The Factors influencing the level of acceptance of off-season diversified vertical vegetable gardening through secondary school-based Agricultural Extension
Keywords:Secondary school based approach, Extension service and diversified vertical vegetable gardening
Currently, pressure to change Extension Service (ES) strategies to increase level of technology acceptance is on the rise. Various approaches of ES have been explored as a result. However, a secondary school-based approach to ES is yet to be tried in Kenya. Using participatory approach, this study examines how secondary school-based training approach to ES influences the level of acceptance of the off-season diversified vertical vegetable gardening (DVVG) technologies among farmers in Busia County. Data was collected using interviews, survey and observation guide among 131 youths, 131 farmers, and extension officers (5) purposively sampled, for baseline and end line survey. A baseline survey was conducted before the onset of the study to identify the gap and possible interventions. Three DVVG technologies; mound bed, second wall and primary tower, were used in the study as knowledge gap interventions. The end line survey was conducted to assess the outcome of the intervention on the level of farmer technology acceptance. At the baseline survey, 99% of the respondents were unaware of the role of DVVG in food and nutrition security. ES through schools was a suitable strategy for DVVG however, there was no guiding policy and no active young farmers club as entry point. At the end line survey, income and education had positive influence on the level of acceptance, however, age had both positive and negative influence on the level of acceptance among farmers, at a positive correlation of (r = 0.396 p < 0.01). 14% of farmers appreciated DVVG (one month after the intervention). However, this influence was triggered by student’s interest and creativity, farmer’s perception, success of demonstration plots, technology simplicity and performance. Therefore, the study established that secondary school based approach to ES was a potential strategy under group ES to promote agricultural technologies, especially where resources are minimal.
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