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Tropentag, September 17 - 19, 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic

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How Does the Relation of Development Agents and Farmers Influence the Adoption of Land Improvement Techniques?

Lenka Peskova, Jana Mazancova

Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech Republic


Ethiopia is a country with one of the strongest systems of agricultural extension services. Family, other farmers and development agents (DAs) all act as advisors. The trained DAs which disseminate the information about modern and improved attitudes to agriculture are the backbone of the system of agricultural extension services. In Ethiopia, there are on average 476 farmers under the supervision of one DA. Each DA is specialised in one of the three disciplines: crop production, animal production or natural resources management. This paper analyses the relation between farmers and DAs in Kembata Tembaro zone, located in SNNP region. The farmers were divided into two groups based on their adoption of land improvement techniques: more techniques adopters and less techniques adopters. Within the period spanning September – November 2012, a total of 173 questionnaires were collected. The data were evaluated by SPSS (20) using Chi-square test; adjusted residuals were computed to express the relation between variables. The results indicate that the relation between farmers and DAs is strongly influenced by their personal relation. For farmers with higher adoption rate, the DAs are the prefered advisors (ϕ = 0.396, ϕ = 0.001), they share more information with DAs (ϕ = 0.266, ϕ = 0.001), they are more interested in the DAs specialisation, they are more frequently visited by DAs (ϕ = 0.282, α = 0.001), they have less preferences regarding the DAs gender (ϕ = 0.357, ϕ = 0.001) and if they receive wrong advice, they less likely complain (ϕ = 0.395, ϕ = 0.01). On the other hand, farmers with lower adoption rate receiving not enough quality services from DAs do not cooperate any more with them and complain (ϕ = 0.395, α = 0.001). Even though the farmers are interested in DAs qualification, they are not comfortable to complain – this leads to decreasing the quality of information dissemination. This paper can provoke other studies that focus on behaviour and relations between farmers and their advisors to improve the quality of agricultural extension services.

Keywords: Development agents, Ethiopia, extension services

Contact Address: Lenka Peskova, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Kamýcká 129, 16521 Prague 6, Czech Republic, e-mail: lenka.pesek@gmail.com

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