Farmers’ Adoption & Use of Rainfed Fodder Crops Cultivation in the Middle Area of Syria

Mohammad Nor-elden mardiny
General Commission for Scientific Agricultural Research- Department of  Technology Transfare,
Faculty of Agriculture,Damascus University,
2012

Abstract

This study mainly aims at investigating the adoption of farmers to grow rainfed  fodder crops and the use of technologies of fodder manufacturing in the central region (Homs – Hama). The study was carried out using some economic, social and communication factors with their relationships to the level of knowledge and the application of using a number of fodder and nutrition technologies. Furthermore, the role of agricultural extension in dissemination of agricultural technologies and identifying the main obstacles for using these technologies was investigated.

The study was carried out in the areas of Alsalamya in Hama and Almesherfa in Homs, using a randomized sample of 120 farmers, that was collected from 10% randomly selected villages of the target villages.

The results of this study showed a high average age of farmers i.e. an average age of 54.9 years. In regards to education, the majority of farmers (i.e.65.9%) has the basic education while about a third (31.7%) of sample were illiterate. The vast majority of the studied sample were married people (95.8%). The average number of  family members in the sample studied 8 people whereas (51.7%) of the sample had a medium-sized families (6-9) person.

It is found that the majority of farmers (61%) rely on agricultural work as a basic career while about (39%) has additional job. It is noted that the average family income in the sample is (342) thousand SP per year. The average land size is 56 dunums  per person and the majority of farmers (87.5%) are owners to their land. Rain-fed area formed the vast majority of the total area of the sample (i.e. 76.9%). The ratio of cultivated area with fodder was 72.7% of the total cultivated area of the sample whereas the fodder barley was the highest percentage of the fodder areas (i.e. 97.6%).

The results show that the vast majority of farmers (91.7%) in the sample do not have any machinery for manufacturing fodder whereas the majority of farmers who breed livestock buy supplementary fodder for the duration of 4-6 months per year.

The study results showed that the majority of farmers in the sample (i.e. 69.2%) had a low knowledge of technologies for fodder manufacturing. Despite of  spreading  fodder cultivation that are mainly represented by barley (i.e. the rate of adoption of fodder farming is 76.7% of the farmers), the percentage of farmers who make hay or treat straws with urea is only 10% and 6.7% respectively whereas the vast majority of farmers in the sample do not apply any of these activities.

The results also show that (61.7%) of the sampled farmers raise livestock, while (56.7%) of them have a low knowledge in using nutrition and breeding technologies, and (28.4%) of them with intermediate knowledge of these technologies. The percentage of applied process of rams separation (37.8%) of livestock keepers. 44.6% of livestock keepers applied early weaning while only (6.8%) of them applied artificial insemination technique, and (8.1%)of them used improved rams. It is found that (54%) of them use agricultural residues in direct feeding and without improving them, whereas (33.8%) of them are make fodder mixtures and add vitamins and minerals to animal’s provender.

The results show that (38.3%) of farmers have a low communication level with extension units, and (52.5%) with intermediate relationship with the extension unit. The greater percentage (95%) of the sources for agricultural information comes from self experience, parents, neighbors and friends, while  (65.8%) comes through agricultural technicians represented with extension staff.

The results of the statistical analysis show a positive significant  correlation between each of the educational level, family income, Barley production, availability of agricultural machinery, the level of extension communication  as independent variables and the degree of knowledge and the adoption of  farmers for the use of fodder technologies as dependents variables. The results also show a negative significant correlation between each of planting trees, availability of grasslands and crops residues as independent variables and the level of knowledge and the adoption of farmers for the use of fodder technologies as dependents variables.

The results of the statistical analysis showed a positive significant  correlation between each of educational level, number of livestock, the level of extension communication, family income as independent variables,  and the level of knowledge and the adoption of livestock keepers in using nutrition and breeding technologies as dependents variables. The results also show a negative  significant correlation between planting of trees, availability of grasslands and crops residues as independent variables and the level of knowledge and adoption of livestock keepers to use nutrition and breeding technologies as dependents variables.

The results of the statistical analysis show that each of property of Agricultural Land, Availability of Grasslands, the level of extension communication were responsible on about (34%) of the total variation of the farmers’ adoption to grow the rainfed  fodders. it is found that that the level of extension communication, educational level, and availability of agricultural machinery are responsible about (67%) of the total variance of Farmers’ knowledge in fodder Technologies. The results also show that each of Availability of agricultural machinery and extension communication level have a significantly contributed in explaining about (55%) from the total variance of farmers’ Adoption to fodder Technologies whereas each of extension communication level and Barley production explain about (37%) of the total variance of livestock keepers’ Adoption to use nutrition and breeding Technologies.