AN ASSESSMENT OF THE PERFORMANCE OF AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION WORKERS AMONG SMALL HOLDER FARMERS: A CASE STUDY OF FARMERS’ MULTIPURPOSE COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES LIMITED IN EZEAGU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ENUGU STATE
This study evaluates the role of Extension Agents in enhancing the performance of Farmers’ Multipurpose Cooperatives Societies (FMCS). The small scale farmers are grappling with numerous problems which have adversely affected their performance. They joined FMCS in order to solve those problems. Meanwhile, they still face some of those problems. A total of 50 FMCS were selected which 100 members were selected. The officers were purposively selected while members were randomly selected. Simple statistical analyses were utilized in the analysis. The results are follows. Most of the cooperators are males, married and no educational background. They aged 25 – 50 years, family size of between 5 and 8, they are on fulltime basis and produce mostly crops. They had their income when they joined the cooperatives because they obtained loan used in expanding the business. They obtained information from fellow cooperatives. They were also taught new skills. The ordinary least square simple regression shows that the number of visits by the Extension Agent determines the level of revenue. Therefore Extension Agent play major role in enhancing revenue through increased output. Among the problems that they faced was lack of agricultural machineries and implement, late arrivals of outputs, and high degree if illiteracy amongst them. This researcher recommends making available machineries and implement, early arrivals inputs and intensification of non-formal education for the cooperators to widen their scope of knowledge.