Assessment of climate change training needs of agricultural extension agents in Abia state, Nigeria
Keywords:Extension agents, climate change,, training needs, Constraints
The study assessed the agricultural extension agents' climate change training needs in Abia state. Eighty-three extension agents were chosen for the study using a simple random sampling procedure. Questionnaire was used to collect data, which was then summarized using percentages, frequency counts, and the mean. The findings indicated that male agricultural extension agents comprised a majority (53%) of the state's agricultural extension agents. The average household contained between one and five members (60%). Only 10% have a master's degree, while the majority (69%) have a bachelor's degree. The average length of employment was 15 years. The study's findings indicated that there are still extension agents who are unaware of climate change (1%). Agricultural extension agents in the study area have a limited understanding of all six climate change statements. Extension agents provide significant climate change services to farmers, including technical advice on climate change ( =2.0), the establishment of Small Plot Adaptation Techniques (SPAT) to monitor the impact of climate change (=2.1), and educating farmers on appropriate agrochemicals for climate change adaptation (weed and pest control) ( =2.2). Additionally, the results indicated that understanding fundamental climate change concepts ( =3.7), utilising cultural practises to mitigate and adapt to climate impacts ( =3.4), and environmentally friendly management practises to mitigate and adapt to climate change ( =3.4) were the primary areas of need for climate change training among extension agents. Inadequate funding for training (=3.4), a lack of financial support from organizations ( =3.3), and an inability to access financial support from funders (=3.3) were the major barriers to attending climate change training for extension agents. Regular climate change seminars and training workshops for agricultural extension agents at the federal and state levels will help to improve their overall knowledge of climate change issues. The Agricultural Development Program should utilize Forth nightly training (FNT) meetings to educate extension agents about climate change issues.
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