Econometric Analysis of Access to Agricultural Extension Workers’ Service and its Implication on Crop Yield in Tigray Region, Ethiopia


College of Social Science and Humanities, Samara University, P.O. Box 132, Samara, Ethiopia


Agricultural extension workers’ service has been placed as the central pattern of agricultural transformation in general and smallholder farmers in particular. Due largely to this commensurately known trend, identifying factors that determine farmers’ access to extension workers’ service and the effect of the service on crop yield was found to be imperative. Cross sectional data was collected through semi-structured questionnaire administered on 270 randomly selected smallholder farmers. While analyzing the data, descriptive statistics and econometric models basically Binary logistic and Ordinary Least Square (OLS) regression models were employed. Regression results revealed that access to agricultural extension workers’ service was determined positively by irrigation use, fertilizer use, off-farm activities participation, membership to a certain association, education and tropical livestock unit; whereas gender, age and land size carried a negative sign. The regression result also revealed that agricultural extension workers’ service has a positive but insignificant effect on crop yield where no significant crop yield difference have been seen between the visited and non-visited farm households. As per the findings, it is recommended that extension workers need to be financed jointly by the regional government and farmers themselves; thereby extending their roles and responsibilities to the extent of checking farmers at their farm land; and there is a need to solve the fusion of political and agricultural tasks that extension worker are doing.


1. Adebiyi, S. and Okunlola, J. O. (2013). Factors Affecting Adoption of Cocoa Farm Rehabilitation Techniques in Oyo State of Nigeria. World Journal of Agricultural Sciences 9 (3): 258-265, 2013 ISSN 1817-3047 DOI: 10.5829/idosi.wjas.2013.9.3.1736
2. Adesina, A. and Baidu-Forson, J. (1995). Farmers' Perceptions and Adoption of New Agricultural Technology: Evidence from analysis in Burkina Faso and Guinea, West Africa. Agricultural Economics 13: 1-9.
3. Anderson, J. R. and Feder, G. (2004). Agricultural Extension: Good Intentions and Hard Realities. The World Bank Research Observer, 19 (1): 41-60.
4. Arega, D. A. (2010). Productivity growth and the effects of R&D in African agriculture. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), P.O. Box 30258, Lilongwe, Malawi Agricultural Economics, 41: 223–238.
5. Berihun, K. H. (2014). Assessment of Factors Affecting Agricultural Production: Evidence from Smallholder Farmers of Southern Tigray, NorthernEthiopia, MA Thesis submitted Mekelle University, College of Business and Economics, Department of Management, Development Studies post graduate Program. Online accessible under Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
6. Berihun, K. H., Bihon, K. A. And Kibrom, A.W. (2014). Adoption and Impact of Agricultural Technologies on Farm Income: Evidence from Southern Tigray, Northern Ethiopia. International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics 2 (4):99-106.
7. Birner, R., Davis, K., Pender, J., Nkonya, E., Ponniah. A., Ekboir, J., Mbabu, A., Spielman, D.J., Horna, D., Benin, S and Cohen, M. (2009). From best practice to best fit: A framework for designing and analyzing pluralistic agricultural advisory services worldwide. Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 15(4):341–355.
8. Chiputwa, B., Langyintuo, A. S and Wall, P. (2011). Adoption of Conservation Agriculture Technologies by Smallholder Farmers in the Shamva District of Zimbabwe: A Tobit application. Paper accepted for the 2011 meeting of the Southern Agricultural Economics Association (SAEA) in Texas, USA.
9. Christoplos, I. (2010). Mobilizing the potential of rural and agricultural extension. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services.
10. CSA. (2007). The Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia government publisher.
11.Davis, K. and Heemskerk, W. (2012). Investment in extension and advisory services as part of agricultural innovation systems. Module 3 of agricultural innovation systems: an investment sourcebook. Washington, DC, USA: The World Bank.
12.Dejene, A. (1989). The Training and Visit Agricultural Extension in Rain fed Agriculture: Lessons from Ethiopia. World Dev, 17:1647-1659.
13.Gautam, M. (2000). Agricultural extension: The Kenya experience: An impact evaluation. Operations Evaluation Studies. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.
14.Genius, M., Koundouri, P., Nauges, C. and Tzouvelekas, V. (2013). Information Transmission in Irrigation Technology Adoption and Diffusion: Social Learning, Extension Services and Spatial Effects. European Union Financed project FOODIMA: Food Industry Dynamics and Methodological Advances" (Contract No 044283).
15. GFRAS (Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services). (2010). GFRAS: Making a difference by
improving rural advisory services. Lindau, Switzerland: GFRAS.
16.Gujarati, N. (2006). Basic Econometrics, Third Edition, McGraw Hill Book Company, New York.
17.Henao J. and Baanante C. (2006). Agricultural Production and Soil Nutrient Mining in Africa Implications for Resource Conservation and Policy Development. An International Center for Soil Fertility and Agricultural Development P.O. Box 2040 Muscle Shoals, Alabama 35662, U.S.A. available online at
18.Hu, R., Cai, Y., Chen, K.Z., Huang, J. (2012). Effects of inclusive public agricultural extension service: Results from a policy reform experiment in western China. China Economic Review 23: 962–974.
19. Idrisa, Y. L., Gwary, M. M. and Ogunbameru, B.O. (2008). Analysis of Farmers’ Access to and Perception of Extension Service Delivery in Borno State, Nigeria. Journal of Agricultural Extension 12 (1): 50-58.
20. Israel, G. D. (1992). Determining Sample Size. Program Evaluation and Organizational Development, IFAS PEOD-6, Series of Agricultural Education and Communication Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida; available at EIDS web site at
21.Kadir, M., Dawi, S., Human, M. T and Razzak, K. (2002). Integration of agricultural research and extension. APO. Philippines, 18–22 Mar 2002. P: 6.
22.Mbo’o-Tchouawou, M. and Colverson, K. (2014). Increasing access to agricultural extension and advisory services: How effective are new approaches in reaching women farmers in rural areas? Nairobi, Kenya: International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
23.Meinzen-Dick, R., Quisumbing, A., Behrman, J., Biermayr-Jenzano, P., Wilde, V., Noordeloos, M., Ragasa, C. and Beintema, N (2012) Engendering agricultural research, development, and extension. Washington, DC, USA: International Food Policy Research Institute.
24.MoARD (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development). (2010). Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Ethiopia’s agriculture sector policy and investment framework: Ten year road map (2010–2020). Final Report
25.MoFED. (2003). Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Rural Development Policy and Strategies. Economic Policy and Planning Department Addis Ababa, government publisher.
26.Mugera, A. and Ojede, A. (2011). Agricultural Productivity Growth in Africa: Is EfficiencyCatching-up or Lagging Behind? Paper presented at the 55th Annual National Conference of the Australia Agricultural & Resources Economics Society, Melbourne, Victoria, February 8-11: 2011
27.Nin-Pratt, A. and Yu, B. (2008). An Updated Look at the Recovery of Agricultural Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa. IFPRI Discussion Paper 00787 Development Strategy and Governance Division.
28.Ozor, N., Agwu ,A. E., Chukwuone , N. A., Madukwe, M. C. and Garforth, C. J. (2007). Cost-sharing of Agricultural Technology Transfer in Nigeria: Perceptions of Farmers and Extension Professionals. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 13(1): 23-37.
29. Shumet, A. (2011). Analysis of technical efficiency of crop producing smallholder farmers in Tigray, Ethiopia. MPRA Paper No. 40461.
30. Tesfaye, L. T., Azage, T., and Hoekstra, D. (2012). Capacity for knowledge-based smallholder agriculture in Ethiopia: Linking graduate programs to market-oriented agricultural development: Challenges, opportunities IPMS experience.IPMS (Improving Productivity and Market Success) of Ethiopian Farmers Project Working Paper 29. Nairobi, Kenya, ILRI.
31. Tewodaj, M., Cohen, M. J., Birner, R., Mamusha, L., Randriamamonjy, J., Fanaye, T. and Zelekawork, P. (2009). Agricultural Extension in Ethiopia through a Gender and Governance Lens. Ethiopia Strategy Support Program 2 (ESSP2) Discussion Paper No. ESSP2 007.
32. Tollefson. L. (1995). Requirements for improved interactive communication between researchers, managers, extensionists, and farmers. Proceedings of the ICID/FAO Workshop on Irrigation Scheduling. Rome, Italy, 12-13 Sep 1995.
33. Tsakok, I. and Gardner, B. (2007). Agriculture in economic development: Primary engine of growth or chicken and egg? American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 89 (5): 1145-1151.
34.Umar, B.B., Nyanga, P.H. and Aune, J.B (2011). Conservation Agriculture: An Innovation for Increasing Food Security among Smallholders in Zambia. IFPRI Conference paper.
35.Wanga, E. (1999). Key note address on New Perspective in Rural Extension. Regional Refresher International Course in rural extension (ICRE) on : challenges and prospects Exertion University . 21st Nov-3rd Dec.
36.Wondimagegn, M., Bekabil, F. and Jema, H. (2011). Pattern, Trend and Determinants of Crop Diversification: Empirical Evidence from Smallholders in Eastern Ethiopia. Journal of Economics and Sustainable Development 2 (8): 78-89.