Assessment of training needs of extension staff of agricultural development programme (ADP), Edo state, Nigeria.
The study assessed the training needs of extension agents in Edo State Agricultural Development Programme (ESADP). The study specifically examined the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents, tasks and new tasks performed by them and the task areas in which they needed further training. Using structured questionnaire, data were collected from seventy six (76) randomly selected extension agents in 3 agricultural zones of Edo State. Findings revealed that the mean age of the respondents was 41.7 years. More than half (55.3%) of them holders of National Diploma (ND) and about seventy two percent of the respondents had been working in extension service for 6 and 7 years. The tasks performed by the extension staff ranged from advising farmers on improving methods of farming to new task on health issues such as campaign on HIV/AIDS. The study identified strong training needs for Edo State extension agents on communication skills (X= 4.60), planning demonstration (X=4.60), evaluation of trials (X= 4.57) and farmers training (X=4.56). The correlation analysis showed that education had significant relationship many areas of the respondents’ training needs: farmer identification (r= -0.190, p ≤ 0.05), nutrition and food utilization (r = 0.339, p X 0.05), communication skills (r = 0.190, p ≤ 0.05), planning demonstration (r = 0.190, p ≤0.05), recording and reporting (r = 0.260, p ≤ 0.05), evaluation of trials (r = 0.190, p ≤ 0.05 ), and rodents and pest control (r = 0.236, p ≤ 0.05 ). Similarly, job experience had significant relationship with the respondents’ training need in the area of planning demonstration (r = 0.190, p ≤ 0.05). It was suggested that there is a need for regular training needs analysis, especially for new recruited agricultural graduates to determine their areas of deficiencies.
Key Words: Assessment, Tasks Performed, Training Needs, Extension Staff, ADP.