An Identification of Difficulties and Limiting Factors Influencing Agricultural Extension Education Activities from the viewpoint of Agricultural Extension Experts



In spite of 60 years of past experience, Agricultural extension in Iran still faces problems, obstacles and limitations. Researchers believe that during these years, the service available to farmers has been neither successful nor satisfactory. With respect to the presently available problems and limitations, a thorough identification and analysis of these issues is necessary as well as inevitable to improve the existing situation. Therefore, this study is aimed at an identification of and priority given to the problems and limitations in Extension Education Activities from the viewpoints of Agricultural extension Specialists of the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad and as well from the view points of Extension Specialists in Qom Province. A survey research was conducted applying a questionnaire. Reliability of the questionnaire was approved by experts while its validity confirmed through Cronbach alpha coefficient test the coefficient being found out as 0.92. Out of all the extension experts and staff of the Department of Agriculture, 117 individuals were chosen through Stratified Random Sampling, using Morgan & Kerjcie Table. Finally, 111 questionnaires were collected and analyzed. Results show that according to priority, the most important problems and obstacles which limit educational-extensional activities could be listed as follows: problems related to the researches (as the current researches do not match every day problems and needs of farmers), problems related to human resource management (lack of proper motivation and accountability on the part of extension personnel), administrative problems (legal discrimination against extension personnel as compared with the staff engaged in some other sections), problems related to human resource educational development (as educational programs in agricultural colleges do not match today's needs), executive problems (budget deficiency), social problems (daily migration of rural youth to urban areas) as well as physical problems (scattered farm lands). The results also indicate that there is a positive relationship between educational, extensional as well as communicative capabilities, and experts' points of view. A comparison of the viewpoints of different experts (according to their fields of study) shows a meaningful difference between extension graduates, the graduates of other agriculturally related fields vs. those of other disciplines.