Thesis title: Social change, agricultural Development Paradigm: The case of E-Wallet utilization amongst farmers in south-western part of Nigeria
The focus of the first stage of my research in Nigeria is to analyze the attitude of Maize and Cassava farmers towards e-wallet platform of the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme in Ekiti and Ondo states, Nigeria. The experience on the field will help me to enhance the survey instruments that will be used for the follow-up field work.
Getting the details of the beneficiaries of the scheme has not been challenging as expected thanks to the cooperation of the extension agents on the field. The major limitation has been the issue of logistics in reaching the beneficiaries because of the prevalent heat waves and shortage in fuel supply for transportation.
I was able to developing some coping strategies in addressing the limitations experienced. The interaction with the farmers who are the beneficiaries was awesome, they were really expectant because the survey gave them the opportunity to share the benefits derived and the challenges experienced. The farmers see the survey as a feedback platform to policy makers and they are hopeful that their challenges will be addressed.
The survey gave me the opportunity to listen closely and understand the challenges the farmers were facing which is different from what we hear from news reports. There are some disparities from what we see in reports and what actually happens on the field.
Some of the challenges highlighted are;
- The subsidized inputs did not meet their farming needs
- A lot of farmers were not properly trained on how they can use the e wallet platform
- Change in government affected the efficiency of the e wallet scheme
- The extension agents were left out from the scheme which made farmers work with unfamiliar consultants. This made some farmers to draw back
- The government or the private sector should have provided follow-up mechanical supports ( ( eg Tractor) to the inputs provided.
The survey gave me the opportunity to also arrange a video interview for the farmers and the extension agents which will give them the opportunity to express their views about issues they are facing. This communication method is giving farmers more confidence and an advocacy voice for agriculture.