Utilization and Determinants of Agricultural Extension Packages by Smallholder Farmers: Evidences from Sinana District, Bale Zone, Oromia National Regional State, Ethiopia
This study was carried out to analyze agricultural extension package utilizations by smallholder farmers in Sinana District, Bale Zone of Oromia National Regional State. A cross-sectional study design was employed to collect data from 325 farmers through a simple random sampling technique. The quantitative data, obtained through survey, were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics; while the qualitative data, accessed through interviews and discussions, were analyzed thematically. The study found that 91.4% of the smallholder farmers were unable to access farm inputs such as agrochemicals, improved varieties, and farming machineries due to financial constraints. Besides, 93.2% of the farmers were not able to access agricultural inputs on time. The absence of integrated farm management, weak farmer-extension service linkage, and inconsistency between demands for agricultural inputs and supply posed challenges to channeling utilization of agricultural extension packages. There was also a statistically significant relationship among farmers' annual estimated income, farm size, household size, age, interaction, knowledge, and market access with the use of agricultural innovations such as application of chemical technologies, improved varieties, income diversification, and information accessed for agricultural extension packages utilization (P<0.05). Thus, institutionalization of integrated and collaborative engagements among stakeholders was suggested to improve the proper supply and utilization of agricultural extension packages in the study district.