The role of extension workers in the provision of information to small-scale crop farmers in Oji-River local Government area, Enugu State, Nigeria.
Marford, Obingene C.
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This study explores the role of extension workers in meeting the information needs of small-scale farmers in Oji-River Local Government Area, Enugu State, Nigeria. Besides the review of the most relevant literature, this descriptive study made use of purposive sampling techniques to administer a total of fifty (50) questionnaires to extension workers; and to conduct structured interviews with twenty-five (25) small-scale farmers to obtain the desired results. The study revealed that farmers required a variety of information for their various agricultural activities that include: application of fertilizers, seed treatment, control of pests and diseases as well as the production of technology. The study established that problems of information dissemination between small-scale farmers and extension workers were the inadequacies that had persisted overtime. These problems include poor definition needs, access to information, inappropriate media and lack of capacity to use modern technology. It is recommended that the problem of information needs of farmers can be ameliorated by targeting research to those needs. This will help to prioritise their farming needs and provide them with relevant information that would cater for their needs. Also, there should be feedback from farmers to extension workers who would transit their needs to the scientists in research institutes on the problems they experience in the field. It is further suggested that methods used for disseminating agricultural information to farmers be re-examined. This would facilitate the mode of communicating information to them so that they will be better equipped to receive the knowledge and training that would be useful to their farming.