EFFECTIVENESS OF AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICES TO MINIMIZE POST-HARVEST LOSSES OF HORTICULTURAL CROP PRODUCE WEST COAST REGION OF THE GAMBIA
The study examines agricultural extension services and post-harvest technology of horticultural crop produce for smallholder farmers in West Coast Region of The Gambia. The objective of the study is to examine the effectiveness of agricultural extension services in minimizing post-harvest losses of horticultural crop produce. The instruments designed to gather the primary data include; structured interview and focus group discussions (FGD) and key informant interview supported by secondary data using official documents. The sample population consisted of three hundred and ninety-eight (398) respondents using a minimum sample calculation of Taro Yamane in which ten extension officers (10) and two extension agent heads (2) as key informants for a period of three months from September to November 2017. This study employs cluster, purposive and simple random sampling procedures to draw its population. The data was quantitatively analyzed using SPSS to run percentages, frequency distribution tables, t-test, chi-squared correlation test and factorial analysis. Qualitative data from the in-depth interviews and FGDs were also analyzed and presented appropriately. The findings of the study showed that extension services are not very much effective or proactive to post-harvest loss reduction in this region. The study recommends there is the need for continued research, development and investment programme in both extension and post-harvest technologies, effective and efficient communication to the farmers, special extension agents training on post-harvest practices among others.
Keywords: Agricultural Extension Services, Effectiveness, Post-Harvest Losses, Horticultural Crop Produce, Smallholder Farmer, The Gambia
Copyright (c) 2021 Lamin K M Fatty, Prof. Idu Ogbe Ode, Bejamin Gowon Ahule
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