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Abstract

Recent approaches at enhancing the provision of agricultural support services to rice farmers in Nigeria involve multi-stakeholder partnerships. For effective performance, there is the need for right mix of partners’ interests and resources otherwise conflicts may become inevitable. This study therefore investigated challenges in a multi-stakeholder partnership in rice production in Benue state that may predispose the system to conflicts and make it unsustainable. Using simple random sampling technique, 170 rice farmers were selected from the list of cooperative societies that participated in the scheme. Interview schedule containing respondents’ level of interaction with other stakeholders (17-33), access to agric-support services (8-24) and potential sources of conflicts (mean score) was used to collect data. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and PPMC. The result indicated that 57.1% of the farmers had high level of interaction with stakeholders. Multi-stakeholder partnership was found to have enhanced farmers’ access to improved rice varieties (1.83±0.42), guaranteed market (1.75±0.50) and timely delivery of extension services (1.62±0.63). The farmers ranked distrust as most severe source of conflicts (2.88±0.41). There was a weak negative relationship between farmers’ level of interaction with other stakeholders and sources of conflicts. It is evident that the enhanced delivery of agricultural support services through multi-stakeholder partnership has not been without some hitches. There is therefore need for open communication with effective feedback mechanism to reduce frictions and build trust and transparency among partners.

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