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Assessment of Knowledge Level of Dairy
Production Technologies among Milk Producers
in Oyo State, Nigeria
Agboola AF and Williams SO*
Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
Submission: July 29, 2019; Published: August 27, 2019
*Corresponding author: Williams SO, Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria
How to cite this article: Agboola AF, Williams SO. Assessment of Knowledge Level of Dairy Production Technologies among Milk Producers in Oyo State,
Nigeria. Dairy and Vet Sci J. 2019; 13(3): 555865. DOI: 10.19080/JDVS.2019.13.555865
This study investigated the knowledge level of introduced Dairy Production Technologies (DPTs) among milk producers in the Dairy Development Programme (DDP), Oyo State, Nigeria. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 216 respondents from 27 milk producing communities across two DDP operating areas, namely Fashola and Alaga, in Oyo State, Southwest Nigeria. Data were collected, analyzed and interpreted using descriptive and inferential statistics. The Results and Discussion show that the mean age of milk producers was 38.88±9.82 years, with an average herd size of 13.15±7.64 lactating cows. The mean dairy experience was 22.81±12.07 years. Pastoralists’ knowledge varied with respect to each technological component. Majority (91.7%) of the respondents had knowledge of milking hygiene practices (cleaning of udder and milk measurement). Few (18.5%) had knowledge of expenditure records. Chi-square analysis established association between the knowledge of DPTs and sex (2= 26.959); family type (2= 96.556), outside contact (2= 58.504) and level of education (2= 164.698) at p ≤ 0.01. Correlation analysis revealed that at p ≤ 0.01, there was a significant relationship between age (r = -0.348), dairy experience (r = 0.288), years of education (r = 0.669) and pastoralists’ knowledge of dairy production technologies. Milk producers in the study area have knowledge deficiencies in the following DPTs: hay making (crushing and chemical treatment with urea); acquiring a crossbred animal; husbandry practices (cleaning calf nostrils, navel cutting and treatment with iodine); milking hygiene (cleaning of teats of cow after milking); record keeping (animal health, input record, expenditure). .
Keywords: Assessment; Knowledge level; Milk producers; Dairy production technologies
Abbrevations: DDP: Dairy Development Programme; DPTs: Dairy Production Technologies; ROI: Return on Investment; KAPs: knowledge, Attitudes and Practices; MCCs: Milk Collection Centers; AI: Artificial Insemination; LEAs: Livestock Extension Agents; ADP: Agricultural Development Programme
Agricultural technologies are seen as an important route to alleviating poverty in most of the developing countries. However, the rate of adoption of these technologies has remained low in most of these countries . Increasing agricultural productivity is critical to meeting expected rising food demand and, as such, it is instructive to examine recent performance in cases of modern agricultural technologies. Knowledge is simply the general awareness or possession of information, facts, ideas, thoughts or principles . It is information within the mind. Agricultural Technology provides no benefits of its own; it is the application of technology to situation of needs that produces Return on Investment (ROI) in most cases. However, individual’s ability to perform an act is very paramount to the actual performance of that act. Access to information and the technical know-how on what is
to be done is essential. Therefore, a possible relationship between knowledge of dairy technologies and their adoption is suggested in this study. This underscores the relevance of extension services in dissemination information based on available knowledge of these technologies to dairy farmers.
Extension work involves the transfer of improved technology from technologically advanced institutions and research organizations to farmers or end users in order to increase their output of agricultural products and enhance their incomes and improve their living standards. With the recognition that dairy presents a great potential for the increasing per capita animal protein and milk consumption of Nigerian population, the need for farmers to adopt improved technologies in order to increase their output cannot be over-emphasized. Fortunately, there is
an abundance of improved production technologies that can be
adopted to rapidly transform the dairy subsector to levels that
will meet the needs of the Nigerian populace within few years.
The primary responsibility of the extension worker is education.
There are varied numbers of proven extension/educational
methods from which the extension worker can choose from to set
up learning situations and maximize the transfer of information
and skills to young and adult learners. Extension teaching
methods are avenues through which clientele are reached with
improved farm practices to empower them for improved level
and standard of living. Improving the socio-economic conditions
of the target audience within the society is a continuous exercise,
which eventually manifests in changing the people’s knowledge,
attitudes and practices (KAPs).
The choice of choosing the teaching methods that will be
most effective in achieving the educational objectives is the
responsibility of the extension professional. A major task in
agricultural development is the transfer of improved technologies
to farmers. Although extension institutions and various sources of
information exist in almost every developing country, the coverage
of farm families is very limited. A link between farm families and
research information is very important. Farinde  opined that
the process of communication in extension involves the sender
who transmits a message or information through a selected
channel to the receiver with a resultant effect or feedback. It is in
view of this background that this study specifically, described the
personal and socio-economic characteristics of the pastoralists
and assessed their knowledge on the introduced DPTs. Based on
the stated objectives the hypothesis formulated and tested in the
study was that there is no significant relationship between the
personal and socio-economic characteristics of pastoralists and
their knowledge of the DPTs.
The study was conducted in Oyo State, Nigeria. It is situated in
the South-Western part of the country. The state comprised thirtythree
local government areas with approximately 20,000 square
kilometers of land area. The state is located between 7° and 9°
north of the equator and bounded by the longitudes 2° and 4° east
of the Greenwich Meridian. It is bounded by Ogun, Osun, Kwara and
Republic of Benin in the South, West, East and North respectively.
The average annual rainfall of the area ranges between 1150mm
in the derived savannah and 1525mm in the rainforest zone. The
vegetation allows for agricultural production which facilitates the
engagement of inhabitants, especially rural populace, in crop and
livestock production. Inhabitants engage in non-farm activities
as well to make ends meet. According to the National Population
Commission  estimate, Oyo State population is provisionally put
at 6,617,720 people. The Yoruba are the predominant inhabitants
of the state, with some other tribes from various ethnic groups.
The primary occupation of the people is farming which employs
an appreciable portion of the entire population.
The sample framework for the study hinged on milk producing
households in Fulani settlements around Milk Collection Centers
(MCCs). There are four MCCs namely Fashola, Iseyin, Alaga and
Maya-Eruwa situated in Oyo West, Iseyin, Itesiwaju and Ibarapa
East Local Government Areas respectively. A multistage sampling
procedure was used to select respondents for the study. At first
stage, two MCCs (Fashola and Alaga) were purposively chosen
because of their longer years of operation. Fulani settlements
attached to the chosen MCCs are sixty-seven (67). At second
stage, using proportionate sampling, forty per cent of the number
of Fulani settlements attached to each of the chosen MCCs was
used to select 27 settlements. Finally, eight respondents (pastoral
households) were purposively sampled from each of the selected
settlements, because not all households were engaged in the
DDP, which led to a sample size of 216 respondents for the
study. Structured Interview Schedule and a combination of Key
Informant Interview and Focus Group Discussion were used to
elicit quantitative and qualitative information respectively.
Results in Table 1 show that the mean age of respondents was
38.88 years with a standard deviation of 9.82 years. The result
agreed with Adeyemo who found that the mean age of milk
producers in Oyo State was 37.5 years but varied slightly from
the findings of Ojo  who reported that the mean ages of male
and female involved in cattle rearing in Osun State were 34.05
and 33.33 years respectively. Results in Table 1 also show that
the mean household size was 7 people and a standard deviation
of 3.78 people. This average relatively large household size of
pastoralists agrees with Sodiya  who reported mean household
size of eight in Fulani settlement in Ogun State, Nigeria. According
to Adedipe , pastoralists keep a large number of household
members because of the labour intensive nature of their means
of livelihood, and as such rely on family or household labour for
both livestock and arable crop production activities. Results in
Table 1 further reveal that over an average of the respondents had
no formal education (56.5 %). It shows that a low level of formal
education existed among the respondents. This could affect their
information seeking habit and record keeping system. This finding
is partly in agreement with the findings of Iro  that posited that
rural cattle rearers do not have formal education. Although, report
of UNESCO  affirmed that cattle rearing is time consuming and
does not give room for school enrollment.
The average length of residency of pastoralists was 24.68
years with a standard deviation of 12.50 years. This finding shows
that pastoralists have stayed an average of about two and a half
decades in their various settlements and are accustomed to other
people who may or not be indigenes of the area of study. This
agrees with the findings of Oyesola & Sodiya [7,11] that most Fulani
households in Ogun, Southwestern Nigeria were fully sedentary.
From Table 1, the mean dairy experience was 22.81(±12.07) years.
This implies that the majority of the milk producers were born
into cattle rearing and by extension dairy farming. This supports
the submission of Ojo  that Fulani children are exposed early
to grazing of cattle. Farming experience affects farm management
and decision-making process . Obviously, an experienced
farmer will most likely identify the relative advantage of new,
improved technologies over the old, which is the case in the study
area. Results in Table 1 similarly show that the mean number
of cattle kept by the pastoral household was 109.48 heads.
This relatively high herd size could reflect the totality of cattle
belonging to individual members of the household. Literature
reports that males have higher herd size than females [6,13,14].
Thus, the presence of males and females in the same household
would result into a larger number of cattle to be managed. Sodiya
(2005) also reported that the gradual increase in herd size after
sedentarization of the Fulani for a longer time period is due to the
adaptation of cattle to their present agro-ecological system and
probably the development of resistance to major cattle diseases
that may decimate the herd.
Results in Table 1 further show that about 30 per cent of the
pastoralists had less than ten lactating cows. About an average
(51.4 %) had lactating cows of between 10 and 19. About 14.8 per
cent of the milk producers had lactating cows between 2 to 29.
Very few (3.7 %) milk producers had beyond 39 lactating cows. The
mean lactating cows was 13.15. The significance of the number of
lactating cows is that it is a function of the total yield (milk) that
a pastoral household can get, all other things being equal. Hence,
the more the number of lactating cows, the greater the likelihood
of more milk that the household gets for consumption or sales.
Results in Table 1 also show that the average daily milk yield of
lactating cows reared by the pastoralists was 27.92 liters. This is,
however, a function of lactating cows. From this, an estimation of
the Fulani cow milk productivity was about 2.12 liter/lactating
cow. This fluctuates based on breed type and seasonal variation.
This finding corroborates earlier reports that indigenous breeds
of cow kept by Fulani cattle readers have low milk productivity
[15,16]. It is therefore not surprising to observe development effort geared to improving the low genetic make-up of Nigerian
indigenous breeds of cattle. An implication of this low milk yield is
that at an aggregated market level, the supply of milk will be low.
Consequently, a supply deficit exists. This has serious implications
for household, business and the national economy .
Results in Table 1 show that about 20 per cent of the
respondents indicated that they had contact with the Oyo State
Agricultural Development Programme (OYSADEP), while 51 per
cent indicated they had contacts with extension from universities.
However, the extension arm of the DDP promoters recorded
the most frequent visits among the respondents. Nonetheless,
every respondent had come in contact with an extension agent
at one time or the other. Extension organizations as sources of
information on innovative technologies are important in that
they can create awareness on technologies, promote technologies
(by stimulating interest), supply valid evidences etc. This gives
credence to Ekpe & Obeten  who found out that the more the
regularity/frequency of extension contact between farmers and
the extension agents
Results in Table 2 show that a majority (totaling 83.8% and
78.7%) indicated that they knew that grass gathering and drying
were essential steps in hay making. However, about 34.7% and
28.7% of the respondents were respectively adjudged to knowing
that chopping (of the dried grasses) and treatment with chemical
(such as urea) were also the next essentials of hay making. About
20 per cent of the pastoralists knew of crushing by the use of
hammer mill or grass crusher. The implication of the findings is
that pastoralists’ knowledge of hay making as a way of pasture
conservation is deficient in chopping and chemical treatment of
grasses. With this situation of knowledge deficit, the production
of quality hay cannot be guaranteed by the pastoralists. Hence,
capacity building and training opportunities will be needed to
boost these areas of concern. Obinne , described hay as a
forage cut, cured or sun-dried, packed and kept for feeding animals
such as cattle, sheep and goat, especially in the dry season.
He opined that hay of good quality improves animal nutrition.
Hence, knowledge of hay preparation is a prerequisite for making
and benefitting from dairy technology. Results in Table 2 also
show that 70.8 per cent indicated that they knew of the idea
of forage cultivation as an alternative to natural uncultivated
pastures. The implication of the finding is that with a majority of
the population informed about improved forage cultivation, the
reliance on low nutritive pastures coupled with seasonal variation
of its availability, pastoralists might tend to consider planting
forages. Otherwise, they continue to travel alongside their herd
in search of pastures with its known consequences. According to
Obinne , forage crops constitute the bulk of ruminants feed.
He recommended a mixture of grass and legumes to raise the
nutritional content of animal feed. Moreover, he maintained that
natural grassland has low nutritive value because of overgrazing and grassland crops should be replaced with chosen cultivated
pastures in order to prevent low output per unit area.
Similarly, results in Table 2 reveal that with the low milk
output of indigenous cattle breeds, a very few (19.9%) pastoralists
expressed their knowledge of acquiring a crossbred animal
(heifer) while a majority (over 70%) indicated their knowledge of
Artificial Insemination (AI) services as a way of improving animals’
productivity. This might be due to the popularity of AI services
as promoted by livestock extension agents. About 43.5 per cent
expressed their knowledge of veterinary drugs and services as a way of boosting dairy production. AI, also referred to as artificial
mating, is the introduction of the semen from a male animal into
the reproductive tract of the female animal of the same species by
the use of instruments, which can be used to reproduce improved
animals on a large scale and at comparatively low cost. With these
pastoralists were given a new instrument for implementation in
the Dairy Development Programme.
Shehu  reported that to improve livestock production
in Nigeria, technologies such as artificial insemination have to
be understood and transferred properly by Livestock Extension
Agents (LEAs) to farmers for proper adoption and utilization.
Furthermore, results in Table 2 Show that a total of 30 per cent
of the respondents were able to indicate milk production record
as essential dairy record. While about 94 per cent mentioned
milk sales record, only 11.6 per cent indicated their knowledge
of input record. While only 18.5% mentioned keeping records of
expenditure as essential in dairy business, none (0%) indicated
knowledge of animal health record. The findings indicate a low
knowledge of dairy record keeping among the respondents. The
implication of this situation is that there is too much reliance
on human memory. The lack of a ‘booking system’ that could be
referred to when the dairy manager/operator is not around will
hinder proper management. For instance, how can one identify
a cow currently on medication and the status of its dosage? The
under listed excerpts from Focus Group Discussions lend credence
to pastoralists’ knowledge of the DPTs
…what I know of hay preparation is that we fetch grasses
and some shrubs. We leave it to dry and then cut them into small
pieces… …After cutting the grasses, we give to the cattle to consume
…. FGD participant at Alaga, Itesiwaju L.G.A...…As we were taught,
after drying and cutting the grasses, you also add chemical such as
urea to preserve them before being used for feeding the cattle…
FGD participant at Alaga, Itesiwaju L.G.A (Source: Focus Group
Discussion, 2016) The position above shows observed differences
in pastoralists’ knowledge of hay preparation
The results of the knowledge of the essentials of hygiene to be
observed, before, during and after milking are presented in Figure
1. As regards the essentials of milk hygiene practices, about 51.4
per cent of the pastoralists indicated they knew that the animal
environment must be clean prior to milking. Over 60 per cent
indicated that cows to be selected for milking must be healthy and
not currently on drugs. About 91.7 per cent of the milk producers
knew that restraining cow and cleaning of the udder were essential prior to milking. However, just an average number of respondents
indicated their knowledge of cleaning the teats before milking is
done. All the respondents knew that calf needs to be introduced
to the cow to suckle after which the milker takes charge of the
milking. This is so because of the hand milking system wholly
practiced by the pastoralists. In addition, almost 90 per cent of the
respondents claimed to know that hand washing prior to milking
must be observed by the milker. In addition, all (100%) of the
respondents maintained they knew that milk collected should be
poured into a container with a lid while milking of other cows is
in progress. A fairly above half (68.1%) could remember the use
of sieve/mesh for filtering milk. The findings suggest variation
in knowledge of milk hygiene before, during and after milking
of cow. A situation in which a greater population is deficient in
knowledge of cleaning teats of milked cows may predispose
producing cows to flies and other insects that could lead to teat
infection. Consequently, such act of ignorance may be too costly as
an infected cow would not only suffer, but the calf would be denied
of nutritious milk from its mother.
According to recent FAO report on Good Dairy Farming
Practices, milking hygiene specifically, milking systems or
methods must meet hygienic standards. The milker’s hands and
body, cow udder, milking utensils and milking environment must
be clean. According to Layton , knowledge is an indispensable
organ of technology. “Successful and result-oriented farming
requires the knowledge and skill of the farmers, which can only
be attained through the right training”- Farinde . Farinde &
Ajayi  also investigated the training needs of women farmers
in livestock production following their knowledge and skill gaps
analysis and drew implications for rural development in Oyo State.
From the foregoing, pastoralists in the study area have knowledge
deficiencies in performing the following dairy production
technologies operations; Hay making (crushing and chemical
treatment with urea), acquiring a crossbred animal, husbandry
practices (cleaning calf nostrils, navel cutting and treatment with
iodine), milking hygiene (cleaning of teats of cow after milking),
and record keeping (animal health, input record, expenditure).
In essence, empowerment of milk producers through adequate
training in all the expressed areas of knowledge deficiencies with
regard to dairy production is a predisposing factor to sustainable
technology adoption and livelihood.
Results in Figure 2 show the categorization of respondents by
their knowledge score on the DPTs. The mean knowledge score
computed was 20.19 with a standard deviation of 7.57. Using the
‘mean score ± standard deviation’ approach to group respondents’
total knowledge score, overall knowledge of DPTs was categorized
into ‘high’ (above 28 score points), ‘moderate’ (13-28 score
points) and ‘low’ (less than 13 score points). About 18.5 per
cent fell within the low knowledge boundary with a limited
aggregate knowledge score of below 13 points. This proportion
of respondents knew little about the package of DPTs. On the
other hand, there were about 20 per cent of the respondents in
the high knowledge category. This indicates that only a few knew
much about the package of DPTs. Meanwhile, over half of the
respondents (61.6 %) had average knowledge of the package of
DPTs. The variation in knowledge levels among pastoralists might
be due to differences in the level of formal education, contact with
extension agents, DDP training attended and the dairy experience
of the milk producers. These findings again underscore the need
for training workshop and capacity building for the pastoralists in
order to enhance their knowledge about the entire elements in the
various components of the package of DPTs.
**Significant at p ≤ 0.01
*Significant at p ≤ 0.05
Results in Table 3 show that at p ≤ 0.01, there is a positive and
significant relationship between pastoralists’ years of education
(r = 0.669), extension contact (r = 0.615) and their knowledge
of the DPTs. Correlation analysis also revealed that there was a
significant but negative relationship between age (r = -0.348),
dairy experience (r = -0.288), and milk producers’ knowledge
of the DPTs. This finding suggests that the higher the level of
education and more contact with extension agents, the higher the
knowledge of DPTs. Conversely, the aged milk producers tend to
have low knowledge of the DPTs
Based on the findings of this study, it was concluded that
a large proportion of the respondents were male with female
being a minority. Respondents were mostly married and in
their productive years. There was low literacy level among the
respondents. Milk producers possessed moderate knowledge
of the DPTs. Milk producers in the study area have knowledge
deficiencies in the following DPTs; hay making (crushing and
chemical treatment with urea), acquiring a crossbred animal;
husbandry practices (cleaning calf nostrils, navel cutting and
treatment with iodine), milking hygiene (cleaning of teats of cow
after milking), and record keeping (animal health, input record,
It is recommended that there is need for the state Agricultural
Development Programme (ADP) to increase its coverage so that
a greater population of pastoral communities would benefit from
extension activities. Policy makers should incorporate functional
literacy programmes into extension services, in order to afford
them the opportunity to understand the seemingly complex
technologies and thereby increasing their likelihood of adoption
of these technologies by making them appropriate. In order to
increase their awareness of some of the dairy technologies, sources
and channels (means) of information available to milk producers
must be intensified. Hence, the use of radio programmes,
posters, bulletins, audio-visual aids like documentary films in
local languages should be intensified for efficient dissemination
of information to pastoralists. The DPTs knowledge areas with
identified deficiencies or gaps should be reduced through training
workshops and capacity building activities. Increased knowledge
will boost confidence in trying and eventually adopting a
seemingly complex technology. Finally, the communication of
proven innovative dairy technologies should solely be left to
agricultural extension and rural sociology professionals that are
undoubtedly qualified to not only decode technical information
but also encode such into a simpler form for the intended user, in
an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.
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