The role and impact of extension agents in Kaduna State of Nigeria

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Atala, Thomas
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Sociology and Anthropology

The objectives of this study were to assess the impact of agricultural extension agents, examine the role perception, role performance, and role consensus of extension agents and develop and test the importance of a set of variables posited or presumed as explaining the differential agent role performance and the relationship between role performance and role impact;Field investigation was conducted in Zone III of the World Bank-assisted agricultural development program in Kaduna State. Respondents were the extension agents operating in this area. A structured interview instrument was used and data were obtained from 112 of the 115 extension agents in the study area;The most important impacts as perceived by extension agents were widespread awareness of recommended farm practices, higher crop production, and availability of farm inputs. The most perceived roles of extension by extension agents were holding meetings, home and farm visits, providing farmers with information and organizing community projects;However, the most performed role was writing reports followed by providing farmers with information and distribution of farm materials. There was high consensus with extension officials that providing farmers with information, distributing farm materials, and holding meetings, home and farm visits were the three most important roles of extension agents;Role and organization theories were used to investigate factors that influence agent role performance which, in turn, affects role impact. Using path analysis, significant predictors of role performance were role perception, age, and decision making. Agents who perceived more extension roles, agents who were older, and agents who perceived a greater degree of participation in the decision making of the extension organization had greater role performance or performed most of the role activities of extension agents. Finally, role performance of extension agents was significantly associated positively with agents' perceived role impact on agricultural and rural development.

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Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1986