Assessment of the factors impacting agricultural extension training programs in Tanzania: a descriptive study
Many studies conductedon extension have identified problems and the failure of various approaches that are meant to help farmers in agricultural advancement. This study was designed to obtain the ideas of the main clientele group in the extension sector and that is, of course, farmers. Farmers probably make up the largest Extension clientele group in many African countries.This study aimed to identify the perceptions that farmers haveof extension services in Kilolo district, Tanzania. In addition, the study sought to identify farmers'preferences of the extension approaches used andto identify factors that motivated their participation in extension training. This study was based on input from 120 interviewed participants in the Kilolo district of Iringa region. A researcher developed interview schedule was used to collect the data.
According to this study, most farmers are motivated to attend extension education training to learn new ways of doing things in order to improve production, andfarmers prefer to learn by doing through demonstration. Despite the eagerness that farmers have for learning new ways of farming, most farmers are discouraged with the poor organization and coordination of extension training programs in their areas. Most farmers know the importance of extension services in improving their production, but they are not satisfied with the way these services are being implemented. The other factor that the study identified is the lack of a participatory approach among extension agents,which leads to the inability to meet farmers'needs.
Additionally, the study found that poor support by the government for the extension sector also lowers the effectiveness of the extension agent. In most cases, extension agents live far from their assigned villages due to lack of housing. There is also a lack of transport for extension agents, which seems to be another reason for not helping farmers in their workstations.