CHAPTER ONE 1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background to the Study Poverty is acknowledged to be largely a rural phenomenon where agriculture is the predominant occupation (Adeolu et al., 2004). Agriculture has been an important sector in the Nigerian economy, It accounts for the highest employer of labour, provision of food, eradicating poverty and contributing to the overall growth of the economy, However, the sector is characterized by low yields, low level of inputs, limited land area under cultivation and traditional production tools capable of generating very little income for the farmers (Izuchukwu, 2011). In the early 1960s to 1980s, Nigeria was largely self-sufficient in food production, Agriculture contributed about 42% of the Gross Domestic product (GDP), employing over 65% of the labour force in Nigeria (Emeka, 2007). However, there has been a gradual decline in agriculture’s contributions to the nation’s economy. For instance, the index per capita food production, which was 150 in year 2000/2001 was only 120 in year 2002/2003 (Manyong et al.,2005). The major reason for this was largely due to poor extension services. Presently, less than 50% of the Nigeria’s cultivable land is under cultivation and are cultivated by subsistent smallholder farmers, cropping about 1-2 hectares under a traditional system characterized by low yield (Olajide et al.,2012).