Journal of Extension Systems

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2001, Volume 17(1), June

Layle D. Lawrence, Editorial

  1. Agricultural Extension Problems in Iran: Opinions of Extension Authorities, Gholamreza Pzeshki-Raad, Hossein Aghahi, Okechukwu Ukaga

  2. Managing Human Resources in Extension, James R. Lindner

  3. Effect of Size of an Attitude Scale on its Reliability and Validity, P. N. Kaul

  4. Satisfactory Organizational Climate a Vital Factor for Job Satisfaction in Extension Personnel, Souvik Ghosh and K. Vijayaragavan

  5. Evaluation of Effectiveness of Extension Teaching Methods Used by Agricultural Trainees for Field Days, Michael Tunde Ajaji

  6. Improving Youth Livestock Programs Through Innovative Evaluation Techniques, Jeff Goodwin, Scott Nash, Gene Gibson, Jim Wilson, Tim Murphy and James R. Lindner

  7. Perceptions of Village Extension Agents on the Staff Appraisal Systems Used By the Oyo State Agricultural Development Programme in Nigeria, A. O. Akinsorotan

  8. Preserving Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge and Skills Through Research, Extension, and Training For Sustainable Agricultural Development and Production in Third World Countries: A Review, P. J. Squire, Jamal Hosseimi, William M. Rivera

  9. Potential of Extension in Fisheries Development of Nigeria, J. O. Ajetomobi, L. O. Olarinde, A. O. Ajao and V. O. Ladipo

  10. South Africa: Magic of the Jungles, O. S. Verma

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Editorial

It has been my pleasure to serve as Academic Editor for the Journal of Extension Systems for the past eight years – since the June, 1993 issue. How time flies! Through the Journal, I have met and corresponded with some of the finest people on the face of the earth, including the Managing Editor, Dr. O. S. Verma. It was Dr. Verma who recognized the need for a journal that would contain articles dealing with research, applications and philosophy of extension systems throughout the world and, encouraged by Dr. Herbert Lionberger (USA) and others, did something about it! To provide guidance in such an endeavor, an editorial board was formed initially composed of fourteen extension giants from ten different countries (later to grow to twenty) headed by Dr. Neils Roling of the Netherlands. The Inaugural Issue was published in December, 1985, with funding by Dr. Verma himself. The original editorial board continued to function until 1998 when members were requested to identify potential replacements. Newly appointed board members are highly qualified leaders in the extension field. At the moment, several vacancies remain on the board.

In 1998, the Journal joined the electronic age. Dr. Gary Wingenbach of West Virginia University – now of Texas A&M University – designed an Internet homepage and, financed by the academic editor, placed Journal information on the World Wide Web. By clicking on www.jesonline.org one can find subscription and manuscript specification information and the Table of Contents, editorial, and abstract of articles of every issue of the Journal since its inception, as well as a list (and photos) of editorial board members. Dr. Wingenbach continues as Web Editor.

A brief review of Journal issues published from inception through December, 2000, reveals the following information:

254 articles originating in 44 countries have been published

Region Articles (n) Countries

Africa

57

12

Asia

109

16

Australia and Pacific

11

5

Europe

20

5

North America

51

3
(including World Bank)

South America

6

3

The largest number of articles have come from India (71), USA (37), and Nigeria (27). Extensionists in South America have contributed relatively few articles, undoubtedly because of language differences. Sixteen persons from nine countries have been recognized through the “Know Your Stalwarts” series.

It is my hope that the Journal will continue to serve extensionists throughout the world for many years to come. I am pleased that Dr. John Richardson, of the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education, North Carolina State University, has agreed to accept the responsibility as Academic Editor for the next few years. I am pleased, too, that Dr. Gustav Duvel, of the Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development, University of Pretoria, South Africa, has agreed to serve as Chair of the Editorial Board. Both are dedicated, capable, widely known and experienced extension educators who will serve the Journal well.

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Agricultural Extension Problems In Iran: Opinions of Extension Authorities, Gholamreza Pezeshki-Raad, Hossein Aghahi, Okechukwu Ukaga, 1-14.

As Iran, like many other so-called developing countries struggling to assure/enhance the effectiveness of agricultural extension, it is very appropriate to identify problems that limit extension’s effectiveness in the country in order to solve or mitigate such problems. Hence, this study examined the perceptions of Iranian extension authorities regarding the seriousness (severity) and importance (priority) of problems facing agricultural extension in Iran. It used descriptive survey research methodology. Data were collected through a mail survey of Heads of Agricultural Organizations and Extension Directors in 29 provinces of Iran. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze data. Finding showed that, overall, lack of extension training, lack of linkage between extension and other institutions, lack of technology, lack of mobility, and lack of technical training were perceived to be the most serious problems as well as the problems with the highest priority. Although not exactly in the same order, heads of agricultural organizations and extension authorities perceived the same five of the eight problem areas to be the more serious and important problems facing extension in Iran. The agreement between these two types of respondents (Heads of Agricultural Organizations and Extension Directors) regarding which problems are most serious/important and the disagreement between the two groups regarding the order of seriousness/importance of the identified problems have implications for determining which problems the Iranian extension service needs to focus on.

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Managing Human Resources in Extension, James R. Lindner, 15-28.

The purpose of this article is to provide a theoretical base on human resource management in Extension. A similar approach was taken by Verma (1997) in proposing a theoretical base for empirical research with respect to management issues in Extension. Verma described the following eight components as key: Authority structure, delegation of authority, decentralization, control systems, participative management, authority and humility, responsibility and accountability. A review of the literature with respect to human resource management in extension resulted in the following eight key human resource management components within an Extension context. A caveat to the reader¼ In so much as there is no way to generalize all the laws and regulations impacting the human resource management function, references to such laws and regulations in this paper pertain only to those in the United States of America.

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Effect of Size of an Attitude Scale on its Reliability and Validity, P. N. Kaul, 29-33.

The study was designed to answer the problem of size of an attitude scale vis-à-vis its reliability and validity. Successive item analyses of a 30-item attitude scale revealed that there were not any serious differences in the discriminatory power of each item with each such analysis. A minor decrease was observed with reliability coefficients, and the validity was also not seriously affected by decrease in scale size.

How many items should be included finally in a scale meant for the measurement of attitudes? According to Edwards (1957), we should select about 20 to 25 items for a Likert-type scale. However, it is felt that this question can be answered more accurately if we can ascertain the effect of size of the scale (its length, or the number of items) on the reliability and validity of the scale. Then, we can determine the optimum point at which it could be conveniently used without adversely affecting its reliability and validity. The purpose of the present study was to explore this relationship and to find out how far this could be used as a practical guide in case of one scale measuring attitudes towards reservation (Kaul, Rajkamal and Saha, 1993).

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Satisfactory Organizational Climate a Vital Factor for Job Satisfaction in Extension Personnel, Souvik Ghosh and K. Vijayaragavan, 34-42.

Employee’s satisfaction and performance are significantly determined by work environment. Therefore, organizations should always strive for maintaining a satisfactory level of work environment. Employee growth and satisfaction with the job, and individual productivity are influenced by the overall climate in an organization. Keeping these facts in mind, the present study was aimed to assess the organizational climate and job satisfaction in extension personnel. The present study also tried to delineate the organizational climate dimensions, which were significantly related to overall job satisfaction of extension personnel.

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Evaluation of Effectiveness of Extension Teaching Methods Used by Agricultural Trainees for Field Days, Michael Tunde Ajayi, 42-50.

 The study evaluated the effectiveness of extension teaching methods adopted by agricultural trainees for field days. A sample of 52 farmers was randomly selected from two villages where field days had been carried out. Data were collected through interviews. The results of the study showed that the farmers ranked method demonstrations and lectures first and second respectively among the 5 methods used. Majority of farmers (63.6%) indicated that they gained knowledge at the field days, which assisted them in applying the knowledge. However, less than half of them disseminated the knowledge to others. Both participation and knowledge gained at field days had positive and significant correlation with adoption of technologies (r=0.419) and (r-07.50) respectively. Though trainee’s extension teaching methods were found effective, a combination of teaching methods that would involve the participation of farmers rather than reading materials is recommended when teaching farmers with little or no education.

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Improving Youth Livestock Programs through Innovative Evaluation Techniques, Jeff Goodwin, Scott Nash, Gene Gibson, Jim Wilson, Tim Murphy and James R. Lindner, 51-58.

In the United States of America, educational methods employed by junior livestock programs can either be responsive to future needs and technological advancements or risk becoming obsolete. This article asks the question, “Will youth livestock programs survive and thrive in the future?” A recent survey of Idaho County Extension Offices regarding the use of ultrasound technology and the Systems Approach of livestock evaluation highlighted in this article. The survey revealed that 62% of county fairs in Idaho use real-time ultrasound technology in the evaluation of animals or educational processes. The survey also indicated that 69% of county fairs in Idaho used the Systems Approach of Livestock Evaluation. This survey goes on to show that over 85% of county fairs in Idaho use at least one of these educational methods. The high level use of these two educational methods demonstrates the ability of youth livestock programs to adapt to changing and emerging needs in order to remain viable in the future.

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Perceptions of Village Extension Agents on the Staff Appraisal Systems used by Oyo State Agricultural Development Programme in Nigeria, A. O. Akinsorotan, 59-67.

This study focused on the village Extension Agents (VEAs) perceptions of the appraisal systems used in Oyo State Agricultural Development Programme (OYSADEP). Structured questionnaire was used to collect data from randomly selected 128 VEAs. Results showed that 85.9% of the VEAs were below 40 years and majority (79.7%) were males. Only 21.9 per cent had basic University degree, while 17.2%, 32.0% and 27.3% had National Certificate of Education, Higher and Ordinary National Diploma Certificates, respectively. Most of the VEAs were seconded from the state Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources. They all had considerable experience on the job and were aware of the appraisal systems used for them; although they indicated it was mainly for promotion. Very few rated the system as poor, while about a quarter indicated it had no effect on their performance. Half of the VEAs always agree with their supervisors’ rating, but few usually disagree. They all regarded the current rating appraisal attributes as important. While age and experience on the job significantly affected the perception of the appraisal systems, educational level did not. The findings suggested that staff of such organizations should be adequately informed of all the basic purposes of annual performance appraisal. Supervisor should rate VEAs very objectively in order to improve performance.

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Preserving Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge and Skills Through Research, Extension, and Training for Sustainable Agricultural Development and Production in Third World Countries: A Review, P. J. Squire, 68-81.

 It is suggested in this literature review that Research Institutions should involve farmers in indigenous agricultural knowledge research by setting up the required situation where both the farmers and researchers will take risks either together or independently to transform the indigenous farming institutions. It is further suggested that the agricultural extension and training institutions should blend the traditional and modern knowledge systems in their training programs and establish Indigenous Knowledge Centers (IKCs). These approaches will empower and enhance local control over the content and relevance of research and training and it will help to generate and adapt local technology that farmers can use in the farm production systems.

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Potential of Extension in Fisheries Development of Nigeria, J. O. Ajetomobi, L. O. Olarinde, A. O. Ajao and V. O. Ladipo, 82-91.

In Nigeria, fish and fishery production contribute 40% of the protein intake of the citizenry. In addition, the sector provides employment to about 1.5 million people (artisanal and secondary employment). The country is supported with 960 km coastline and inland water bodies capable of supporting aquaculture development. Unfortunately, the fisheries sub-sector is given little attention in federal budgetary allocation. Extension research, which is expected to boost fishery development, was neglected until 1988 when it was included in the unified agricultural extension system of Nigeria, a World Bank funded project. In this paper, we look at the fishery development in Nigeria, its problems and strategies for its improvement.

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South Africa: Magic of the Jungles, Compiled & Edited by Dr. O. S. Verma, 92-100.

 (No abstract available)

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