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

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

ABSTRACT

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.