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Iowa states presentation

  1. 1. Information Needs of Agric Extension Officers in Ghana. Gamel A.Nasser Salifu Ph.D Scholar at ISU, United states of America
  2. 2. Background of Study  Agriculture is vital to the overall economic growth and development of Ghana. The agricultural sector has always been the main driver of growth of the Ghanaian economy (ISSER, 2010).  Khor (2006) reports that about; 40% of the GDP is accounted for by agriculture and livestock, forestry, and fishing; 70% of the employment is dependent on agriculture; the majority of the people engaged in agricultural production are small-scale farmers involved in subsistence agriculture
  3. 3. Background of study  However, yields, agricultural growth and productivity have remained low and poor  Alfred and Odefadehan (2007), contend that more than 800 million people in developing countries were said to be under nourished at the beginning of 2000, while food supply in Africa was 2300 calories as against 3500 in Western Europe and America (FAO, 2002)
  4. 4. Background of study  Food security index in the developing world, shows that population growth does not match food production. Since 1980, the population of African countries has risen by 53 percent but food production has only risen by 45 percent (Alfred and Odefadehan , 2007).  It is feared that if this trend continues for a long time majority of the population will increasingly remain impoverished in the coming decades.
  5. 5. Background of study        Inadequate supply of information to farmers. Low income per capita Limited public spending on agriculture. Poor rural agricultural infrastructure. Inadequate expenditure on various other sectors High subsistence farming High illiteracy
  6. 6. Background of study  As a Medium Term Agricultural Development Plan (NARP) and (NAEP).
  7. 7. Problem Statement  Majority of farmers in Ghana) are largely illiterate who can only be reached by personal contact.  For the AEAs to be effective in the art of disseminating information technologies to farmers, however, their information needs must be adequately met .  Information in itself is not a resource.  The information must first exist in a suitable form.
  8. 8. Problem statement   Low educational qualifications of AEAs in relation to the assignments and responsibilities they are expected to accomplish. The flow of information in extension organizations is difficult.  Information for Extension delivery is affected by three laws; the law of praxis, law of escalating demand and law of necessity.  Information in extension is a moving target. 
  9. 9. Problem statement  Its under these circumstance that extension officers perform their role and major function.
  10. 10. Aim of the Study  The aim of the study was to analyze the information needs of Extension Agents in Dangme-west district of the Greater Accra Region
  11. 11. Specific Objectives of Study    Determine the relationship between the information needs of Farmers and those of Agricultural Extension Agents of MOFA. Identify the information sources at the disposal of Agricultural Extension Agents of MOFA key to quality extension services delivery to Farmers. Investigate sources of information presently utilized by Agricultural Extension Agents of MOFA and how these sources may be improved.
  12. 12. Specific objectives of study  Determine the effect of Agricultural Extension Agents’ demographic characteristics on their information sources.  Ascertain constraints limiting the acquisition of information from these sources by the Agricultural Extension Agents of MOFA .
  13. 13. Hypothesis for the Study  Ho1. The information needs of farmers have no influence on their quality of production, processing and marketing of agricultural produce.  Ho2. The information needs of Extension Agents have no influence on their quality of extension delivery  Ho3 There is no relationship between the information needs of Farmers and that of Extension Agents.
  14. 14. Hypothesis  Ho4 The source of information at the disposal of Extension agents has no relationship with their information need.  Ho5 There is no significant relationship between the demographic characteristics of Extension Agents and their information sources.  Ho6 There are no constraints to the acquisition of information by Extension Agents.
  15. 15. Conceptual Framework  Demographics Sex Age, W.E Educ Teaching Technical Dissem Constraints Comm Advisory Social Legal General EN EK Farmers Info. Need
  16. 16. Literature Review; Status of Agric Extension Delivery in Ghana  Agricultural Extension services involve several different activities such as problem identification, information provision, field demonstration, teaching of skills and advice giving (AckahNyamike, 2003).  Agricultural Extension services in Ghana are carried out by the MOFA. Agricultural extension activities were initiated in Ghana in the nineteenth century and have evolved through various stages in the art of extension delivery. In 1997, MOFA decentralized its activities resulting in structural changes in the management of agricultural extension delivery service in Ghana (Sakyi-Dawson, 2004)
  17. 17. Literature Review; Status of Agric. Extension Delivery in Ghana  Today, under the current Food and Agricultural Sector Development Policy (FASDEP II) limited access to technology appropriate to all levels of agricultural production has been recognized as one major obstacle to agricultural development (MOFA, November, 2005).  The policy also recognizes a need to respond with the speed of light to challenges faced by farmers by providing uniform services as well as facilitating the effectiveness of the extension delivery mechanism throughout the country.
  18. 18. Literature Review; Tasks Performed by Agric. Extension Agents  There are several tasks performed by Extension Agents in extension service delivery. These comprise teaching of skills, disseminating proven agricultural information, negotiating in conflict situations between farmers, and giving advice to farmers on all aspects of agricultural production, processing and marketing( Kwarteng etal. 2006)  According to Ackah-Nyamike Jnr (2007), Extension Agents in performing their tasks, play various roles such as teacher, organiser, friend, planner, administrator, motivator, and intermediary.
  19. 19. Literature Review; Tasks Performed by Extension Officers  According to Kargbo (2007) there are two types of information needed in extension delivery; namely, current awareness on the technical aspects of extension work and everyday information. Operational tasks are performed by virtually all Extension Agents at all levels of the agricultural extension work.  The nature of the operational tasks depends on a number of factors including seniority and the sector of the extension practice. Be it livestock extension, agro forestry extension or fisheries extension operational tasks are performed in one way or another ( Annor-Frempong etal, 2005)
  20. 20. Literature Review; Information Needs of Extension Officers  As Taylor (1986) noted, information needs of Extension Agents consist of two categories, namely, those pertaining to the subject matter i.e. what information is needed, and those arising from the situational requirement of utilizing the information (why is the information needed, and how it will be used by the Extension Agent).  According to Butcher (1998) Extension Agents seems unable to explain their needs and there seem to be several reasons for this: they are unaware of what information is available, they do not understand how such information can be used and they are unaware of the delivery method options.
  21. 21. Literature Review; Information Needs of Extension Officers  Ntsala 2000, identifies extension agent’s information needs at two levels; Immediate information needs- At this level information is required to answer an immediate concern of farmer. This is likely to occur in a crisis situation in which time and costs are of outmost concern. However, the rapid demand for information to be satisfied will depend appreciably on the reliability of the personal contact network. Prospective information needs- At this level this type of information is basically treated as a long-term strategic resource in extension delivery.
  22. 22. Literature Review; Information Needs of Extension Officers  Alfred and Odefadehan (2007) has categorised the information needs of extension officers into technical information needs, commercial information needs, social information needs, legal information needs and general information needs.
  23. 23. Literature Review; Agricultural Information Dissemination by Extension Officers in Ghana  The Ghana government has instituted a variety of services to facilitate agricultural information dissemination to farmers. In 1991, the Research Extension Linkage Committees (RELCS) were formed in five ecological zones of Ghana to forge a close working relationship between research, extension and farmers (MOFA, November 2005).  Today one of the cardinal responsibilities of agricultural extension is the dissemination of timely agricultural information on technological innovations suited to the local farmers needs (Agunga, 2008)
  24. 24. Literature Review; Agricultural Information Dissemination by Extension Officers in Ghana   According to Ozowa (1995), research has established that agricultural innovations are capable of changing agricultural production and building economies of many developing countries and this could be possible if the innovations reach the farmers. Unfortunately, information dissemination and technology diffusion have not been very successful in most African countries. In Ghana, Extension Agents are employed to disseminate agricultural information and innovations. This they undertake by means of channels such as print & electronic media, extension services demonstrations and educational tours among others. These channels have their strengths and weaknesses in their sources.
  25. 25. Literature Review: Sources of Information for Extension Delivery  Magnire (2004) indicated that sources of information for extension officers in organizations ,for example MOFA, may be personal or impersonal, public or private , and passive or interactive to which access may be difficult or easy to coordinate or obtain.  Osei etal 2002 stated that the Impersonal sources used in extension work include the print media, electronic media, and institutionalized sources whiles the personal sources include, Boss/supervisor, training, seminars/workshops, colleagues,
  26. 26. Literature Review; Obstacles to Meeting Information Needs of Extension Officers in Ghana  Nicholas (2006) has identified a number of factors at play in successfully meeting the information needs of Extension Agents. These are; A. Factors Relating to the Extension Agents’ Personality  Extension Agents’ persistence and willingness to try again if success is not achieved immediately.  Extension Agents’ thoroughness to search deeply and painstakingly for the technical information.  Extension Agents’ orderliness, by searching systematically for the information requested by the farmer.  Extension Agents’ motivation ,leading to commitment to persist in search of the information and
  27. 27. Literature Review; Obstacles to Meeting Information Needs of Extension Officers in Ghana B. Factors Relating to Extension Agents’ Access to the Information Source.     Even if the Extension Agent knows about the existence of the information it might be difficult to obtain. Distance from places where information can be obtained. Format and language in which information is available. Extension Agents’ use information sources that is easiest to get and closest to hand and not what is actually the best or most appropriate
  28. 28. Literature Review; Obstacles to Meeting Information Needs of Extension Officers in Ghana C. Factors Relating to Lack of Resources and Excessive Costs to Extension Organisation.  Internet and on-line access by Extension Agents to information on agriculture and extension activities may be very costly to the extension organisation. D. Factors Relating to Information Overload.  The amount of information piling on the Extension Agent may be overpowering. The information needs to be evaluated and only the best selected.
  29. 29. Research Methodology  The methodology combined qualitative and quantitative methods.  A total of 120 respondents were sampled. 90 farmers, 30 Extension agents.
  30. 30. Research Methodology  The procedure employed for assessing the information needs of farmers and Extension agents were in three stages:  Stage one; A situational analysis. This baseline survey it became abundantly clear that farmers needed information on modern production, processing and marketing maize, mango, and cocoyam.
  31. 31. Research Methodology  Stage two: Developed three standard questionnaires each on the production and processing techniques of the three main crops, Maize, Cocoyam and Mango.  Stage three;
  32. 32. Research Methodology  Stage three; Based on the analysed results of the preceding stage, another standard questionnaire was developed, this time for the Extension agents themselves who serve as farmers’ most dependable information sources.
  33. 33. Research methodology; Instrumentation  Three instruments focused only on farmers,  This first category of instruments became the basis for the design of the second instrument which focused on Extension Agents work.  Four different instruments were used for this study.
  34. 34. Research Methodology; Pre-testing For Reliability and Validity  Instruments were tested for reliability and validity.  The data collected from the pilot study was entered into spss datafile to generate the alpha co-efficient for the sub-scales of the construct employed by this analaysis.  The cronbach alpha co-efficient of 0.89 was derived from the computer analysis.
  35. 35. Research Methodology; Measurement of Variables  The dependent variable for this study was information need.  This was operationalized with the help of information need index developed by Borich (1980).
  36. 36. Research methodology       IN= (EN – EK) × MN Where: IN = Information need in each item obtained by each respondent EN= Extent of Need in each item EK= Extent of Knowledge in each item MN=Mean Score of need of all respondents in each item.
  37. 37. Research Methodology      The Karl Pearson’s Product Moment Co-efficient of correlation (r ) was used. _ _ r= Σ (X-X) (Y-Y) Σ(X-X) ²(Y-Y) ² Where: r= Correlation co-efficient. x= Set of information need scores for Extension agents y= Set of information need score for farmers.
  38. 38. Research Methodology; Measurement of Variables; Independent Variable       The independent variables for this study was the Extension Agent. Gender: Age; Marital Status: Work experience; Education.
  39. 39. Method of Data Analysis  Data was sorted, coded and entered into spreadsheet on the computer using Excel software. and (SPSS).
  40. 40. Results and Discussions; Information Needs of Farmers Kind of information score Climatic variability 4.7 Mango propagation 4.5 Pest and disease control 4.9 Irrigation techniques 3.5 Soil fertility conservation 2.8 Mechanised farming 3.9 Post-harvest handling 3.6 Wetland farming 3.6
  41. 41. Results and Discussions; Technical Information needs of Extension agents Kind of Technical information Score Pest and disease control 3.50 Post harvest management 3.30 Climatic variability 3.20 Soil fertility conservation 3.17 Mechanised farming 3.10 Wetland farming 3.07 Irrigation techniques 3.05 Mango propagation 3.00
  42. 42. Commercial Information needs of Extension officers Kind of commercial information Score Cost of farm inputs 2.93 Marketing of agricultural produce 2.90 Agricultural co-operatives and micro credit 2.87 Book keeping, accounts and budgeting 2.85 Export prices and global Gap standards 2.83 Import duties on equipment for 2.43
  43. 43. Social Information Needs of Extension Officers Kind of Social Information Score Group dynamics in FBOs 3.12 Public presentation and use of exhibits 3.27 Gender planning 3.27 Topical issues in extension practice 2.68 Rural entrepreneurship 3.20 Conflict resolution 3.40 Farmer motivation 2.45
  44. 44. Legal Information needs of Extension officers Kind of Legal Information Score Public Land Use and acquisition Law 3.5 Agricultural Agencies Law 3.4 Legislation on Agricultural products 3.2 General Laws governing farmers (citizens) 3.3 Farmer insurance policy 3.8
  45. 45. General Information Needs of Extension Officers in Ghana Kind of General information score Proposal writing for sponsorships 3.17 Information repackaging and handling 3.15 Promotion of agric produce 3.11 Water management practices 3.20 Ecotourism 3.3
  46. 46. Ranking of Information Needs by Extension Agents Info. Need Ranking Percentages Technical High 32.8 Low 67.2 High 64.4 Low 35.6 High 59.3 Low 40.7 High 62.9 Low 37.1 High 43.7 Commercial Social Legal General
  47. 47. Prioritization of information needs  This is an indication that extension agents have a higher need for information on Commercial issues (Agribusiness) and legal information.  HCD is key.
  48. 48. Respondents Sources of Information for extension work source ranking percentages Boss/Supervisor Effective 84.7 Training Effective 86.5 Research Stations Effective 83.8 Seminars Effective 77.3 Print media Ineffective 49.2 Radio/Tv Ineffective 43.1 colleagues Effective 51.2 Farmers ineffective 34.3 Opinion leaders ineffective 44.4
  49. 49. Correlation between Farmers and Extension Agents Information Needs x y x-X y-Y 3.50 4.7 +0.45 +0.70 3.30 4.5 +0.25 3.20 4.9 3.17 (x-X)(y-Y) xy (x-X)2 (X2) (y-Y)2 (Y2) +0.32 0.20 0.49 +0.50 -0.13 0.06 0.25 +0.15 +0.90 +0.14 0.02 0.81 3.5 +0.12 -0.50 -0.06 0.01 0.25 3.10 2.8 +0.05 -1.20 -0.06 0.00 0.44 3.07 3.9 +0.02 -0.10 0.00 0.00 0.01 3.05 3.6 +0.00 -0.40 0.00 0.00 0.16 3.00 3.6 -0.05 -0.40 +0.02 0.01 0.16
  50. 50. Correlation between farmers and extension officers    Small – 0.29 to – 0.10 ≤ r ≤ 0.10 to 0.29 Medium –0.49 to –0.30 ≤ r ≤ 0.30 to 0.49 Large –1.00 to –0.50 ≤ r ≤ 0.50 to 1.00
  51. 51. Correlation between farmers and extension officers Σ (X-X) (Y-Y) Σ(X-X) ²(Y-Y) ² r = Pearson correlation co-efficient r= 0.4 √0.61× 4.67  r= r= 0.4 1.69 r = + 0.24
  52. 52. Correlation  The implication then is that, the technical information needs of Extension Agents are driven by farmer demand, and that as the information needs of farmers increase, the need for Extension Agents to be adequately informed on those needs also increases. Therefore the Hø is rejected.
  53. 53. Socio-Economic x’tics of Extension Officers on Information need Variable Gender; male Frequency Percentage 80.0 Female 7 20.0 26-35 8 26.7 36-45 46-55 Age; 24 17 5 56.7 16.6 22 8 56.7 43.3 <10 years 17 56.7 >10 years 13 43.3 Education: Cert Diploma Work Experience
  54. 54. Major Findings of Study