Agricultural Extension Officers’ Perceptions towards Their Roles: A Case Study of Simiyu Region
Studies have been conducted in Africa to assess extension officers’ perception towards their roles, however, little is known on agricultural extension officers’ perception on their roles as per government job description in Tanzania. The study was therefore conducted in Simiyu Region to assess the perception of agricultural extension officers towards their roles. A cross-sectional survey design was used whereby a structured questionnaire was employed to collect data from 100 randomly selected Agricultural extension officers (AEOs). The collected quantitative data were analyzed by using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences computer programme (SPSS). On the other hand, the content analysis was used to analyze the collected qualitative information. The findings show that most of interviewed AEOs perceived their roles namely, advisory, organizational, educational, technical, facilitation and intermediation as important. However the AEOs perceived the existence of difficulties in fulfilling the roles. These include agricultural extension officers overloaded with non-extension tasks like tax collection that hinder them to perform their technical roles; lack of in-service training which results to low level of competence in performing their mandated roles; inadequate logistics such as motorcycles, vehicles, just to mention few, These results to EAOs blamed for not performing their roles. Based on these findings it is recommended that there is a need to work out with all aspects that affect performance of the AEOs’ mandated roles as follows: AEOs concentrate more on their mandated roles and not non extension work, organize short and long term training to improve their knowledge and skills.
Keywords: Agricultural Extension Officers, Perception, Roles, Simiyu Region
FACULTY OF AGRICULTURE SOKOINE UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE, MOROGORO, TANZANIA