Training needs assessment of vegetable growers in peri-urban areas of Faisalabad

Gulfam Hassan
Institute of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
October, 2017


Vegetables are the important part of our food, essential for maintaining health. Vegetable consumption has shown increasing trend, however, per capita intake is still below the recommended level of World Health Organization (WHO). Due to their perishability, vegetable commodities have received greater attention and in developing world they are produced closer to their consumption area. Vegetable production has thus become concentrated in peri-urban zones in Asia. Vegetable production in Pakistan is very low because the research institutes and researchers have given it low priority and it has been inadequately addressed. About fifteen varieties of vegetables are imported from India to Pakistan to meet the requirement of large masses. This situation has resulted in an increase in vegetables price. Among provinces of Pakistan, Punjab holds the largest share of 63 and 74% in vegetables’ area and production, respectively. To provide access to vegetables and enhance vegetable production, in past, several initiatives have been undertaken, however, with substantial impact, Fruit and Vegetable Development Project (F&VDP) was one of those initiatives led by Govt. of the Punjab. The project documented training as the most effective element to enhance the morale of growers. Likewise, various researches in past also have documented training as the most effective element in production process. Vegetable production can be enhanced by imparting training to the vegetable growers in specific areas enabling them to increase their net income. Lack of sufficient training and low technical efficiency are some common barriers in low productivity of vegetables. The present study was conducted in peri-urban areas of Faisalabad to assess the training needs of vegetable growers. The Faisalabad Bypass which is almost 15-20 km away from the main city was considered as the end point of peri-urban area, therefore, the areas falling between Faisalabad city and Bypass were selected for the study. A well-structured interview schedule was designed to collect data from randomly selected 208 vegetable growers, growing the major vegetables i.e. cauliflower, turnip and radish. The collected data were analyzed with the help of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) to derive conclusions and formulate recommendations. The findings reveal that an overwhelming majority (87.0%) of the respondents was growing vegetables for both commercial and domestic purpose. Awareness was found less in all types of selected vegetables for fertilizer application followed by insect/pest/disease identification and management. All the respondents were aware about the AO and FA of their area and an overwhelming majority (93.8%) reported the fortnightly visit of AO and FA. Group discussion, field trips and use of audio-visual aids were the most effective training methods used by EFS and were ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd with mean values of 3.62, 3.50 and 3.47, respectively. Slightly less than half (47.1%) of respondents attended only one training during past year and the areas where trainings were useful were sowing time, nursery raising and sowing methods with mean values 4.08, 3.65 and 3.39, respectively. Cooperation and self confidence of trainers were ranked 1st and 2nd with mean values 4.10 and 3.68, respectively while clarity and compatibility of training contents was ranked 1st and 2nd with mean value of 4.22 and 3.98, respectively. Major weaknesses of trainings were unavailability of literature to all farmers and bad condition of training equipment and were ranked 1st and 2nd with mean values 3.39 and 3.35, respectively. The prominent information gap areas in cauliflower, turnip and radish production were fertilizer application, insect/pest/disease management and seed rate falling in high and medium category. Lack of interest on the part of trainers was the major constraining factor while busy schedule was the top constraining factor on the part of trainees. Respondents reported inappropriate demonstration facilities and unavailability of reference material a leading constraining factor in their capacity building. On the basis of research findings it was recommended that research departments should develop insect/pest/disease resistant varieties. There should be collaboration between public sector extension and In-service training institutes for better training of EFS.