South African Journal of Agricultural Extension
versión On-line ISSN 2413-3221
versión impresa ISSN 0301-603X
ADISA, R. S. Livestock extension practice and competency among agricultural extension agents in North-Central Nigeria. S Afr. Jnl. Agric. Ext. [online]. 2015, vol.43, n.1, pp.12-21. ISSN 2413-3221.
The challenge of meeting the ever-increasing demand for animal products in Nigeria has become keen over the years. A major factor is low technology input by the bulk of animal producers. Because Extension has a crucial role to play, the purpose of this study was to investigate livestock extension (LE) activities and competencies of Agricultural Extension Agents (AEA's) in north-central Nigeria. Data were collected from 112 randomly selected AEA's with the aid of a structured questionnaire that consisted of positively presented livestock extension practice and competency items on 5-point Likert-type scales. A Livestock Extension Competency Coefficient (LECC) was computed for each respondent. The test-retest technique was used to pre-test the instrument, yielding a coefficient r=0.91. Descriptive, correlation and t-test statistics were used to analyze data. Results revealed that about 40% of respondents engaged in livestock extension activities in the last two years, while about 16% actually specialized in Animal Production while in school. Respondents generally expressed competence in some aspects of livestock production such as feeding, handling, housing, and production management systems. However, respondents claimed less competence in sire selection, breeding, diseases and pests control. Significant correlates of LECC were job experience, contact with farmers, number of trainings attended, and level of job satisfaction. Major LE constraints identified by respondents were inadequate LE programmes, funding, inadequate training, and lack of subject matter specialists. The paper concluded by proffering recommendations on how to adequately address the constraints and the low level of LE activities.
Palabras clave : animal production; livestock-extension; competencies; constraints.