Advances in Agriculture and Agricultural Sciences ISSN 2329-9797 Vol. 1 (1), pp. 001-009, December, 2015. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

The challenges of development agents in technology dissemination for extension purposes in the Southern region of Ethiopia 

Zenawi Teshome, Atomsa Shigute and Arkebe Seyoum

School of Environment, Gender and Development Studies, Awassa College of Agriculture,

Hawassa University, Ethiopia.

*Corresponding author. E-mail: zenawi_teshome @gmail.com

Accepted 12 October, 2015

Abstract

Agricultural extension service is the cornerstone for any meaningful development in agricultural sector in agricultural countries. Hence, development agents are the critical actors in serving the community and expected to change farmers’ knowledge, skill and attitude through dissemination of up-to-date information necessary in taking informed decisions towards improving their livelihood. This paper aims to identify the challenges of development agents in disseminating agricultural technologies and to assess the frequently used extension methods, approaches and media in disseminating improved technologies to farmers. A survey of 108 development agents in 12 administrative districts and informal discussion with key informants were used to collect data. The result of the survey revealed that effectiveness of development agents is challenged by job dissatisfaction; existence of poor communication, very poor formal linkage among farmers, development agents and researchers; and lack of motivation for development agents to fully serve community. Poor knowledge and skill of development agents in what, how, when and why to use and select combined extension methods, approaches, media and lack of infrastructural facilities are the main impeding factors while communicating with farmers. So on-the-job training is pertinent to up-grade the knowledge, skill and attitude of development agents in disseminating technology to farmers.

Key words: Ethiopia, challenges, job satisfaction, motivation, development agents.