ASSESSMENT OF EMERGING ROLES AND TRAINING NEEDS OF EXTENSION PERSONNEL IN KOGI STATE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

ABSTRACT

Meaningful agricultural development in any society largely hinges on extension system in place. Agricultural extension assists rural people in the community through educational procedure in improving their farming methods and techniques, thus increasing their production efficiency, income, social and living standard. To bring this to pass requires continuous training of extension personnel in order to cope with the emerging roles cropping up as a result of developmental programmes established by the government to improve food production and reduction in the poverty level of rural dwellers. The study focused on the personal socio-demographic characteristics, emerging roles of extension personnel, training needs to cope with the emerging roles and frequency and type of training programme organized for the extension personnel. It also identified the major problems affecting the continuous training and retraining of extension personnel in Kogi State ADP. The study covered twenty one local government areas of Kogi State which is divided into four agricultural zones: Zone A, B, C, and D. Data used were collected from one hundred extension personnel using questionnaire items. The study reveal that there is need for continuous training of extension personnel but some major constraints such as inadequate fund, administrative bottleneck, lack of continuity of extension policy have to be overcome. The Kogi State government should provide financial support as well as regular payment of personnel wages interms of salaries, bonus and arrears. Fund should be released to KSADP as at when due for proper, planning and execution of training programme for her personnel. Motivation of personnel should be taken into consideration to enhance their regular attendance to training programmes. There should be continuity of extension policy to backup consistent training of extension personnel. Necessary training facilities and equipment should be provided by Kogi State ADP in order to enhance good training of her staff.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background Information:
Nigeria is basically an agricultural country and about 65% to 70% of the population earns their living from agriculture (Idachaba, 1990). However, despite abundant oil, or mineral wealth, Nigeria faces acute food shortages as a result of low agricultural productivity to march the increases in population. The level of technology in Nigeria agriculture is relatively low because technologies developed through research and development activities are not reaching the peasant farmers. This situation calls for a virtue extension that will link the farmers with the researchers effectively (Oladele and Afoloyan 2005).

Extension is a comprehensive programme of services deliberately put in place for expanding, strengthening and empowering the capacity of the present and prospective farmers farm families, other rural economic operators (processors, marketers, rural agro-industrialists) that need to succeed in farming and farm related occupations. This is done through participatory stakeholdership with researchers, policy makers, extensionists, educators, agro investers and farmers themselves to put in place a strong programme of improved agricultural production and farm investment environment. It is thus a farmer centred programme at building agriculture through building of the farmers (Adedoyin 2002).

Agricultural  extension is the main vehicle for the dissemination of technical and economic information hinges on training as the key to sustainable     agricultural development. A well trained extension personnel, especially an extension, agent is the most important single element, for achieving the aims and objectives of extension organization as they relate with the clientele directly in their rural setting (Madukwe 2005).

According to Amalu (1998), agriculture has changed at an extra ordinary rapid pace over the past fifty years. The changes have included rapid shifts in agricultural technologies and practices as well as fundamental adjustments in the social relations of agricultural production and food distribution. The failure to achieve the numerous rural development objectives of the federal government has led to the introduction of an integrated approach represented by the Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) system (Amalu, 1998). The system is based on the premise that a combination of factors comprising the appropriate technology or innovation, effective extension access to physical inputs, adequate market and infrastructural facilities are essential to getting agriculture moving. This was to improve Agricultural productivity supported by basic infrastructure needed to raise the living standard of rural dwellers (Amon 1982). Infrastructural facilities development include sequential construction of rural roads, small dams, farm service centres, seed multiplication units, input distribution centres, demonstrating linkages among institutions.

According to Emmanuel (1998) the ADP have proved to be the most result yielding programmes in Nigeria since its inception. These programmes emerged in the Second National Economic Development Plan between 1970-1975. The development of the agricultural development projects in Nigeria fall into three distinct generations. The first generation comprised of enclave projects that covered a limited number of local government areas in the Northern Guinea savanna zone of Nigeria in 1975. (Funtua, Gusua, and Gombe). Other ADPs were establish in different states of Nigeria between 1978 and 1986

Kogi State Agricultural Development Programme came into existence with the creation of Kogi State in 1991. The personnel came from Kwara and Benue ADP to form the staff strength of the organization. It was supported and financed by the joint efforts of the World Bank, federal and state governments before the World Bank withdrew her support in recent year? Some programme activities engaged in included provision of information on input supply and distribution, rehabilitation service, rural infrastructure development, technology transfer and adoption techniques among others.

The achievement of the objectives of agricultural extension is possible only within the framework of a formal organization and organizational structure. For effective coordination and implementation of the ADPs, each project has an executive committee known as Agricultural Development Executive Committee (ADPEC) headed by the state executive governor, commissioner for agriculture, project manager and adjudged relevant federal and state top functionaries of ministries and parastatals. This committee coordinates project activities, approve annual work plans and budgets, appoints and supervises senior staff, reviews project performance, awarding contracts, and supervising procurement activities. Next is the project management unit (PMU), which is headed by programme manager, assisted by the sub-programme heads or directors in the project and the zonal managers. The PMU ensures the implementation of all policies and directive approved by ADPEC. It meets every three months to review the performance of the project and takes vital policy decisions for operation of the programme.

The organizations of ADPs are undertaken through the activities of two major programmes, namely, the core and support service programme. The core programme includes: the technical extension, engineering and commercial sub programme while the support service comprises the administration, finance, and account, planning, monitoring and evaluation, human resources development and training sub programmes. The human resource development and training is to ensure continuous supply of necessary skills both qualitative and quantitative for the attainment of the project goals and objectives. It handles human....

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 86 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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