Investigation of Professional Competency Level and Training Needs of Field Assistants in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Asif Nawaz*, Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, Rehmat Ullah, Khalid Nawab and Urooba Pervaiz
The extension agents have significant contribution in providing effective extension services to the farming community. Therefore, it is vital for administration and management of the extension organizations to investigate competency level of their staff so that training can be provided to them for successful execution of extension tasks. Hence, this study was designed with objective to inspect professional competency level and training needs of Field Assistants of Agriculture Extension Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. A sample of 234 respondents was selected and personally interviewed through pre-tested and validated interview schedule. Paired sample t-test and dummy variable regression model were used to achieve study objectives. It was found that Field Assistants were highly competent in conducting farm/home visits followed by conducting meetings and organizing extension campaigns. Highest training needs in professional competency were reported in use of Information and Communication Technologies, use of audio-visual aids and ability of motivating farmers. Regression analysis showed that rural domicile, job experience, and higher educational level of Field Assistants have positive and significant effect on the development of their competency. Therefore, it is suggested to provide in-service training for the Field Assistants in the identified areas for the adequate acquisition of relevant skills and knowledge.