Perception of farmers on effectiveness of agricultural extension agents in knowledge transfer to maize growers in Kilindi district
Sokoine University Of Agriculture
The interaction between extension agents and farmers and the extent to which farmers perceive extension agents as useful to them is paramount to bringing about change in agriculture output. However, little information is available in Kilindi District; therefore, this study was conducted to assess farmers‟ perception on the effectiveness of their extension agents in knowledge transfer to maize farmers in Kilindi District. Specifically, the study intended to: identify socio-economic factors affecting knowledge transfer to maize growers; identify problems associated with low maize yield in the study area and determine farmers‟ perception on the effectiveness of their extension agents in obtaining required knowledge on maize growing. Data were collected from 121 households, using cross-sectional research design. A General Linear Regression was used to estimate perceived effectiveness of AEAs in knowledge transfer using a five point likert scale. Results show that age, household size, farm size, and AEAs contacts had significant influence on technological transfer to maize growers in the study area. It was also found that 25.6%, 95.9%, 43%, and 75.2%, of respondents were impacted by plant diseases and pests, low market prices and low yields, respectively. Again, 63% to 96.6% of the respondents strongly disagreed on the effectiveness of AEAs in knowledge transfer, 90.9% to 99.2% of respondents had negative perceptions on the advantages of AEAs. It is therefore recommended that local government should enforce equitably distribution of agricultural extension services in rural areas as well equipping AEAs with knowledge and skills on pest and diseases control and training them on new technologies to maximize farmers yield hence increasing income. The local government should support and facilitate easy access of AEAs to rural farmers.
Maize growers, Agricultural extension agents, Kilindi district, Knowledge transfer, Maize production constraints, Tanzania