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Training needs of Iranian extension agents about sustainability: The use of Borich's need assessment model

Abstract

Amirhossein Alibaygi and Kiumars Zarafshani

This descriptive study probed to in-service training needs of extension agents in West Iran. The statistical population of the study consisted of Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs) in Kermanshah Province (N = 97) . The entire population was surveyed. Therefore, sampling procedures were not utilized. Based on the Borich Need Assessment Model, a Delphi technique was used to develop 26 competencies needed to assess needs of Agricultural Extension Agents. The perceived level of importance and perceived level of competence of the 26 competencies of AEA were measured. Overall, in-service needs were analyzed and ranked using Mean Weighted Discrepancy Scores (MWDS). The top five competencies in need by Agricultural Extension Agents included agricultural waste management (MWDS = 8.40); participatory technology development (MWDS = 7.02); water conservation (MWDS = 6.73); integrated crop management (MWDS = 6.50); and soil erosion (MWDS = 5.82). The human resource development programs should study how the top in-service areas can be addressed in training workshops.

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