Assessing the Impacts of Agriculture Extension Workers on the Farming System in Bong County: [Essay Example], 1682 words GradesFixer
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Assessing the Impacts of Agriculture Extension Workers on the Farming System in Bong County

  • Category: Profession
  • Topic: Farmer
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1682
  • Published: 05 December 2018
  • Downloads: 100
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INTRODUCTION

Agriculture continues to be the mainstay of Liberia’s economy. Effective and efficient agricultural extension and advisory services are critical to unleashing the productive potential of the thousands of smallholders whose livelihoods are dependent on agriculture. Liberia’s Food and Agriculture Policy and Strategy (2008) and the Liberia Agricultural Sector Investment Program (2010) call for transformation of Liberia’s extension services into a decentralized and demand-driven system. Extension services in Liberia are currently provided by public, some private, and an abundance of civil society sector actors. There has not been a referenced policy document to frame the process of transforming the national extension system nor to provide guidance to agricultural extension stakeholders. It is the intention of this National Policy for Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services (AEAS) to provide the legal and enabling framework for the transformation of the existing extension system into a pluralistic, decentralized, demand-driven, and market-oriented AEAS system that is responsive to cross-cutting issues such as gender, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, natural resource management, and climate change, and to provide guidance to AEAS stakeholders. The Policy was developed through a participatory process. The MOA appointed an Extension Policy Task Force to lead policy development. The Task Force benefited from consultations via field visits, group discussions, rapid surveys, and interviews with many stakeholders including farmers and farmer organizations, extension agents, consultants, and representatives of NGOs, agri-businesses, agricultural education institutions, donors, and international technical agencies. The consultative process culminated in a Stakeholder Validation Workshop held in Monrovia on July 3, 2012 with representation from a wide-range of stakeholders who provided additional input for the Policy. The National Policy for AEAS comes at an opportune time. Liberia is moving from relief and rehabilitation to an environment of development and growth. The National Policy places AEAS in strong position to contribute to national aims of achieving sustainable agricultural growth and food security, improving family nutrition, and increasing farmers’ and other market actors’ incomes to help alleviate poverty nationwide. Liberia’s National Agriculture Extension Service was established in 1960. It was a conventional top-down extension system that existed, with a limited number of extension officers attempting to pass on new technologies developed by researchers to the mass of small-skilled farmers scattered across the country. It was generally supply-driven with heavy emphasis on transfer of technology. It aimed to persuade farmers to adopt available technologies and had limited feedback mechanisms on the value of extension. As in most developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, the extension system was woefully under-resourced and the methods used (typically the World Bank supported “Training and Visit” System) proved ineffective in exposing a large number of farmers to new technologies and practices. The system completely collapsed during the period of the Civil War. Following the Civil War, the International Community provided extension assistance, largely through non-governmental organizations (NGO) and United Nations Agencies.

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Background to the study

Following years of decline, agricultural extension is back on the development agenda. Extension is an essential part of the answer to realizing agricultural sector growth and poverty reduction. It is a critical piece of the development puzzle. Extension and advisory services1 take on additional importance in the face of globalization, climate change, population growth, increasingly high food prices, and the need to sustainably manage natural resources. Considerable constraints to effectively assessing the impact of agriculture Extension a questions remains regarding the validity/reliability of these assessments. Nonetheless, studies have shown estimated rates of return to extension can be very high with rates varying widely. A meta-analysis of 289 studies found rates of return of 63% for the 18 extension-only investments, 58% for research investments, and 37% for combined investments in research and extension (Alston, Wyatt, Pardey, Marra, & Chan-Kang, 2000). Evenson’s (1997) review of 57 economic impact studies found rates greater than 50% for the majority of countries studied. Generally, extension has been shown to have significant and positive effects on knowledge, adoption, and productivity (Davis, 2008). In short, extension is indeed worth the investment. Liberia’s National Agriculture Extension Service was established in 1960. It was a conventional top-down extension system that existed with a limited number of extension officers attempting to pass on new technologies developed by researchers to the mass of small-scale farmers scattered across the country. The system was generally supply-driven with heavy emphasis on transfer of technology. It aimed to persuade farmers to adopt available technologies and had limited feedback mechanisms. As in most developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, the extension system was woefully under-resourced and the methods used (typically the World Bank supported “Training and Visit” System) proved ineffective in exposing a large number of farmers to new technologies and practices. Extension in Liberia completely collapsed during the period of the Civil War. Following the Civil War, the International Community provided extension assistance, largely through non-governmental. Notwithstanding progress, the current public extension approach reflects historical legacy whereby the training that is provided to farmers is delivered by district-based extension agents in the prevailing hierarchical linear ‘expert teaching mode’. Extension services continue to be preoccupied with the supply and distribution of agricultural inputs and equipment to farmers (often free of charge). Although extension approaches which focus on engaging groups of farmers (largely through FFS type approaches) are becoming more widespread, there is limited emphasis on client empowerment or participatory approaches for extension program planning and development in rural communities. Public sector extension faces numerous significant challenges. In particular, there is insufficient generation, dissemination and adoption of improved agricultural technologies and practices; a lack of client-based program planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms; inadequate human, infrastructural, and institutional capacities; and constrained funding. Public sector extension has little of value to extend to extension clients and is unable to reach all those in the agricultural sector who could benefit from agricultural extension information and advice currently, there are many organizations, agencies, and institutions involved in the provision of agricultural extension in Liberia with NGOs playing a very important role. These services however are fragmented, uncoordinated, and sometimes duplicative. While the system is pluralistic, there is a lack of coordination, monitoring, and evaluation of services provided. This project has a number of activities to address coordination, both within the MOA and across the larger extension client and service provider community.

Statement of the Research problem

Liberia chooses to use the term “agricultural extension and advisory services” (AEAS) to identify its national system. As earlier noted, the terms extension and advisory services are used interchangeably. AEAS are defined much more broadly than the traditional view which holds that extension primarily transfers technology and trains farmers to increase production and improve yields. AEAS are a system that:

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Research questions

The following questions will serve as research questions to guide this research: 1. What have been the roles of AEL agriculture extension workers in zota and Sanoyea in the farming system? 2. What impact has the role of AEL agriculture extension workers made to improve the economic status of the farmers in the agricultural sectors? 3. What has been the cause for qualified agricultural extension workers not wanting to come in the field in Bong County? 4. What role has the Government of Liberia played in solving the shortage of agricultural extension workers in Bong County?

Objective of the research

The general objective of the research is to assess the impacts of Agriculture Extension Workers on the farming system in Bong County: “A case study the role of Association of Evangelicals of Liberia in two districts in Bong County (Sonayea and Zota) from 2010-2017. The specific objectives of the research will be:

1. To find out the roles of AEL agricultural extension workers in farming system in sonayea and zota in Bong County.

2. To determine the impacts of AEL agricultural extension workers in making potential farmers in Bong County.

3. To investigate what has been the cause of the lack of agricultural extension workers in the field.

4. To find out the role the Government of Liberia has played in solving the shortage of agricultural extension workers in Bong County.

Significance of the Research

Liberia chooses to use the term “agricultural extension and advisory services” (AEAS) to identify its national system. As earlier noted, the terms extension and advisory services are used interchangeably. Agriculture Extension Advisory Services (AEAS) are defined much more broadly than the traditional view which holds that extension primarily transfers technology and trains farmers to increase production and improve yields. As a result, less concern has been done to farmers. The researcher therefore, decided to investigate the role of Agriculture Extension Workers on the farming system in Bong County with a case study of the Association of Evangelicals of Liberia (AEL) in two districts in Bong County ( Zota and Sanoyea) from 2010-2017.

Limitation of the study

Research by nature has its own challenges which are normally referred to as limitations. Therefore, the researcher predicts that this work will be limited by the following factors: (a) Lack of finance to adequate carry out this research; (b) Bad road conditions to the districts targeted for the research; (c) Engaging in other courses which are equally challenges faced by the researcher; and (d) Sometimes the unwillingness for interviewees to give information out for fear of several reasons such as not to be known.

Delimitation of the study

The delimitation of this study will be the targeted institution for the research.

Definition of key terms

Organization of the study

The study will be organized into five chapters. Chapter one will be the introduction of the study which will cover the Background of the study, statement of the problem, research questions, objectives of the study, significance of the study, delimitation of the study, limitation of the study, definition of key terms and the organization of the study. Chapter two will be the review of related Literature; chapter three will be the research methodology which will include the research design, research setting, research population, sampling and sampling techniques, variables to be measured, data organization and methods of data analysis. Chapter four will present, analyze and interpret the data of the study, and chapter five will summarize, conclude and make recommendations.

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Assessing the Impacts of Agriculture Extension Workers on the Farming System in Bong County. (2018, December 05). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 23, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/assessing-the-impacts-of-agriculture-extension-workers-on-the-farming-system-in-bong-county/
“Assessing the Impacts of Agriculture Extension Workers on the Farming System in Bong County.” GradesFixer, 05 Dec. 2018, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/assessing-the-impacts-of-agriculture-extension-workers-on-the-farming-system-in-bong-county/
Assessing the Impacts of Agriculture Extension Workers on the Farming System in Bong County. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/assessing-the-impacts-of-agriculture-extension-workers-on-the-farming-system-in-bong-county/> [Accessed 23 Apr. 2021].
Assessing the Impacts of Agriculture Extension Workers on the Farming System in Bong County [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Dec 05 [cited 2021 Apr 23]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/assessing-the-impacts-of-agriculture-extension-workers-on-the-farming-system-in-bong-county/
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