An assesment of factors affecting the performance of agroforestry farmer-to-farmer trainers in Chipata District

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Manda, Julius
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The main objective of this study was to assess the factors that affect the performance of Agroforestry farmer-to-farmer trainers in Chipata district. The study also attempted to establish the total number of farmers trained by the farmer trainers. The data used in the analysis was mainly primary data, which was collected through the use of a semi-structured questionnaire. Since this was cross sectional data, heteroskedasticity was tested using the Breush-Pagan-Godfrey (BPG) test and it was present at 5% level of confidence. Estimated Generalized Least squares (EGLS) method was used to correct for heteroskedasticity. The findings from the study revealed that the factors that affect farmer trainers training activities were farmer trainer house hold labour availability, number of years of being a trainer, sex of the farmer trainer and workshop attendance by the farmer trainer. An increase in amount of household labour available decreased the total number of farmers trained by the farmer trainer, implying a negative relationship. On the other hand a one-year increase in the number of years of being a trainer increased the total number of farmer trained by 21. Male farmer trainers trained on average 9 more farmers than female farmer trainers. The farmer trainers who attended a workshop on average trained 13 more farmers than those who did not. The research results also showed that a total of 2435 farmers were trained out of which 49.6% were male and 50.4% were female. However, It was not out rightly concluded that male farmers are not interested in Agroforestry but this could be attributed to many factors, which may include males being out in town looking for paid jobs leaving women to take care of household activities including farming and other related activities such as Agroforestry. From these findings it was concluded that in order to improve the performance of farmer trainers the factors such as the number of years of being a trainer, sex of the farmer trainer, farmer trainer household labour availability and workshop attendance should be taken into consideration. In light of the findings of the study, some of the recommendations which were made included the need for further training to be given to the farmer trainers so that they can be conversant with new extension methods and technology, a further comprehensive study to look at the characteristics and views of farmers trained , the need to reduce the area covered by the farmer trainers to a manageable size to enable farmer's reach many farmers and also the need to work with experienced farmer trainers who can then train other farmers.
Agro-Forestry , Farming-Chipata District-Zambia