The purpose of this study is to uncover ground truth insights underlying the agriculture crisis from the perspectives of rural farmers in North-East Nigeria. The needs of individual farmers are otherwise not adequately reflected in national or regional economic development strategies.Design/methodology/approachA unique sequential mixed-methods research design was adopted for this study. A grounded theory approach was used for the literature review followed by a consensual qualitative research (CQR) technique. Data were collected through a semi-structured sense-making focus group (FG) held at a field site with agricultural extension workers. The CQR technique included brainstorming, the nominal group technique, open discussions, sense-making and consensual agreement on the most important ideas. The FG sense-making was recorded, and discourse analysis was conducted to develop thematic concept maps using NVivo software.FindingsAgriculture crisis ground truth insight themes were consistent with the extant literature but several different issues were also found. Rural farmers in North-East Nigeria have significant challenges with government support in six core areas, namely, farm input quality and dissemination, fair input subsidization, training, market facilitation, corruption and insecurity.Research limitations/implicationsThe target population of this study was rural farmers in Adamawa State, North-East Nigeria. A relatively small sample of 16 agricultural extension workers – very experienced farmers who also act as mentors and are paid incentives by the government for doing so – was used.Practical implicationsIn tackling the agriculture crisis in Nigeria, policymakers will do well to recognize the realities that the rural farmers face and their needs, the government must address the areas highlighted in this study where support for farmers lacks and urgently review the current process of farm inputs dissemination.Originality/valueAgriculture crisis problems were explored from the perspectives of rural North-East Nigerian farmers, who have not been previously sampled due to cultural, language, literacy and schedule constraints. The extension workers were better able to communicate agriculture crisis insights in modern economic planning terminology because they are well-educated farmers, knowledgeable about the problems due to their field experience and because they have more flexible work schedules. A unique sequential mixed-methods constructivist research design was used with an embedded CQR technique, which would be of interest to scholars and research institutions.
International Journal of Development Issues – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 31, 2020
Keywords: North-East Nigeria; Agriculture crisis; Agricultural extension worker; Consensual qualitative research (CQR); Focus group; Qualitative data analysis software (QDAS); Discourse analysis