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Competencies and Training Needs of Agriculture Extension Officers in Developing the MADA

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Title: Competencies and Training Needs of Agriculture Extension Officers in Developing the MADA


1
Competencies and Training Needs of Agriculture
Extension Officers in Developing the MADAs Paddy
Farming  
  • Norsida Man
  • Department of Agribusiness and Information
    System,
  • Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia
    (UPM), 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

2
Introduction
  • The Malaysian paddy and rice industry
  • - has always been given special treatment based
    on the strategic importance of rice as a staple
    diet commodity.
  • provides the livelihood to 230, 000 paddy farmers
    in the country.
  • In Malaysia, paddy is produced mainly by small
    holders with an average farm size of about 1.06
    hectares.
  • approximately 296,000 paddy farmers of which
    116,000 are full time farmers depending on paddy
    cultivation for their livelihood.
  • Sixty five percent (65) of the paddy farmers
    have farms of less than one hectare while only
    four percent (4) have more than three hectares.

3
Cont
  • The data from Malaysia Statistic Department
  • In 2000- Malaysian planted area of paddy is
    478,000 hectares
  • In2005- 452,000 hectares
  • Muda Agriculture Development Authority (MADA) is
    the major contribution of paddy production in
    Malaysia followed by the Kemubu Irrigation Scheme
    (KADA).
  • But still, Malaysia needs to imports usually
    about 800,000 tons of rice a year, around half of
    which is supplied by Thailand, and the other half
    is supplied by Vietnam, India and Pakistan.

Decrease
4
Extension Agency
  • MADA responsible
  • to operate and maintain all the irrigation and
    drainage infrastructures
  • to propagate and advance agriculture technology
    through training and extension services to
    farmers
  • to regulate and promote farmer association
    activities
  • to perform many other functions related to the
    technical, social and economic development of the
    agriculture sector.
  • This is consistent with the concept irrigated
    agriculture, as a complex socio-technical system,
    requires coherent and dynamic management effort
    to nurture and develop both the social and
    technical assets.

5
Role of Extension
  • In extension programme
  • extension worker plays an important role as the
    middle man between organization and client. The
    role of the extension agents will therefore be
    more of knowledge workers who would give advisory
    and consultancy services to the target groups.
  • Following this tradition
  • extension work begins with research activity
    conducted by researchers to generate and develop
    new technology. The new technology is then
    transferred to extension agency/extension agents
    to be disseminated to clients. Extension agents,
    should have to translate/transform technology
    information to a simpler level that would make
    the technology easy to understand and hence
    adoption

6
Cont
  • The whole extension process is dependent upon the
    extension agent ( critical element) in all
    extension activities.
  • If the extension agent is not able to respond to
    a given situation and function effectively, it
    does not matter how imaginative the extension
    approach is or how impressive the supply of
    inputs and resources for extension work.
  • the effectiveness of the extension agents can
    often determine the success or failure on an
    extension program.

7
Problem Statement
  • The management should be sensitive to changes as
    new needs and opportunities appear, and flexible
    enough to react promptly and creatively to
    problems arises.
  • If every extension programme in every area is
    well developed and succeed, perhaps the two goals
    can be reached.
  • the success of these extension programmes is
    depends to the extension agents and the extension
    programme itself.

8
Cont
  • In MADA granary, there are many extension
    programme and therefore extension workers plays
    important role.
  • but, Malaysian target to achieve self-sufficiency
    not yet reached.
  • Competent and well-trained extension agents are
    needed so that every extension programme will
    reach their target.
  • The role of the agricultural Extension agents in
    the context to adopt new technologies demands
    Extension Agents competencies

9
Cont
  • The research questions
  • 1) What is the level of competency of the
    extension agents?
  • 2) How do extension agents performance,
    contribute to the success of extension program?

10
Objectives of the study
  • The general objective
  • to identify the competencies of MADAs extension
    agents and their training needs.
  • The specific objectives
  • To identify the respondents profiles
  • To determine the competency of extension agents
    in MADA
  • To determine extension agent skills and ability
    in performing their job and their training needs.

11
Literature Review
  • The concept of identifying core competencies is
    not new to extension.
  • Cooper Graham (2001) identified 57 competencies
    needed by county agents and county Extension
    supervisors in Arkansas. Compared the perceptions
    of each group toward the level of importance of
    each competency.
  • Core competencies are defined as the basic
    knowledge, attitudes, skills and behaviors that
    contribute to excellence in Extension education
    programs. Adoption of research results by clients
    is a complex decision-making process.
  • It requires clients to change must not be
    perceived by them to be disruptive but must
    harmonize with existing situations and values.
  • The change to be introduced must have the
    relative advantage over current practice, easy to
    implement and must be within the economic means
    of clients.

12
Cont..
  • Critical review of theories used
  • Previous studies have identified various
    competencies thought to be needed by extension
    professionals in the areas of
  • understanding human behavior
  • program planning
  • understanding the teaching/learning process,
  • teaching strategies and teaching tools/aids, and
    program evaluation.
  • It was found that these skills should be
    possessed by Extension professionals in order to
    effectively perform their role as change agents
    (Sulaiman, Irene, Ibrahim (Eds.) (1984).

13
Cont..
  • Based on Herringer's (2002) description of a
    competence assessment
  • competency can be defined as the ability of an
    individual to perform a task using his/her
    knowledge, education, skills, and experience.
  • Competencies, especially when used in competence
    assessments, should relate to the specific tasks
    required to perform successfully in a given
    position.

14
Cont..
  • Estimation techniques used
  • To upgrade the competencies of agriculture
    agents, training must be provided.
  • Training should be based on their needs of
    training. A major determinant of the future of
    extension is training of the agent.
  • It is the ability of the agents to do the job
    and the extent to which they are up-to-date on
    the subject matter topics.
  • The success of educational programs in Extension,
    just as in teaching, depends heavily upon the
    abilities of individual professionals (Prawl,
    Medlin et al., 1984)

15
Cont..
  • Preference for certain theory and estimation
    technique and it rationale
  • For extension staff development, one of the most
    perplexing questions is what type of professional
    development activities do extension professionals
    need?
  • Adult learning theory emphasizes the importance
    of using the needs of the clientele as a basis
    for in-service training programs.

16
Cont..
  • As indicated by Lentz (1983), the purpose of
    identifying needs is to build a foundation for
    providing in-service education. Such
    identification will assist staff development
    leaders in establishing priorities and designing
    in-service education offerings.

17
Methodology
  • Sampling area
  • The population for this study was agricultural
    extension in MADA.
  • Description about the population
  • This population was selected because people in
    these positions have been extensively involved in
    the rural and agricultural development efforts in
    this country, and will continue to be implicated
    in these efforts more.
  • the persons who were in the best position to
    express those professional extension competencies
    that are perceived to be important to the
    performance of agriculture extension and to be
    included.

18
Cont..
  • Sampling Size Procedure
  • Stratified random sampling procedures were
    followed
  • to select 125 agriculture extension agents from
    323 agents who include 25 agriculture officers,
    57 agriculture officers assistant and 241
    agriculture assistant in MADA. 125 extension
    officer was select by refer to Krejcie and Morgan
    table.
  • Using the list of names of the agricultural
    extension obtained from the agencies, the names
    of these personnel were relisted in alphabetical
    order and number in sequence.
  • A sample of 125 names was then selected from each
    of the personnel group in each of the personnel
    group using a table of random numbers.

19
Cont
  • Questionnaire Design
  • The questionnaire will be divided into five (5)
    sections
  • 1) Section A respondent profile this section
    outlines the respondents in terms of age, gender,
    level of education, race, religion and marital
    status
  • 2) Section B the function of extension program
  • 3) Section C Types of competencies based on
    Competency Model for HR Professional (NAPA). In
    this section, respondents were asked the
    importance and achievement as changing agent, as
    businessman, as a leader and as an expert in
    agriculture

20
Cont
  • 4) Section D Ability as extension agent. In this
    section respondents were asked about things in
    planning, implementation, evaluating,
    communication, farm management and comepetency in
    ICT
  • 5) Section E Current extension program situation
    and their importance. In this section,
    respondents were asked position and their
    importance for current situation also for the
    future.

21
Result and Discussion
  • Competency as Extension Agent
  • - In this part, we will see the respondents
    competency in every aspect of their job
  • B) The questions had been divided into two parts
  • Ability as an Extension Agent as Change Agent,
    Planner, Leader and Agriculture Expert.
  • Ability as an Extension Agent in extension
    management etc.

22
Table 1 Current Ability of Extension Agent
as Change Agent, Planner, Leader and Agriculture
Expert and Its Importancy
23
Table 2 Current Ability of Extension Agent as
Change Agent, Planner, Leader and Agriculture
Expert and its importancy
24
Table 3 Current Ability of Extension Agent as
Change Agent, Planner, Leader and Agriculture
Expert and its importancy
25
Table 4 Current Ability of Extension Agent as
Change Agent, Planner, Leader and Agriculture
Expert and Its Importancy
26
Table 5 Ability as an Extension Agent
27
Table 6 Ability as an Extension Agent
28
Table 7 Ability as an Extension Agent
29
Table 8 Ability as an Extension Agent
Current Ability Current Ability Current Ability Current Ability Current Ability Skills in Communication Importancy Importancy Importancy Importancy Importancy
Score Score Score Score Score Skills in Communication Score Score Score Score Score
1 2 3 4 5 Skills in Communication 1 2 3 4 5
0.0 2.5 19.0 62.0 16.5 Ability to communicate well with top management and other staff. 0.0 0.0 4.5 38.5 57.0
0.0 1.5 21.0 50.5 27.0 Ability to communicte well with farmers 0.0 1.5 2.0 28.0 68.5
0.0 3.5 23.5 56.0 17.0 Ability to negotiate adn discuss in solving certain problems. 0.0 1.5 5.5 32.0 61.0
5.0 2.0 31.0 56.5 10.0 Ability to choose effective communication strategy to transfer technology anddelivering information to the farmers 0.0 0.0 8.5 37.5 54.0
5.0 4.5 28.5 56.0 10.5 Ability to choose the suitable media to handle extension activities 0.0 2.5 1.0 45.5 51.0
0.0 2.0 27.0 56.5 14.5 Ability to write good report about certain extension activities 0.0 2.5 1.0 45.5 51.0
5.0 4.5 33.5 51.5 10.0 Ability to handle any meeting, seminar or class related to extension. 0.0 0.0 6.5 38.0 55.5
30
Table 9 Ability as an Extension Agent
31
Table 10 Ability as an Extension Agent
32
Table 11 Ability as an Extension Agent
33
Cont
  • B) Training Needs
  • -This part will discuss the result from the
    survey on training which includes training needs,
    training and training needs

34
Table 12 Training Needs and its Importance to
Extension Agents (n200) 
35
Table 13 List of Types of Training Needs
36
Conclusion
  • The respondents competencies in every aspect of
    their job was determined as
  • Extension Agent as Change Agent
  • Planner
  • Leader
  • and Agriculture Expert
  • The aspects of extension management
  • the competency and importancy of extension
    agents planning, implementing and evaluating of
    extension activities was identified.

37
Cont
  • The ability as leader, competency in farm
    management
  • skill in communication and ICT was also
    identified.
  • The most training needed is technical training on
    paddy and following by training in extension.
  • identify the competencies of extension agents,
    their way of thinking toward their competencies
    and their training need, the extension
    organization as MADA be able to develop the
    appropriate training module which can up skill or
    upgrading the extension officers.

38
References
  • Cooper, A., Graham, D. (2001). Competencies
    needed to be successful county agents and county
    supervisors. Journal of Extension On-line,
    39(1).
  • Sulaiman, Irene, Ibrahim (Eds.).(1984). Improving
    extension strategies for rural development.
    Universiti Pertanian Malaysia Press.
  • Herringer, J. M. (2002). Once isnt enough when
    measuring staff competence. Nursing Management,
    33(2), 22.
  • Oakley, P. and Garforth, C. (1985). Guide to
    Extension Training. Rome Food and Agricultural
    Organization of the United Nations.
  • Prawl, W., Medlin, R., Gross, J. (1984). Adult
    and continuing education through the Cooperative
    Extension Service. Columbia, MO Extension
    Division, University of Missouri-Columbia.
  • Lentz, M.T. (1983). Needs assessment and data
    collection. In R.J. Mertz (ed.) Staff Development
    Leadership A Resource Book, Columbus, OH, Ohio
    department of Education. 

39
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