Impact of extension education on improving knowledge of sustainable technical agricultural practices
Keywords:Knowledge index, improved agricultural practices, impact of proficient training
Agriculture is considered as a critical sector in the world economy. However, especially in developing countries, agriculture is dominated by small farmers and often fails to achieve its full productive potential. A major problem faced by small farmers is their poor knowledge of sustainable agricultural practices. This study was designed so as to measure the knowledge index of paddy farmers before and after the scientific intervention that was offered to them in India to find out the knowledge index of farmers involved in paddy cultivation and to provide them technical training thereby finding out impact of the training on knowledge level of the farmers. A validated knowledge scale was used to test the knowledge index of 100 farmers before the offering of the scientific support. The knowledge index was found to be extremely low for 55% of farmers (score: 0-18), medium (from 19 to 36) for the 42% of the total sample, whereas only for 3% of the participants the level of knowledge was high (score: 37-55). Scientific intervention was administered to improve farmer’s knowledge level regarding improved agricultural practices and latest technologies. Then, a post test was conducted and the knowledge index was calculated. Significant differences were found for knowledge index between pre test and post test for both male (mean difference=31.28) and female farmers (mean difference=33.96). A linear trend was observed in five categories of knowledge for men as well as for women paddy producers. Thus, the results prove the hypothesis that there is an impact of extension education on improving knowledge of sustainable agricultural practices.
Keywords: Knowledge index, improved agricultural practices, impact of extension education