ECONOMIC INCENTIVES AND SATISFACTION OF THE AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION AGENTS
The objectives of the study was to examine important economic factors affecting agricultural extension services for agricultural development and the perception of extension agents regarding different economic incentives provided by their department. The study comprises the two purposively selected districts (Swat and Buner) of Malakand division, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-Pakistan. A total of 82 (100%) extension agents of the selected districts were interviewed by means of a pre-tested structure questionnaire. Data were collected on different aspects of economic factors and were analyzed by using descriptive statistics. Findings of the study revealed that 30% of the respondents reported that traveling and daily allowances (TA/DA) was paid to them on time, 70% experienced lags in the payment. Also an overwhelming majority (94% and 91%) of the respondents reported that they did not get timely promotion and were not satisfied with their pay respectively. In respect of the medical facilities provided by the department for the respondents, 96% were not satisfied. Also Only 21% of the respondents opined said that incentives are available while 79% reported that there were no incentives at their disposal for working with the farming communities. In the study area 83% of the respondents answered that the department provided seed, fertilizer and pesticides. The study concludes that the majority of the extension agents were not satisfied with the economic incentives provided by the department and thus this negatively affects agriculture productivity. The study recommends on time TA/DA payment and promotion, pay increases, provision of better medical facilities and on time provision of seed, fertilizer and pesticide in order to enable them to serve the farming community for improved and better livelihoods.
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