Planning, implementation and management of agricultural extension services in the Nkoranza district of Ghana

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In the Nkoranza district of Ghana where agriculture engages 95 per cent of the population, productivity ox most crops fall far below achievable levels, major causes of which include heavy field losses, insufficient agricultural financing, declining soil fertility and poor access to extension services. As agricultural extension is considered one of the support services and mode of intervention vital to the development of agriculture, it follows that the lot of the people in the district could be improved if the agricultural extension delivery system in the district is improved. The main objectives of the study are to examine the planning, implementation and management aspects of extension delivery in the district, identify areas in the delivery system that require improvement and to make recommendations for improvement. The multistage and simple random sampling techniques were employed to select farmers and extension staff for interviews. Data was collected from field surveys, key informant interviews and secondary sources. Descriptive statistical techniques were used for the analysis of the data collected. Findings indicate that although planning is done, various Components of the planning process are dictated from headquarters, and no replanning is done. The majority of farmers do not receive extension services, and logistics for extension staff are inadequate. Other findings include weak research-extension--farmer linkages, poor control and supervision of staff due to the large number of subordinates and poor motivation for staff especially with the D.A.E.S., and inadequate training for both extension staff and farmers, but especially for the L.D.C. staff. Farmers were observed to have several sources of information, the most useful in terms of adoption being the extension worker. Some innovations were observed to be readily adopted, others only partially adopted, and a good number completely rejected. On the basis of these findings, recommendations made include the use of data collected in the local determination of programme goals, objectives, content and methods, and the selection and phasing of project. There is also the need for the use of evaluation results for the replanning of extension programmes. Recommendations bearing on implementation of extension programmes include the recruitment of more staff for the D.A.E.S., provision of more logistics, greater use of the mass media for message dissemination, expansion of farmer training, laying more emphasis on innovations that yield visible benefits but with little or no extra expenditure by farmers, and the strengthening of extension research linkage. To improve upon management, recommendations include reducing the number of subordinates controlled and supervised directly by the D.A.E.O., intensification of staff training, staff motivation, and making effective use of results of monitoring and evaluation,
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Development Planning and Management, 1994