of adoption of improved cocoa technologies of government and ONLs, the trainings and workshop organised for farmers on cocoa improve technologies should be decentralised. Funds meant for CRPs should be released on time by the appropriate authorities of government and non-governmental agencies. Also, there should be a functional monitoring and evaluation team in both government and non-governmental agencies to oversee their activities on CRPs. Establishment of special trust fund in cocoa producing states could help in solving the problem of funding cocoa programmes in Nigeria.

1.1      Background information
Agricultural activities constitute the mainstay of a large proportion of African population. In Nigeria, agriculture has remained the largest sector of the economy. It generates employment for about 70% of Nigeria’s population and contributes about 40% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with crops accounting for 80%, livestock 13%, forestry 3% and fishery 4% (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2006). The tree crop sub-sector, of which cocoa is a major component is very important in African agriculture and contributes significantly to the income of farmers. It plays a critical role in sustaining biodiversity, sound management of natural resources and provides additional pathways for the diversification and intensification of food crop systems. The relevance of cocoa to most developing economies cannot be overemphasized as cocoa is produced by more than fifty developing countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, all of which are in tropical or semi-tropical areas (Ogunleye and Oladeji, 2007).

Cocoa is an important crop to the economies of some countries such as Nigeria, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana and Cameroon in West Africa. It is generally believed that cocoa cultivation in Nigeria started about 1879, when a local chief established a plantation at Bonny in Cross River State, Nigeria. However, cultivation in Bayelsa State, Nigeria, began afterwards in 1892 (Amos, 2007). Cocoa was one of major foreign exchange earners in Nigeria before the discovery of crude oil in 1957. This accounted for a greater part of the foreign exchange generated for the country between the 1950s and 70s. It is a source of employment to millions of people, from farmers to processors, licensed buying agents (LBA), ware housing agents and brokers. It is estimated that over 50% of the foreign exchange derived in Nigeria comes from cocoa alone. In the 1950s, 80% of the foreign exchange generated in the country was from cocoa. The trend however changed in the 1980s when there was a sharp decline in production, resulting in decreased foreign exchange generation {Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), 2007}.

The production of this important cash crop for export has suffered a reduction and unstable production in recent years in the country (Table 1) owing to a number of factors. According to FGN (2007), the decline in production could be attributed to the following causes: advent of the petroleum sector which led to the neglect of agriculture; policies and activities of the Nigerian Cocoa Marketing Board (NCMB) of 1978-1986; non-availability and high cost of cocoa production inputs; activities of middlemen; over-aged and low yielding trees; non-remunerative prices; non- availability of farm labour; old agronomic practices; poor nutrient status of cultivated land; and lack of credit to cocoa farmers.

According to Daramola (2004), the most cocoa farms in Ondo and Osun States are very old with low productivity, while farms in Cross River State are relatively younger and mostly in productive phase. In addition, Oduwole (2004) identified ageing cocoa farms as one of the factors responsible for the decline in cocoa production in south western Nigeria. He observed that many farms were over 40 years old and such farms constituted as much as 60% of the cocoa farms in Nigeria. Other factors that have contributed to the decline in cocoa production included, the problem of pests and diseases, use of poor planting materials, defective methods of harvesting and poor handling of post harvest processes and inefficient agricultural extension services (Fanaye, Adeyemi and Olaiya, 2003; Idowu in Ogunleye and Oladeji, 2007).

Also, data in Table 1 revealed that the country’s average production level of 239,000 metric tons recorded between 1970 and 1974 was far above the production level....

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