A comparative analysis of the Cooperative Extension Service of the United States (Virginia) and the Agricultural Extension Service of Nigeria (Anambra)

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The objectives of the study were as follows:

  1. To investigate the following of the Cooperative Extension in the United States (Virginia) and Nigeria (Anambra): A. Background and history B. Organization C. Administration D. Responsibilities of personnel E. Financing F. Program areas G. Training of staff H. Communication processes and methods used I. Reporting and evaluation of programs

  2. To write·a descriptive comparison of the two extension systems.

  3. To make recommendations for the improvement of the Nigerian Agricultural Extension Service based on the findings.

Nigeria has an Agricultural Extension Service which has not been successful in changing the life of the peasant farmers and needs to be improved if agriculture is to be successful in Nigeria. Nigeria's economy has gone down within the last year due to the reduced price of oil on which the nation has built its wealth since the mid-1960's.

It is now believed by the Nigerian policymakers that agriculture is a more stable and everlasting base for the economy and again needs to be the primary source of income in Nigeria.

The methods used in this study were as follows: A. Literature review. A literature review was made on the elements selected for study. B. Sources of information. Additional information was obtained from other sources such as the Cooperative Extension Service in the United States and Nigeria, personal interviews, world bank offices in the United States. C. A descriptive comparison was made on all of the elements studied and conclusions were drawn. Recommendations for the improvement of the Nigerian Agricultural Extension Service were made.

The comparison between the Cooperative Extension Service in the United States and the Nigerian Agricultural Extension Service shows similarities and differences. There is greater similarity in their operations than in the organizational and administrative structure. There are also differences in the methods used to carry out the extension programs, variety of programs, procedures used in program planning and reporting and evaluation of programs.

Ten important recommendations resulting from this study are:

That the Federal government enact legislation (laws and regulations) which will provide adequate financial support, recognition and direction for the operation of the Agricultural Extension Service.

That the technical personnel of the Agricultural Extension Service carry out educational functions exclusively.

That additional technical extension personnel be employed so that there is an adequate number to do the work and that they be well trained.

That more workers in the Home Economics programs be employed and trained.

That the extension workers use the training and visit system (T and V) to train the farmers.

That the extension service provide an adequate number of demonstration units.

That cine vans (demonstration units) equipped with microphones and cinema equipment tour all the villages more frequently to enlighten the farmers.

That a separate Evaluation Section be included in all Agricultural Extension Divisions in the nation.

That the personnel of the Agricultural Extension Service be given adequate training in the area of reporting and evaluation.

That adequate funds be provided for the reporting and evaluation section so that the workers and the public will know how much progress is being made,