Effectiveness of the Nakuru farmers’ call center in linking farmers to agricultural extension stakeholders in Nakuru county, Kenya
This paper examined the effectiveness of Nakuru Farmers Call Centre (NFCC) in linking farmers to agricultural extension stakeholders in Nakuru County following reports of delays in responding to farmers’ queries and requests by NFCC, provision of low-quality services, and lack of follow-ups. The descriptive survey research design was adopted during the study. The target population was all the 3,473 farmers in Nakuru County who were registered with NFCC and the 4 center experts. A sample of 4 center experts and 110 farmers selected using census, stratified, proportionate, and simple random sampling techniques were involved in the survey. Data were collected using the farmers’ questionnaire and experts’ interview guide. Data were summarized and described using frequencies, percentages, means, and standard deviations. The findings showed NFCC had linked the majority (80.9%) of the farmers to extension stakeholders. The farmers rated linkages with Government/Public extension service providers (M = 4.15, SD = 1.21), agro-dealers (M = 4.02, SD = 1.25), and agriculture marketing services providers (M = 3.54, SD = 1.50) highly while those to agriculture university scientist (M =2.62, SD = 1.67), agricultural NGO’s (M =2.80, SD = 1.50), and research institutes (M = 2.98, SD = 1.46), were low. The overall success of NFCC in linking farmers to stakeholders was rated at M= 3.40 (SD = 0.50). NFCC was successful in linking farmers with government/public extension services providers agro-dealers and agriculture marketing services providers. However, it was not successful in linking farmers to agriculture university scientists. The number of farmers' call centers (FCC) should be increased and the centers are given adequate facilities and staff. These resources will enable FCCs to provide quality services to a wider section of farmers, link them to stakeholders promptly and make follow-ups as a way of ensuring that farmers have been assisted, thus enhancing their effectiveness.
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