Training Needs of Agricultural Extension Agents in Delta State, Nigeria

Document Type: Regular articles

Authors

Department of Agricultural Economics & Extension, Delta State University, Asaba Campus, Asaba, Nigeria

Abstract

This study examined the training needs of agricultural extension agents in Delta State, Nigeria. A sample of 102 respondents was drawn from extension agents in the States’ Agricultural Development Programme (ADP), Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MANR) and the FADAMA Programme. Data were collected in February 2017 by using a structured and validated questionnaire. Data generated were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Mean scores, percentage, frequency count and standard deviation were used to summarize data, while Spearman Rank Order correlation coefficient (rho) was used to determine the relationship between competence and training needs of extension agents. Results reveal that extension agents are competent in the following professional skills: teaching farmers, public speaking, determination of farmers’ needs and planning extension programmes. It was also found that extension agents need training in some professional skills which include: production of teaching aids, planning excursion and field trips, providing market information and simplifying agricultural research results. Constraints to training of agricultural extension agents identified by the study include: poor funding, high cost of training, poor training incentives and limited training opportunities. A strong relationship was found between extension agents’ competence and their training needs. This study therefore recommends that training opportunities should be created by relevant agencies to enable extension agents improve their competence and performance. Also, constraints to training identified in this study should be tackled to allow for sustainable training programmes.

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