Author

Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, P.M.B. 4000 Ogbomoso, Nigeria

Abstract

The importance of shea tree to the people of south-western Nigeria cannot be over emphasized considering both the economic and environmental uses of the tree. However, efforts have not been made to propagate its production by the farmers as the shea tree still grows in the wild state. It would be worthwhile to investigate farmers’ perception of shea nut tree as an economic tree and their attitudes toward the conservation measures needed to prevent its extinction. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 160 farmers for the study. A structured interview schedule was used to collect data from the respondents. Descriptive statistics of means and percentages were used to describe the data while correlation coefficients were employed to determine the relationships that exist between farmers’ perception and their socio- economics characteristics. A larger percentage of the farmers claimed the awareness of the potential products of shea nut trees. Majority (90.6%) of the respondents perceived shea tree as an economic tree and indicated that it provides income for women and children that gather the fruits. Most of the farmers had favourable attitude toward shea nut tree as an economic tree. Land ownership status (r=0.536), age (r=0.875), education (r=0.725), farming experience (r=0.508), household size (r=-0.817) and farm size (r=-0.673) had significant influence on the perception of farmers. The study therefore recommends that the extension agencies should play significant role in educating the farmers on the importance of conserving the trees to sustain its economic benefits.

Keywords

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