Farmers Knowledge of the Role of Extension Services in Akwa-Ibom State Nigeria
The study examined farmers’ knowledge of the role of extension services in Akwa-Ibom State. Specifically, the study examined socio-economic characteristics of the farmers in the study area, ascertained level of farmer’s knowledge on the role of agricultural extension in general agricultural development and also identified problems militating against farmers’ knowledge of these roles in the state. Multistage sampling techniques were used in selecting 180 respondents for the study. Descriptive statistics was used for data analysis while Probit regression analysis was used to test the hypotheses. The results show that the farmers had high knowledge in areas of role and information transfer through agricultural extension, while they had low knowledge in areas of effective implementation of knowledge and information gained. This has impeded the expected food security the nation hopes to attain through proper training and implementation of programs by farmers. However, major constraints limiting farmers’ knowledge in agricultural extension are poor understanding and application of technologies ( = 4.4) as well as irregular visit and supervision of farmers by extension agents ( = 4.0). Probit regression analysis shows that extension contact (2.705), level of education (3.389), farm status (3.282), income (2.505) and membership of cooperatives (6.012) were positive and highly significantly related to the level of farmers’ knowledge in the state. The study therefore recommends that knowledge of extension service should be brought closer to the farmers, through participatory extension approach under stable policy and sustainable institutional arrangement.
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