Assessing County Government Modalities for Disseminating Agricultural Information to Farmers in Alego Usonga Ward, Siaya County, Kenya
Odinga, Grace Akoth
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Access to current, accurate, and authoritative agricultural information is essential for competitive markets and agricultural sector development. The purpose of this study was to assess the County government modalities for disseminating agricultural information to farmers in Alego-Usonga ward in Siaya County. This study explored the channels used to disseminate agricultural information, established the competencies and skills of staff involved in agricultural information dissemination, the contribution of extension officers in disseminating agricultural information, in Alego Usonga ward of Siaya County, and the challenges experienced in dissemination of agricultural information. Both qualitative and quantitative research approaches were used for this study. The study was conducted in Siaya county; AlegoUsonga ward. This sub county was purposely selected because it had the highest population and therefore the highest number of farmers. The farmers and agricultural information service providers formed the target population. Purposive sampling was used to sample the population. Interviews and questionnaires were used for data collection. Qualitative data was collected, analysed and summarised thematically giving narrative conclusions out of it, while quantitative data was summarised coded and put in SPSS software for analysis according to the objectives of the study. The study established that the channels that were widely used for disseminating agricultural information consisted of audio and audio visuals and that the staff that provided agricultural information were fairly competent. The study recommended that effective, easy to access and affordable channels of dissemination should be applicable in disseminating agricultural information to farmers in Siaya County, and that the staff involved in agricultural information dissemination should be well trained, and experienced. The study also recommended that the current channels of dissemination like social media as well as peers, site visits and agricultural shows should be enhanced for disseminating agricultural information, and that the staff competencies and skills should be enhanced to ensure effectiveness in the performance of their duties.