Enhancement of Agricultural Extension Services in Kenya: A Case of Embu County
Kavita, Nester Muthoni

The respondents included 210 farmers from three divisions of Embu County namely, Manyatta, Nembure and Central. Area (cluster) and systematic sampling procedures were used to interview them. 5 farmer Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were carried out in the same localities. Purposive sampling was used to identify the key informants who included 50 agricultural extension personnel, 14 researchers, 13 information professionals, 32 planners and policy makers. The study was informed by Diffusion of Innovations (DOI) theory by Rogers. Mixed methods approach with a bias towards qualitative method was used for data collection. SPSS data analysis software was used for data analysis. Farmers would prefer a more personalized extension service as opposed to the practiced Common Interest Groups Service.77.1% of the farmers rely on extension services. 61% of the farmers attend field days and are highly receptive to innovations via demonstrations.82% of the extension personnel own mobile phones, 10% send text messages to the farmers while 12% communicate with the farmers during emergencies only, while 97.7% own radios and 82.9% own TV sets but are non-committal as to the programmes followed. Computers are scarce and mainly used by senior extension personnel for their official duties. Low academic levels amongst extension personnel impede computer use. Extension personnel’s educational level to be raised to a minimum of a Diplomaand their information literacy skills improved. Agricultural telecentres run by agricultural information scientists for each village and a national information and knowledge repository recommended.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jaes.v7n2a4