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Keywords: Applied Sciences
Agriculture & related technologies
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: Rice is the most significant crop in Pakistan. Its export brings main foreign exchange, generates employment for rural people and is the main food crop in the country. Unfortunately, its cultivated area and production is dwindling day by day due to technical inefficiency and lacking in built capacity of farmers. As public and private agricultural extension organizations are working to build capacity of farmers in the Punjab so this study focused on comparative effectiveness of public and private extension services in capacity building of rice growers in the Punjab, Pakistan. The study was conducted in the district Gujranwala, being the largest rice producing district in the Punjab province. There were six specific objectives outlined for the study: 1) to identify the demographic characteristics of the respondents; 2) to assess the knowledge level of the respondents; 3) to examine the contribution of public and private sectors in increasing the knowhow and skills of the respondents; 4) to determine the effectiveness of extension methods used by public and private organizations; 5) to ascertain the level of satisfaction of rice growers with public and private sectors; and 6) after gaining information about all these objectives develop an extension strategy for effective extension work in the Punjab. The research population was consisted of rice growers, served by both public and by private extension organizations. The sample of 342 out of 2,365 rice growers was selected by using Table developed by Fitz-Gibbon and Morris (1987). An interview schedule was developed and used as research instrument for quantitative assessment. To gauge the 19 quality of extension work in the area, focus group discussions (FGDs) and personal observation methods were employed. A suitable Likert Scale was used to compare performance of public and private. The data were analyzed through Statistical Package for Social Sciences 24 (SPSS). It was found that about twenty-nine percent (28.7%) respondents were older than 50 years of age and a big number (46%) of rice growers had primary level education or less. About thirty six percent (35.9%) of the rice growers were smallholder farmers (5 acres or 2 hectares of land). One-fourth (25%) of the respondents were not aware about recommended nursery raising practices. It was also found that increase in technical knowhow and skills by public sector regarding nursery raising appeared leading area with mean value of 3.29 followed by sowing time (3.28), plant spacing (3.22) and harvesting (3.03) heading towards medium. Increase in technical knowhow and skills by private sector in nursery raising was also ranked 1st with mean value of 3.29 followed by irrigation scheduling (3.26), weeds/insect-pest/disease management (3.18), and maintenance of plant population (3.12) were ranked 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Regarding use of extension methods, result demonstration used by public sector appeared the most effective extension method with mean value of 2.78 followed by farm & home visit (2.64), group discussions (2.49) and farmer days (2.39) which were ranked 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Private sector was leading in use of farmer days with mean value of 3.16 followed by lecture (2.86) and method demonstration (2.71) which was ranked 2nd and 3rd heading towards medium. The growers were highly satisfied with public sector regarding use of various extension methods (3.71), follow up visits (3.37) and farmer-extension linkage (3.25) while with private sector regarding provision of training facilities was ranked 1st with mean value of 3.65 followed by farmer-extension linkage (3.46) and follow up visits (3.35). It was concluded that generally, the growers were old; less educated; smallholder growers; unaware about latest varieties as well as about recommended production technologies. The contribution of public and private sector is better in specific areas. For example, public sector is doing better in crop management; and private sector in plant protection. The last but not the least, farmers were very less satisfied with public and private sector.
Appears in Collections:PhD Thesis of All Public / Private Sector Universities / DAIs.

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