Ogun State Agricultural Development Programme works to achieve a food secure and prosperous Africa through the promotion of rapid, sustainable agricultural growth based mechanisms on smallholder farmers. In implementation of its vision, OGADEP has faced a multitude of challenges in empowering the community. The purpose of this research study was therefore to determine influence of training of extension personnel on farm productivity. The population under study was OGADEPs‘ extension personnel and the extension support staff, Ogun State who were 38 in total. This was a descriptive study in nature and it worked to find out the influence of training on farm productivity. A questionnaire was used as the main tool of data collection. The research was essentially qualitative and the researcher administered questionnaires. Interviews were used as well. The quantitative data will be analyzed using SPSS version 18. On the other hand, the qualitative data was organized in an on going process according to the themes, sub-themes, categories and sub-categories and presented in narrative forms. This study found that training of extension personnel affects farm productivity. The study further revealed that mode of training of extension personnel affects farms productivity to a great extent (81.1%). The mode of training mostly used to train extension personnel in training sessions was participation followed by paternalism and persuasion. On the influences of the level of training of extension personnel on farms productivity, the study concludes that the level of education affects farms productivity to a great extent. This study therefore recommends that OGADEP should increase the frequency of training of the extension personnel so as to equip them with information useful to the farmers which can subsequently lead to increase in farm productivity.

The study also recommends that extension personnel should also seek more information from agricultural extension programs through their websites, that OGADEP should recruit qualified extension personnel and that further research studies should be carried out, in the area of challenges facing agricultural extension personnel in Nigeria.

• Background of the Study
According to the World Bank (2006), three out of every four poor people in developing countries live in rural areas – 2.1 billion living on less than $2 a day and 880 million on less than $1 a day - and most of them depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods. In much of Sub-Sahara Africa, agriculture is a strong option for spurring growth, overcoming poverty, and enhancing food security. This means that agricultural productivity growth is vital for stimulating growth in other parts of the economy. However, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) currently faces a serious challenge of producing enough food for its rapidly growing population (Dr Namanga - OGADEP, 2010). Agricultural productivity growth and rural development is core to changing this dire prediction, as these would improve food supply, benefiting farmers who are food net sellers, as well as benefiting consumers who are food net buyers (Dr Adesina - OGADEP, 2010).

In Nigeria, it is not strange to find a woman bent under the sun, weeding maize in an arid field with a hoe and a child strapped on her back –this is a vivid image of rural poverty. For her large family and millions like her, the meager bounty of subsistence farming is the only chance to survive. While the worlds of agriculture are vast, varied, and rapidly changing, with the right policies and supportive investment at local, national, and global levels, today‘s agriculture offers new opportunities to hundreds of millions of rural poor to move out of poverty (World Bank, 2008). Agriculture is a vital development tool for achieving the Millennium Development Goal that calls for halving by 2015 the share of people suffering from extreme poverty and hunger (UN, 2000).

Evidence suggests that a viable extension system is critical to raising the productivity of the staple food crops and offers the best opportunity for lifting millions of people out of poverty (Evenson, 2001; Gautam, 1999).

Agricultural extension personnel are men and women who assist farmers by helping them identify and analyze their agricultural production problems and become aware of the opportunities for improvement (Picciotto, 1997). The birth of the modern extension service has been attributed to events that took place in Ireland in the middle of the 19th century. Between the years 1845–51 the Irish potato crop was destroyed by fungal diseases and a severe famine occurred. As a result, the British Government arranged for "practical instructors" to travel to rural areas and teach small scale farmers how to cultivate alternative crops. This scheme attracted the attention of government officials in Germany, who organized their own system of traveling instructors. By the end of the 19th century, the idea had spread to the rest of the world and is extensively being used in the present day world (Nahdy, 2003). In Nigeria, the agricultural extension dates back in 1900s, but its only notable success was in the dissemination of hybrid maize technology in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The goal was to develop a cadre of well-informed, village-level extension personnel who would visit farmers frequently and regularly to provide relevant technical messages, and bring farmers‘ problems to the attention of researchers (Gautam, 1999).

Experiences and lessons documented in the World Development Report (WDR, 2008) indicate that an organized extension system capable of catalyzing uptake of technologies adapted to Africa‘s diverse agro-ecological conditions, and supported by institutionally enabling environment is critical to achieving a uniquely African green revolution. One example of these organizations is OGADEP. OGADEP works to achieve a food secure and prosperous Africa through the promotion of rapid, sustainable agricultural growth based on smallholder farmers. Smallholders--the majority women--produce most of Africa's food, and do so with minimal resources and little government support. OGADEP‘s aims to ensure that these smallholders have what they need to succeed: good seeds and healthy soils; access to markets, information, financing, storage and transport; and policies that provide them with comprehensive support. Through developing Africa's high-potential breadbasket areas, while also boosting farm productivity across more challenging environments, OGADEP works to transform smallholder agriculture to be highly productive, efficient, sustainable and competitive system, and do so while protecting the environment (Nahdy, 2003).

Although extension programmes have many different goals, most of them fall into one of two basic categories which include systems of communication that aim to change the behavior of rural people and systems of communication that aim to change the knowledge of rural people (MAAIF 2000). A close relationship between knowledge and behavior is thought to exist and hence changes in the former often lead to a change in the latter. If farmers and other rural people direct the extension towards their own needs, then the purpose of extension is changing knowledge. This knowledge helps rural people make their own decisions regarding farming practices. This approach to extension is closely related to non-formal education and concretization (MAAIF 2000). One such methodology of communication is training. This study aims to establish whether training of the extension has any impact on the farming productivity.

• Statement of the Problem
Many government pro-poor objectives fail to be met due to inadequate extension strategies to interface between technical service providers and the implementing community. The mandate of OGADEP is therefore to enable poor and vulnerable communities to create hybrid and sustainable food crops. In order to achieve set out targets, the community extension personnel are charged with a responsibility to pass on scientifically tested, approved knowledge to the farmers. According to Ols, (1995), this initiative has been faced by a myriad of challenges that range from poor training opportunities offered to the community extension personnel. Constant advancement in technology and scientific discoveries has also meant that prior training is always rendered redundant and farm productivity is therefore adversely affected by the level of training of extension personnel, the mode of training used and the type of training offered. Therefore, this study seeks to investigate if the training of extension personnel has any influence farming productivity.

• Research Objectives
The general objective of this study was to establish training needs among agricultural extension personnel. This was guided by the following specific objectives:

• To determine the extent to which training of extension personnel influences farm productivity in Ogun State.

• To determine the extent to which the mode of training employed in training extension personnel has influences farming productivity in Ogun State.

• To determine the extent to which, the level of training of extension personnel influences farm productivity in Ogun State.

• Research Questions
To help the researcher achieve the above objectives, the following research questions were used:

• How does training of extension personnel affect farm productivity in Ogun State?

• To what extent does the mode of training employed in training extension personnel influence farm productivity in Ogun State?

• How does the level of training of extension personnel influence farm productivity in Ogun State?

• Significance of the Study
The finding of this study if found to be positive, shall be of great importance to the programme managers in coming up with practical ways in which OGADEP can adopt to enhance farm productivity. Moreover, the study finding will help the extension personnel by enabling them understand the various training options and communicating with their supervisors on their training needs. Further, the study findings provided more insight to the field of research especially in the field of human resource management. Finally, the study finding was expected to enable the government, policy-makers, project managers and researchers direct the topics addressed in training and projects undertaken on purpose of extension to not only change behavior but also enhance productivity.

• Scope of the Study
The study targeted OGADEP which is an NGO and works to achieve a food secure and prosperous Africa through the promotion of rapid, sustainable agricultural growth based on smallholder farmers. However, the study focused on Abeokuta LGA, Ogun State. All the stakeholders ranging from OGADEP top management, the farmers and extension personnel were included in the study. The study also involved the human resource department who gave an insight on what procedures they use to decide the training materials.

• Limitations of the Study
This study anticipated some challenges which ranged from the mode of data collection. A questionnaire was essentially used as the primary data collection tool. This brings about a challenge since the research had to rely on self-reporting of the sample population. The self-reporting would result in inaccurate data because the respondents may give society desirable responses instead of the true scenario. Personal interviews were also employed alongside the questionnaire to triangulate the survey findings. Availing documents particularly dealing with the training and farm productivity was a big challenge. However, good interpersonal approach during the face to face encounter with the respondents and emphasis on the value of the study impressed upon them to respond objectively.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 50 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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