An establishment of strategies that can make the agriculture extension education programme provided in Zambia effective: a case of Kazungula district.

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Livune, Derick
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The University of Zambia
The purpose of the study was to establish the effectiveness of work done by extension workers in the provision of Agriculture Extension education in Kazungula District. To study the extent to which small-scale farmers in Kazungula have been affected with the provision of agriculture, extension education and how the local farmers have impowered with the education provided. Also to assess how extension officers are equipped and facilitated to serve the farmers through the provision of agriculture extension services and to determine the measures that can be taken to improve agriculture in Kazungula District. The background to the study gave a clear overview how the term extension education was coined. Agriculture extension is an essential investment in the human and social capital of the rural population. It creates development projects to help people adjust to change for example, change to new agricultural policies or market demands. Through the provision of its services and programs, many people around the world especially in rural communities have acquired knowledge and skills on the scientific or new farming methods. Due to the provision of agriculture extension education, grass-root groups and rural communities are directed to build change projects that are relevant to their own needs. Therefore, the literature review helped to look at the concepts in agriculture extension, its scope, the funding and providers of agriculture extension, its importance, views of different people on extension work, challenges and its contribution to national development. The farmers are empowered by the education provided by agricultural extension positively and this is because they acquire knowledge and skills which are applicable in real life situations. It also helps create employment and independence in that there are commercial and subsistence farmers. They practice different farming methods which makes them provide for themselves and their families reducing poverty and crime. It also puts agriculture on the map by supporting farmers and empowering them consequently introducing them to the international market. Agriculture is a non-diminishing resource and a reliable food basket that needs to be invested into with full force; it is necessary to promote agricultural extension education because even retirees engage in it and it empowers them when they are out of formal employment. The research was carried out in chiefdoms of Mukuni, Musokotwane,Sikute, Moomba and Nyawa villages which are located so many kilometers away from Kazungula town. The study comprised of agriculture extension officers and community farmers from whom the information was collected on the effectiveness and challenges faced by extension officers in the provision of agriculture extension education. White (2005) defines a population as a collection of objects, events or individuals having common characteristics that the researcher is interested in studying. On the other hand, Ngoma (2006) defined a population as the entire set of objects, events or groups of people which is the object of research and about which the researcher wants to determine some characteristics. Challenges experienced by Agricultural extension can be reduced if more infrastructures can be built so the training programs are conducted in convenient venues. Introduction of new technology for irrigation in case of low rainfall and continuous provision of farming inputs can lessen on the low yields. There is need to ensure auditors and others responsible for evaluation make follow ups on what is been done frequently so that policies are followed correctly and there is less misappropriation or diversion of resources.
Zambia Agricultural Training, Planning, and Institutional Development (ZATPID) II Project. , Agricultural education--Government policy--Zambia. , Agriculture and state--Zambia. , Agricultural education--Zambia--Maps. , Farmers--Training of--Zambia--Maps.