Date of Award

1983

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Abstract

The objectives of the study were to determine the characteristics and innovativeness of the smallholders of Sierra Leone, relate this to their knowledge of the location and contacts with the extension agents and to formulate recommendations for achieving self-sufficiency in rice. A total of 102 respondents were queried in this study. Seventy-four upland rice smallholders were selected from an original sample of 1500 which was drawn through a multi-stage cluster sampling technique and the remaining 28 were selected based on subjective criteria. Personal interview schedules were used to collect the data. The descriptive method was used to analyze the personal characteristics of the smallholders, and the chi-square procedure was used to test the formulated null hypotheses. The minimum level used to indicate significance was .20. The findings indicated that the smallholders were interested in improving their standard of living, and had the willingness to be innovative. More smallholders were having fewer children and this could be attributed to the difficulty of producing more food to feed more mouths. Farming has become an occupation for women, children and the old, while the young able-bodied men were in search of non-agricultural employment. Smallholders with smaller farm sizes preferred larger farms, compared to what they already had. Age, number of children, level of education and literacy, cosmopoliteness and land tenure, were found not to be associated with smallholders' knowledge of the location of the extension agents. However, significant differences were found among smallholders' knowledge of location of extension agents and the ability to speak another tribal language, farm size and preference of farm size. Also age, number of children, level of education and literacy, cosmopoliteness, farm size and preference of farm size were found not to be associated with contact with extension agents. On the other hand, ability to speak another tribal language, land tenure and the knowledge of location of extension agents were found to be associated with extension contact. Dedication and patient work on the part of the extension agent, placing emphasis on demonstration techniques would be needed to assist the smallholders to achieve self-sufficiency in food production.

Pages

145

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