Training Needs of Extension Agents in Agricultural Development Programmes of Selected States of South Western Nigeria
AbstractIt is crucial to devote training opportunities to those areas in which training is most important and most needed since time, personnel, and other resourcesfor in~services training are very limited. The study examined the training needs ofextension agents in Agricultural Development Programmes (ADPs) in selected states of southwestern Nigeria. A random sampling technique was used to select 206 village extension agents (VEAs), 46 block extension supervisors(BESs) and 31 subject matter specialists (SMSs)from thefollowing five states of South-Western Nigeria: Oyo, Osunr Lagos, Ondo and Ogun. Thefindings show that majority (84.6%) of the VEAs are male,mostly( 60.1%) between 30 and 49 years of age and 91.5% are married. A significant percentage (73.4%) of VEAs hold Ordinary National DiplomatON.D) certificates. Also, more than half (56.9%) have not had in-service training and 76.6% have sewed more than five years in the ADP. The result indicates that the competency areas where VEAs need training are in the research methodology and programme evaluation. Kendall9s coefficient of concordance shows that there is a relativelylow degree of agreement between the ranking of the VEAs, BESs and SMSs of the importance of competency areas (w =0.32). Pearson correlation coefficient shows a significant relationship between the training needs of VEAs and age (r =0.77 p<0.05); level of education (r = 0.25. p<0.05) and length of sendee (r - 0.96, p<0.05). One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) shows that there are significant differences in the training needs assessment of VEAs, BESs andSMSs on extension administration (F = 5.34, p<0.05); programme planning and development (F = 19.42, p<0.05); communication (F- 28.66, p<0.05); research (F =31.13, p<0.05); conducting training (F = 22.21, p<0.05), teaching(F = 37.97, p<0.05), human (F = 20.01, p<0.05) and evaluation (F = 12.53, p<0.05).Recommendationfrom this study is that a training course should be heldfor VEAs in the areas of research methodology and programme evaluation and this should be prioritized with the other competency areas and reviewed regularly by the ADP management. Also more funds must be allocated to training of extension agents.
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