What Factors Determine the Time Allocation of Agricultural Extension Agents on Farmers' Agricultural Fields? Evidence Form Rural Ethiopia
Jour nal of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Vol. 4(10), pp. 318-329
12 Pages Posted: 14 May 2012 Last revised: 27 Mar 2015
Date Written: June 01, 2012
In Ethiopia, agricultural extension (AE) agents are expected to play a key role in linking smallholder farmers to agricultural scientists and researchers. AE workers assist farmers in the adoption of improved agricultural technologies and facilitate the adjustment of the new technologies to the local agro-ecological conditions. Using data collected from a total of 236 randomly selected extension agents working in eight purposefully selected weredas in Ethiopia, this study examines factors that affect the time allocation of extension agents on farmers’ agricultural fields. The analyses reveal that perceptions of extension workers about the fairness of performance appraisal, equality of male and female agents, job security, resource availability, and workload manageability statistically significantly affected the time that agents worked on farmers’ plots. While off- and on-the-job trainings and participation of extension workers in the agricultural planning process encouraged agents to work more on farms, better years of schooling and larger number of villages to work with had adverse effect on agents’ working time. It is therefore suggested that agricultural policy should ensure that extension agents are not only available but also adequately accessible to farmers. More specifically, agricultural policy should bring improvement in the perception of extension agents about their working environment.
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