ADVANCING THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUTES OF SMALL HOLDER FARMERS BY FADAMA II PROGRAMME
The study investigated the impact of Fadama II programme on the socio-economic statutes of farmers in Ugbuawka and Nara communities in Enugu state, Nigeria. It identified the socio-economic characteristics of the farmers and constraints to Fadama (wetland) farming. It also assessed the extent to which participation in the programme has enhanced the productivity and wellbeing of the farmers. Data for the study were collected during the period of April to October 2010, through a questionnaire administered to a sample of 160 farmers comprising 80 PFs and NPFs respectively. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, percentages, mean scores, factor analysis, t-test and chi-square statistics. The findings from the study showed that the project made a positive impact on the incomes of the farmers since there was a significant difference in their incomes before and after the project. Also, the project exerted a positive significant impact on their access to credit, Fadama resources, knowledge, innovation, agro-inputs and size of farmland. There was a significant difference in the access to irrigation facilities, credit and fertilizer between the PFs and NPFs. The major constraints to the full implementation of the project objectives in the area included postharvest losses, logistics and poor Fadama incentives. Policy interventions that contribute to better access to inputs (improved seeds, agrochemicals), irrigation water pump, fertilizer and farmer-specific efficiency factors should be sustained.