Compentency needed by village extension agents of Osun State agricultural development programmes, Nigeria
Training has been identified as important process for developing individuals with genuine professional competence . It is therefore crucial to devote training opportunities to those areas where training is important and most needed. The study examined the competency needed by Village Extension Agents (VEAs) of Osun State Agricultural Development Programme (OSADEP). A random sampling technique was used to select sixty VEAs and all the three zonal officers (ZEOs) were purposively sampled in order to confirm the competency areas of VEAs . Kendall coefficient of concordance, Pearson correlation and student's t-test were used for the analysis of data. The finding showed that majority (93.3%) of the VEAs are male mostly (90%) between 30 and 49 years of age and very high percentage (96.7%) are married. A significant percentage (90.0%) of the VEAs hold Ordinary National Diploma (O.N.D) certificate. Also more than half (61.7%) have not had any in service training and all of them (100.0%) have served more than five years in the OSADEP.VEAs indicated that all the eight competency areas are important to their job performance but they only indicated research methodology, teaching and programme evaluation competency areas as areas where they need training. Kendall coefficient of concordance showed that there is a relatively low degree of agreement between the ranking of VEAs and ZEOs of the competency areas (w=0.32). Pearson correlation coefficient showed a significant relationship between the training needs of VEAs and age (r=0.68 p<0.05); level of education (r=0.72,p<0.05) and length of service (r=0.84,p<0.05). The student t-test revealed that there is a significant different in the rating of competency needed as indicated by the VEAs and the ZEOs (t=1.75, p<0.05). It is therefore recommended that training courses should be held for them in these areas and this should be prioritized with the other competency areas and review regularly by the OSADEP management. Finally, Government should allocate more funds to train village extension agents.
Agrosearch Vol. 8(1&2) 2006: pp.93-101