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Farmers’ perceptions of the quality of extension services provided by non-governmental organisations in two municipalities in the Central Region of Ghana

Buadi, Donus K., Anaman, Kwabena A., Kwarteng, Joseph A.
Agricultural systems 2013 v.120 pp. 20-26
agricultural credit, agricultural industry, attitudes and opinions, credit, extension education, farmers, gender, infrastructure, nongovernmental organizations, private sector, sampling, technology transfer, Ghana
Since independence in 1957, the provision of major support services for farmers such as physical infrastructure and research services for the agricultural sector in Ghana has been the preserve of the government. However, with respect to agricultural credit, extension and marketing services, there has been a mix of both public and private sector participation with public services declining in quantity over the period of structural adjustment programmes in the country beginning in 1983–2006. Over this 24-year period, government involvement in extension delivery to farmers declined. Since 2007 the level of government support for the agricultural sector has increased considerably with government support for investment in agriculture outpacing its recurrent expenditures for the sector. The decline of government extension delivery led to an increased role for not-for-profit organizations such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in supporting farmers. We assessed the quality of extension services provided by four NGOs in two municipalities of the Central Region of Ghana: Mfantseman and Komenda–Edina–Eguafo–Abrem (KEAA). The study was based on random sampling of farmers with the gender used as the key attribute in the choice of the optimal random sample. Beneficiary farmers assessed six main services provided by NGOs, namely information support, input supply, training, technology transfer, credit and monitoring and evaluation of extension activities. Farmers generally perceived the services to be relevant to their operations. However, they had mixed opinions concerning the services with respect to their adequacy, availability and their timeliness of supply. Monitoring and evaluation of extension activities by NGOs was generally acceptable.