SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS OF FARMERS AND THEIR PARTICIPATION IN ACTIVITIES OF MODEL FARM SERVICES CENTERS IN KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA, PAKISTAN
Sher Muhammad , Ijaz Ashraf*, Amir Khatam**, and Naima
Model Farm Services Centers (MFSCs) can be viewed as a new extension strategy introduced in all the 24 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) to lead farming communities towards sustainable agriculture by putting emphasis on the delivery of demand-based services through their active involvement. This improved situation regarding availability of agricultural inputs and good decision making may result in active participation by farmers in farm related activities. The present paper focuses on farmers' participation in various activities of MFSCs as influenced by their socio-economic characteristics. The target population of current study consisted of the member farmers of the MFSCs in four districts of KPK having different ecological mix cropping zones. Data were collected with the help of a validated and reliable interview schedule through a research team comprising of four members who were properly trained for the purpose. Highest farmers' participation was perceived in supply of inputs and was ranked 1 with mean value 3.10. There existed a highly significant association between age, education, land holding, and tenancy status of the respondents and their participation in various activities being carried out under MFSCs. It is recommended that relatively young, educated, big and owner farmers may be given priority for registration in MFSCs so that they could avail full benefits of MFSCs through active participation.