ASSESSMENT OF EMERGING ROLES AND TRAINING NEEDS OF EXTENSION PERSONNEL IN KOGI STATE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME.
Meaningful agricultural development in any society largely hinges on extension system in place. Agricultural extension assists rural people in the community through educational procedure in improving their farming methods and techniques, thus increasing their production efficiency, income, social and living standard. To bring this to pass requires continuous training of extension personnel in order to cope with the emerging roles cropping up as a result of developmental programmes established by the government to improve food production and reduction in the poverty level of rural dwellers. The study focused on the personal socio-demographic characteristics, emerging roles of extension personnel, training needs to cope with the emerging roles and frequency and type of training programme organized for the extension personnel. It also identified the major problems affecting the continuous training and retraining of extension personnel in Kogi State ADP. The study covered twenty one local government areas of Kogi State which is divided into four agricultural zones: Zone A, B, C, and D. Data used were collected from one hundred extension personnel using questionnaire items. The study reveal that there is need for continuous training of extension personnel but some major constraints such as inadequate fund, administrative bottleneck, lack of continuity of extension policy have to be overcome. The Kogi State government should provide financial support as well as regular payment of personnel wages interms of salaries, bonus and arrears. Fund should be released to KSADP as at when due for proper, planning and execution of training programme for her personnel. Motivation of personnel should be taken into consideration to enhance their regular attendance to training programmes. There should be continuity of extension policy to backup consistent training of extension personnel. Necessary training facilities and equipment should be provided by Kogi State ADP in order to enhance good training of her staff.