Perception of Agrochemical Use and Organic Farming in Makurdi, Benue State

Abraham E. Ali; Lami A. Nnamonu
In many parts of the world, the market for food from organic farms is growing, especially as consumers have become more aware of food-safety issues, environmental preservation and wildlife protection. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate farmers and consumer perception of organic farming and issues associated with agrochemical use in Makurdi, Benue State of Nigeria. Structured interview schedule containing both close and open ended questions was administered to 150 respondents (farmers and consumers) consisting of 94 males and 56 females. Data were analyzed using simple descriptive statistical instruments of frequency counts and percentages. Chi-squared test was employed as test of significance. 56% of respondents had a positive perception towards organic farming while 38% had a negative perception and 6% were undecided. Even though 58.67% agree that fertilizers and pesticides are effective, with 40% disagreeing and 1.33% undecided, 90.66% agreed that these agrochemicals can damage the environment, 7.34% disagreed and 2% were undecided. The study showed that organic farming and organic food are cheaper than conventional (or industrial) where 79.33 and 58.67% agreed, 18.00 and 30.67% disagreed and 2.67 and 10.66% were undecided, respectively. There were significant relationships (P≤ 0.05) between respondents’ gender, age, educational background, respondent type and perception of organic farming and agrochemical use.
Agrochemical Use; Organic Farming; Perception
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